This week, Valley of Steel officially celebrates the milestone of TEN YEARS since first emerging from the ether of cyberspace.
It has been a bumpy ride and the publishing schedule has certainly been irregular and unpredictable much of the time, but inconceivably the site is still puttering along.
A huge THANK YOU to every person reading these words on this page, or who has ever read any of the words that have been published here; I sincerely hope you have found at least one thing you’ve enjoyed, and hope that you continue to do so. To anyone who has ever submitted anything that has been written about (even time has not allowed said writing to take place yet). And most of all to the musicians, thank you — please keep doing what you do, and I’ll keep doing what I do.
Breaking News: Faith No More Announce Tour Cancellation
Some disappointing news just emerged today for fans and for the band itself — all of whom were certainly looking forward to a return of live music after a six-year absence, which included worldwide dates throughout 2020 and early 2021, and a European tour this summer, all of which had to be canceled due to the ongoing pandemic. Finally this week Faith No More was slated to head back out on the road across America for a handful of dates through September and October, only to experience a heartbreaking setback yet again…
Hey folks, what’s up? It’s been a little while since we’ve done this! Around four months since the last time I wrote about anything on this website, and almost four YEARS since I shared a book recommendation with you all.
If you’re thinking that this is chiefly a place to talk about music, you are correct. Usually my purpose here is to let you know about something I’ve heard that I thought was worth sharing. And yeah, I do have a to-do list of hundreds of albums dating back nearly the entire lifetime of this site — not to mention the dozens of new emails coming in every single day.
But sometimes it’s tough to fit in some quality listening time throughout the day, especially critical listening and then writing about what I’m listening to. There are conference call meetings at work, tv shows and movies to watch after work, just so many different things vying for attention…
Ok, yeah, you’ve caught me. These are all just lame excuses. The truth is, a few months back my company hooked us all up with free access to an online learning service, and I have become absolutely addicted. So far, I think I’ve watched about 400 hours worth of productivity and time management videos. Things haven’t really improved much yet, but I’ll keep watching them until I find one that helps!
But having said that, one of my goals for myself in 2021 has been to spend more time reading. And while much of that has been some pretty weighty material — about scientific studies and social theories and various other subjects relevant to my interests — occasionally it’s also nice to break things up with some less-serious stuff…
Instant Boner – Perfect Sunday (self-released, 13 April 2014)
Instant Boner – Outburst (self-released, 21 January 2016)
Instant Boner – High Place Phenomenon (self-released, 25 September 2020)
Happy Bandcamp Friday! If you’re looking for some new music to check out, I’ve got what you need right here.
Instant Boner are a Greek band I’ve been digging for quite a while now — actually about seven years, I guess, since shortly after their debut came out. There’s a good chance many of you will feel the same way. But you’ll want to be especially careful searching for them by name, or you might find some websites that perhaps aren’t exactly what you were looking for…
Luckily, I’m here to help you out, and you’ll find links directly to each of the band’s first three albums down below. You’re welcome!
Devastating Light – I Have Already Failed You (self-released (digital), 09 January 2021 / Depressive Illusion Records (cassette/UKR), 09 January 2021 / Herrecords (CD/ARG), 25 February 2021 / Planet K Records (CD/ITA), 28 March 2021)
Olhava – Frozen Bloom (self-released (digital), 02 April 2021 / slowsnow records (cassette), 02 April 2021 / Avantgarde Music (CD+vinyl), 07 May 2021)
Hello again! Presented for your listening pleasure, I’ve got two more recordings to share with you today. One is the debut EP by the newly-created solo act of a musician from southern Finland; the other will be the fourth LP by a two-piece band who live just a few hundred km away across the Russian border (or even closer, if one were inclined to travel directly through the Gulf of Finland).
Kosmodemonic – The Inebriating Darkness (self-released, 01 March 2016)
Kosmodemonic – Liminal Light (Transylvanian Tapes, 07 May 2021)
Check it out: Kosmodemonic have a brand-new full-length (their second) coming out this Friday!
If you aren’t already familiar with the band, I’m sorry, it’s all my fault. When the first one was released, they emailed me about it and I listened to it and found it interesting so I added it to my to-do list but then I never actually got as far as writing something about it. Then somehow five entire years flew past, and here we are.
Not going to let that happen again, so I’m making sure this gets published today.
Human Failure – Crown on the Head of a King of Mud (Caligari Records / Sentient Ruin, 07 May 2021)
Kataan – Kataan (Prosthetic Records, 07 May 2021)
Well here we are at the start of a new month, which of course means more new releases waiting for us! Today I’ve got two for you: each is the first release of the new project from an established musician or two, and each will be coming out THIS FRIDAY.
Oh yeah, and these may be relatively short (around 15-20 minutes each) but both are soul-crushingly devastating. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Domkraft – The End of Electricity (Magnetic Eye Records, 11 November 2016)
Domkraft – Flood (Blues Funeral Recordings, 19 October 2018)
Domkraft – Seeds (Magnetic Eye Records, 30 April 2021)
Happy Friday, y’all! I’m about to send you off into the weekend with THREE whole albums you can jam out to.
Sweden’s Domkraft (compounded from the words for “doom” and “power“) have been churning out the doomy/sludgy/spacey hits for YEARS. (Well maybe not exactly hits — the band described them as “trudging, 10-minute/three chord songs.”)
Their latest record drops today, but the first two are equally worth checking out, so I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss any of them…
Greylock / BEDTIMEMAGIC – Split (Tor Johnson Records, 12 February 2021)
Good afternoon, and a Happy Monday to you all!
Submitted for your enjoyment, I’ve got a split tape that came out a couple months back — each side features a handful of tunes by a different Boston-area duo (included among which is a cover of one song by the band from the other side). These represent fairly disparate genres within the general metal mise en scène, so hopefully there should be something for everyone here. Off we go…