Kavyk – Hymns and Hollow Words (2015), Crawl – Old Wood & Broken Dreams (2014)

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KavykHymns and Hollow Words (self-released, 22 April 2015)

 

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CrawlOld Wood & Broken Dreams (Stone Groove Records, 18 October 2014)

 

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! Today I’m going to discuss a pair of releases — each of these was submitted to me by one of the members of each band a little while ago for me to check out, which I’ve done, and to share with all of you, which I’m doing now.

The first of these, released nearly a year ago, is the debut EP from a blackened doom band from Louisiana; although this band is relatively new, its members have been around for a while in various other projects (including one that was written about here on Valley of Steel, not long after the time this EP was released). The second one is a little older, almost a year and a half old by now, and it comes to us from a sludgier doom band out of Atlanta, Georgia — a band which also has been written about previously on this very website. And so, let’s just jump right in …

 

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Withering Light / Barghest – Split (2014)

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Withering Light / BarghestSplit (self-released, 18 October 2014)

 

I had alluded to this at least once before, but isn’t it interesting how black metal seems to be the only genre that has been indelibly associated with a specific climate and time of year? This art form that had its roots in the thrash and death metal of the early 80s, got twisted into something more harsh and unforgiving by bands in such disparate locales as England and Brazil — but really was given the unique characteristics we associate with it today, when it had again been transformed in the hands of a bunch of Norwegians in the early 90s. Ever since then, thinking about black metal almost invariably conjures images of a “land of ice and snow”: some of the areas that have developed pockets of practitioners within the genre have included Norway and Sweden, the American Pacific northwest and midwest, Canada, New York and New England — and Louisiana.

No, you didn’t read that wrong. Today we’re discussing a pair of bands who are based in a state that is well-known for having hurricanes and Mardi Gras celebrations; Cajun and Creole culture and some of the biggest sludge metal bands in the world; and of course, for inventing Tabasco sauce. But one thing nobody associates with Louisiana is frigid, wintry weather. Nevertheless, these bands both manage to produce a convincingly bleak, black atmosphere, imbued with plenty of interesting twists like you’d expect to hear from many of their counterparts from further north: Barghest (Baton Rouge) and Withering Light (Hammond).

 

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Tours Galore: All Roads Lead to Gilead Fest

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Wisconsin. America’s dairyland. The Badger State. Home of the Packers. And next weekend, the site of one of the summer’s biggest showcases of filthy, ugly, underground metal.

Gilead Media has made quite a name for itself, mostly by issuing highly sought after vinyl versions of some of the best names in bleak, black noise. And for three days (18-20 July), a huge collection of those will be converging on the city of Oshkosh. I know several people who are making the trip out there, and every year I wish I could too because they always have an incredible “no filler” line-up. This year is no exception, and I’ve got all the details for you below.

But many of the bands playing at the fest have also arranged a series of shows in various other cities on the dates before and after next weekend. Several of these will be hitting Pittsburgh over the next week or so, and chances are some of them may be coming near where you live too. I’ve got details of those tours too (at least, I’ve tried to make this as comprehensive as possible). So check it out.

 

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