Yob – Clearing the Path to Ascend (Neurot Recordings, 02 September 2014)
Yob – Our Raw Heart (Relapse Records, 08 June 2018)
Oregonian doom trio Yob vocalist/guitarist Mike Scheidt has always had a distinctive voice. Whether it’s as a member of Lumbar or making a guest appearance with Red Fang or a whole plethora of others, there’s just no mistaking who is singing. Piercing and powerful, like Conan‘s Jon Davis, expressive and emotional like Argus/Molasses Barge‘s Butch Balich, and always just a bit grizzled and weathered like Wino or Lemmy.
But since the last time we heard from these guys (Clearing the Path to Ascend, which in a year filled with tough competition, still came out as our clear #1 album of 2014), some serious health complications cast some doubt as to whether we might ever hear that voice again. You can read all about that journey in this Rolling Stone interview, where the band’s sole remaining founding member (over twenty years ago!) describes his harrowing experiences while also discussing the creation of Our Raw Heart.
The album was “largely penned from what he worried would be his deathbed,” said the magazine, quoting Scheidt as saying, “there was no guarantee that I was going to live long enough to record the album.” Fortunately for himself, his family and friends, and also for everyone on planet earth who has ears, he did survive and he did record the album, which undoubtably will be contending for the same spot in this year’s list. In this post we’ll touch upon that record from four years ago, as well as the follow-up which hits stores TODAY. Furthermore, keep on scrolling to see a list of opportunities North American readers will have to experience Yob live: for one month (starting next Thursday, 14th June) with Bell Witch or again during September with Acid King and CHRCH.
Conan / Slomatics – Split (original release 2011 / to be RE-re-released by Black Bow Records, 01 June 2018)
Almost two years ago, the 2011 split record between these two bands, each of whom has been discussed multiple times on this website (Conan | Slomatics), got the re-release treatment on a really cool picture disc by Black Bow Records. We discussed that right here.
But in case you missed it (or if you DID manage to snag one of those copies, but you wish you had a second one to listen to!), Black Bow is doing it again! This time on 180g heavyweight vinyl (for the first time ever) in a peculiar shade of “ogre green” (also for the first time ever). Keep reading to revisit our review of these songs from the 2016 release, and then find where you can buy a copy of the new edition.
British caveman battle doomsters Conan are currently hard at work on the follow up to their 2016 release Revengeanance [reviewed here, alongside 2014’s Blood Eagle], which is expected via Napalm Records during the early part of this year. In anticipation of the new album, the band has announced a full North American headline tour beginning in February. The tour, featuring support from The Ditch and the Delta, starts February 9th in Calgary AB and wraps up March 13th in Denver CO. A complete list of dates can be found below.
No Funeral / Livid – Split LP (Live Fast Die Recordings, 15 August 2017)
Where the hell did October go? Or September, or fall, or most of this goddamn year? What’s even happening anymore?
I don’t know. But I do know this: I’m quite literally drowning in excellent music over here, that I need to share with you people. And there’s just never enough time — but I’m not here to whine or make excuses, I’m here to get something published that I’ve been wanting to tell you about for a while. This is gonna be a short one, but that’s better than nothing, right? Right?
Anyway, check out this split LP featuring a pair of Minneapolitan bands, Livid (whose Prosthetic Records debut Beneath this Shroud, the Earth Erodes, which we discussed here, came out just about a month earlier) and No Funeral (who just got back home yesterday from a tour of the east coast, and who also happen to run the label responsible for releasing this split) …
Steel Bridge Promotions — who have been responsible for putting together all sorts of really solid shows in the Pittsburgh area over the past few years, as well as being among the most genuinely nice people you will EVER meet — recently announced that their final shows will be taking place this October. While that’s terrible news for this city, SBP will definitely be going out with a bang! Here, we’ll be sharing some information about the one of those final shows.
