A Stick and a Stone – The Long Lost Art of Getting Lost (2017)

A Stick and a StoneThe Long Lost Art of Getting Lost (cassette Sentient Ruin / Breathe Plastic, CD Spirit House; 21 July 2017)

 

Hey… remember several months back when Bandcamp donated all of their profits one day to the ACLU to aid in the fight for equal rights for all? Well apparently that was a big success, and they’ve decided to do something similar again, TODAY.

Their announcement earlier this week said, in part (read the whole thing here):

We support our LGBT+ users and staff, and we stand against any person or group that would see them further marginalized. This includes the current U.S. administration, and its recent capricious declaration that transgender troops will no longer be able to serve in the military.

In response, we will be donating 100% of our share of every sale on Friday, August 4th (from midnight to midnight Pacific Time) to the Transgender Law Center, a nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to change law, policy, and culture for the more equitable.

That announcement also included a list of featured artists of various gender identities, and they’ve also posted a follow-up detailing hundreds of bands and labels who’ve pledged to join in by donating all or part of THEIR profits from today as well.

Of course, our archives here at Valley of Steel are filled with releases that are available on Bandcamp as well, if you’re looking for something to buy today. And if you keep reading, here’s one more recent release you may wish to consider.

 

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Doom Side of the Moon (2017)

Doom Side of the MoonDoom Side of the Moon (self released, 04 August 2017)

 

So this weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd releasing their debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. That’s a pretty significant milestone, and anyone who spends much time poking around this website will soon realize that they are one of my favorite bands of all time. That has been the case for at least half of the past fifty years, ever since I really started to discover their catalogue of work when I was in middle school — and that fandom has been borderline obsessive during much of that time.

Evidently someone else who feels the same way is Kyle Shutt, guitarist for The Sword, who has chosen to mark the occasion of a half-century of Pink Floyd albums by recreating their best-known work (and one of the biggest selling records in history) The Dark Side of the Moon.

“The idea came to me after getting baked and wanting to hear a heavy version of ‘Time’,” he explained. “I thought, why not just cover the whole album?” While admitting that “It felt a little strange messing with someone’s legacy,” the guitarist went on to say that he is “treating it as a celebration of one of the greatest bands to ever rock, a party that everyone is invited to.”

Recruiting two of his bandmates, bassist Bryan Richie and drummer Santiago Vela III, the project was completed with the addition of vocalist Alex Marrero, saxophonist Jason Frey, and keyboardist Joe Cornetti, and thus Doom Side of the Moon was born.

Their lovingly crafted tribute will officially be released on Friday (04 August), and then on Saturday (05 August, the exact anniversary of Piper‘s release) they’ll be performing the whole thing at Emo’s in Austin TX, along with a laser show performed by The Mustachio Light Show.

 

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God Root – Salt and Rot (2017)

God RootSalt and Rot (CD self-released / digital Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, 11 July 2017)

 

The music world suffered a great, if largely unheralded, loss around the end of 2014, when ambient-experimental blackened doom duo Sadgiqacea, one of the only good things to ever come out of Philadelphia. (Our review of their last album can be found here). The pair briefly reunited to perform at last year’s Shadow Woods festival, but otherwise it seems they’ve been occupied with other projects. While guitarist/vocalist Evan Void continued on as a member of Hivelords and Tombs (both of which were discussed here), drummer/vocalist Fred Grabosky (aka the artist behind FTG Illustrations) was quietly assembling some other like-minded individuals to form a brand new group. After shifting a few pieces around for a little bit, the line-up stabilized with bassist/vocalist Ross Bradley, guitarist/vocalist Joe Hughes, guitarist Keith Riecke, and Jordan Stiff who is credited with “noise” and guitar, all joining forces as God Root.

The band’s second official release, Salt and Rot saw the light of day just a few weeks ago, and the guys are now gearing up to hit the road with New Jersey’s Sunrot. A full list of those dates, all over the northeastern and midwestern U.S., can be found down below, but first let’s check out that new album!

 
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Molasses Barge – S/T + Covered in Molasses (2017)

Molasses BargeMolasses Barge + Covered in Molasses (Blackseed Records, 28 July 2017)

 

So I’ve been writing about Molasses Barge basically as long as I’ve been writing about music in general. It all started way back in late 2011 when they had a few shows scheduled, and I threw together a little synopsis of my first experience seeing them perform live (earlier that year when they opened for Pentagram). This was followed by an interview with drummer Wayne Massey in 2012 (as they were about to open for Tombs and 16), and then guitarist Justin Gizzi also answered a few questions as part of our coverage leading up to the Winter’s Wake festival in 2013.

In all, these Pittsburgh-based doom-metal workhorses have appeared (at least mentioned in passing) on this website a few dozen times. And yet, as active as they are (and despite having been in existence for close to a decade now!), the band’s official recorded output thus far has consisted of one EP six years ago, plus a three-song demo a few months later. (Both of them are available to stream or download FREE at Bandcamp.) But that all changes now: this Friday they will be unleashing their stunning debut self-titled LP, and as a special added bonus (perhaps as a thank-you to all the fans who’ve been patiently waiting so long), it’ll come bundled with a second disc filled with cover songs.

 

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Employed to Serve – The Warmth of a Dying Sun (2017)

Employed to ServeThe Warmth of a Dying Sun (Holy Roar Records, 19 May 2017)

 

The last time I wrote about this ‘post-hardcore/powerviolence’ band from Woking, England (in Surrey County, just outside London), I explained how I had first discovered them when they emailed me about their 2012 EP Long Time Dead. I was absolutely infatuated by that release (and still am!) but for a variety of reasons never quite managed to write anything about it until just last year.

When I heard Holy Roar was releasing a brand-new EtS album (and some of the early press seemed to be hinting at an AOTY contender) I knew I needed to get my hands on it — and also that I wouldn’t let another four years pass before writing about it! So here, I present you with The Warmth of a Dying Sun. Enjoy!

 
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Ketchup Day: Upcoming Release News (Septicflesh, Unsane)

 
Yeah, it’s a silly name and a silly concept, but we’re doing this thing again. Further explanation for those who need it here.

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