That’s right, these two titans of (the music) industry will be making an appearance in Pittsburgh: Ghost (who were here exactly five years ago today and gave one of the more memorable performances I’ve ever witnessed) TONIGHT, Friday the 18th; and (the) Melvins (who also came through town five years ago this month, with what was quite possibly THE best show I’ve seen) TOMORROW night, Saturday the 19th!
Stick around for more details on this weekend’s shows, as well as a bit of a walk down memory lane…
Opera IX – Back to Sepulcro (Dusktone, 01 November 2015)
This year marks three full decades since guitarist Ossian started Opera IX in Biella (Piedmont region, in the foothills of the Italian Alps). The band has put out an extensive discography in thirty years, and undergone numerous line-up changes, as they gradually morphed into the titans of occult black metal they would become known as.
One major shake-up occurred back in 2014 with a wholesale replacement of the entire band (other than its founder), including the departure of bassist Vlad who had been around since very early on, and vocalist of the previous decade-plus M. the Bard (who sadly departed permanently late last year).
With a brand-new ensemble — including M:A Fog (drums), Alessandro Muscio (keyboard), Scùrs (bass) and Abigail Dianaria (vocals) — in tow, Ossian proceeded to put together an album (in late 2015) that featured brand-new recordings of several songs from Opera IX albums past.
In today’s post we’ll check out Back to Sepulcro — as well as discussing what the band has been up to since that time. (Spoiler alert: a new album anticipated later this year, plus an appearance at MDF later this month!)
Thursday 13 September through Saturday 15 September 2018
at Camp Hidden Valley, 4722 Mellow Rd, White Hall MD 21161
Weekend pass $130; single-day tickets $30-60 each; tent or cabin camping available for an additional charge.
Shadow Woods Metal Fest, the Mid-Atlantic’s only open-air camping heavy metal gathering, is back for a FOURTH year, featuring “over 40 of the underground’s leading bands, representing many genres and subgenres of heavy metal, folk, rock, experimental, and noise” on three alternating stages with no overlap.
After the fate of the festival was up in the air for a while following the sale of the summer camp that has been its home for the past few years, and (apparently) some issues ironing out details with a new venue, the folks at Shadow Woods are pleased to announce they will be returning once again to Camp Hidden Valley. Full line-up for the three-day fest can be found below.
Holy Rivals – Holy Rivals (self-released, 25 May 2016)
Hey folks, remember all the way back to yesterday, when we talked about a pair of Howling Giant releases from 2016 and 2017? If not, make sure to go check it out! Anyway, way down at the end of that post you might notice that the Tennesseans are heading out on a tour of the eastern United States tomorrow night (Thursday, the 10th of May) and swinging through Pittsburgh soon after (Saturday, the 12th).
Well as it turns out, one of the local bands performing at that show also happens to be someone whose music we’ve been meaning to share with you for a while — in fact, their self-titled debut EP came out two years ago this month. So before any more time passes, today let’s listen to the self-described “three sludge/grunge dudes from Pittsburgh” known as Holy Rivals!
Howling Giant – Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 1 (self-released, 12 August 2016)
Howling Giant – Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 2 (self-released, 25 August 2017)
Starting this Thursday (the tenth of May) and then lasting for the next two-plus weeks, Nashvillian trio Howling Giant will be traipsing all over the eastern USA in what they’re calling their “Escape from the Lab” tour. We’ve got details down below, and on your way there we’ll be covering the first two portions of the band’s planned trilogy Black Hole Space Wizard. That way, once you get to the list of dates you’ll either be very excited if you find your city included or very disappointed if you find it omitted. Either way, though, you’ll be treated to some great music — which you’ll have the opportunity to download for as cheap as you’d like. Win-win!
Bison – You Are Not the Ocean You Are the Patient (Pelagic Records, EU: 23 June 2017 / NA: 07 July 2017)
Bison – Earthbound (2007; reissued by No List Records, 20 April 2018)
A little over a week ago, while talking about Denmark’s LLNN, we happened to mention that they would be touring across Europe with Bison. Well, that’s still happening, and so it seemed like a fine time to discuss that particular Canadian quartet.
Known as Bison B.C. for several years after their original formation in 2006, both to emphasize their British Columbian heritage and to differentiate from another group named for the large North American ruminant, the band decided to drop the extraneous initials about five years ago, going by the more streamlined moniker ever since.
Last summer, the Ocean-run German label Pelagic released the latest Bison full-length — their fourth overall — while last month saw No List reissuing the group’s long-out-of-print debut EP (since used CDs are going for outrageous prices online), including being pressed on vinyl for the first time ever! Here we’ll give a listen to both of those, and then down at the bottom of the page you can check out the rest of the places these Vancouverites will be visiting in eastern/central Europe!
Kraków – Alive (Dark Essence Records, 24 March 2017)
From the first time I heard them, Norwegian post-metallurgists Kraków quickly became one of my favorite bands out there, through their grasp of the beautiful and fragile meshed with the ugly and frightening, spread out over long meandering compositions that enthrall the listener with their aural stories.
As many times as I’ve listened to their releases (the three most recent of which were written about right here), the appearance of a live album was certainly exciting news. On top of that, we’ve recently learned that another new record will be appearing later this year! In this post you can find out more about that live album — and then at the end, what we know so far about their next one!