Thursday 17 August through Sunday 20 September 2017
at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 4455 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas NV 89169
This weekend-long party in Sin City will feature some folks that you’ll recognize from previous mentions right here at Valley of Steel (Neurosis, Conan, Fister, Melvins, Hollow Leg, North, Ruby the Hatchet, Slomatics — just to name a few). Some other highlights will include Inter Arma, Black Anvil, Minsk, Goya, Manilla Road, Mouth of the Architect, Pelican, Vhöl, Year of the Cobra… YOB, Pentagram, Corrosion of Conformity, Sleep, Psychic TV… oh yeah, and King Diamond performing the whole Abigail album!
Cantharone – Sons of the Crow (self-released, 06 June 2015)
Mine Collapse – Mine Collapse (Nefarious Industries, 22 July 2016)
Livid – Beneath this Shroud, the Earth Erodes (Prosthetic Records, 14 July 2017)
Today we’ve got not one, not two, not five… but three different bands to talk about, each of which has come across my radar screen within about the past year or so. Cantharone is a four-piece from Minneapolis who have been around since about 2009, and their most recent release was their second EP which came out in the summer of 2015 (and which I’ll be sharing with you today). But despite that relatively low rate of recorded output, the band has kept pretty busy, between putting together their yearly Canthrammer Music Festival featuring a blend of metal and outlaw country bands, as well as frequent touring around the region. Down below in the comments section I’ll include some info about this year’s festival (coming in late August) as well as a list of shows they’ll be playing over the next week or so.
The other two bands that will be included in this article will be sharing a stage with Cantharone at some point in their upcoming travels, and each is equally worth checking out. Mine Collapse (Chicago) dropped their debut EP almost exactly a year ago, while Livid (Minneapolis) saw their debut LP released just days ago — both of those will also be discussed here.
Shroud Eater – Dead Ends (The Path Less Traveled Records, 09 July 2013)
Shroud Eater / Dead Hand – Split (Southern Druid Records, 25 November 2016)
Shroud Eater – Strike the Sun (STB Records, 07 July 2017)
Here’s some exciting news for you this afternoon: Miamian sludge-doom trio Shroud Eater are releasing their first full-length album in more than six years, tomorrow! I just heard it for the first time over the holiday break (so… Tuesday), and wanted to make sure you folks all got the chance to check it out as well. And that reminded me that there were two other items from this band gathering dust on my to-do list, so it seemed like an ideal time to share those with you too!
Conan – Blood Eagle (Napalm Records, 28 February 2014)
Conan – Revengeance (Napalm Records, 29 January 2016)
Following our last article that covered a few of North‘s more recent releases, it only makes sense to talk about their current tour-mates Conan as well. The Merseysider trio has been around for over ten years — although the line-up has changed a few times: from 2011 (when their split record with Slomatics came out, which was the last release we discussed here) until the 2014 emergence of their second full-length Blood Eagle, Paul O’Neill had remained behind the drums, but Phil Coumbe had taken on bass/vocal duties; then by 2016 new drummer Rich Lewis had joined, and Chris Fielding (a prolific producer and engineer who had worked on all of Conan‘s previous releases) was added as bassist/vocalist. The only constant throughout the band’s career has been guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis, who also runs Black Bow Records in his spare time — oh and by the way, you may remember from when last year when we covered Boss Keloid‘s Herb Your Enthusiasm, which was a Black Bow release, Davis and Fielding both had guest spots on that record.
Well, it wouldn’t be accurate to say that Mr. Davis being part of the band continuously has been the only constant over the past decade-plus. The sound produced by this trio has perpetually been as savage and barbaric as the literary character from which their name was derived. To be specific, they identify themselves as “caveman battle doom” — and you’ll find, as we make our way through Blood Eagle and last year’s follow-up Revengeance, there really couldn’t be a more apt description …
North – Siberia (self-released, 01 May 2006 / re-released by Prosthetic Records, 02 June 2015)
North – Metanoia (self-released, 11 March 2014 / re-released by Prosthetic Records, 02 June 2015)
North – Through Raven’s Eyes (Prosthetic Records, 14 August 2015)
North – Light the Way (Prosthetic Records, 18 March 2016)
Well. Today is going to be all about North, a band who (naturally) come from the extreme southern part of Arizona, and who, as we mentioned a while back, are touring across the country with Conan. As you can see from the title of this post and that series of album covers just above, there’s going to be a ton of material to go over, so that’s all the introduction we have time for …