Fister – Decade of Depression (2019)

FisterDecade of Depression (Listenable Records, 27 September 2019)

 

Hey, have you heard? St. Louisan grimy doomlords Fister are celebrating their first decade of existence!

Well, maybe “celebrating” is not the correct word — taking a cue from the Slayer live album Decade of Aggression, the band has assembled an LP filled with covers paying tribute to some of their main influences, entitled Decade of Depression.

Here at VOS we’ve been huge fans of this trio for the better part of that decade — ever since a joint tour with The Lion’s Daughter led to a stop here in Pittsburgh back in the summer of 2013, which was completely mind-blowing to those few of us in attendance. From then on, we’ve tried to make it a point to spread the good word anytime there is new Fister material with which to desecrate one’s ears.

It’s been a little over a month since Decade of Depression hit the streets, but for those who may have been sleeping on this, kindly do yourselves a favor and direct your attention this way…!

 

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Attalla – Attalla (2014)

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AttallaAttalla (self released, 12 July 2014)

 

Hey folks! I’d like to share a quick little anecdote with you, then it’s time to talk about some more music. Deal?

Ok. So several months ago, this band called Attalla from Wisconsin wrote to me to let me know they’d released an album last year, and to see if I’d be interested in reviewing it. I then downloaded it and added it to my library of stuff to check out — but it just kind of sat there for a little while. I can’t exactly say what it was that kept me from listening to the album right away, but I feel like something about the band’s name brought up some sort of negative imagery on some subconscious level. (And frankly, that’s really a shame, because — at least from what I learned by watching Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure — the storied emperor seems to have been quite the bad-ass, and his name should certainly evoke similarly awe-inspiring thoughts.

In any case, I ultimately overcame whatever mental roadblock had been there (the word “attalla”, I would later discover, actually derives from the Cherokee word for “mountain”) and hit PLAY on the band’s self-titled LP. And I’m really glad that I did. I wasn’t just ‘pleasantly surprised’ at what I heard; rather, the album turned out to be pretty great. I guess the lesson to be learned here was, not only should you not judge a book by its cover, but you also shouldn’t judge a book by its title being vaguely similar to another book’s title. Particularly if you’ve already pre-judged that other book to be terrible based on ITS cover. Okay, moving on.

 

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Upcoming Shows: Michale Graves – War of Information Tour 2012

 
If you’ve ever studied the family tree of people who’ve either been in the Misfits over the years, or at least played in bands with former Misfits members, then you know there are more characters there than in the cast of most soap operas.

Without going into too much detail (or doing any research, so any factual errors are due to my own faulty memory)…

After the original band dissolved in the 80s, singer Glenn Danzig went on to form Samhain, which evolved into Danzig, with a number of different people. Meanwhile, the Misfits were later reformed by bassist Jerry Only. Here again there was a rotating line-up of members, but one of the best-known was the foursome that put out a few albums in the late 90s, which included Only’s brother Doyle von Frankenstein (who I believe had also participated in the band’s earlier incarnation for a time) on guitar, a drummer named Dr. Chud and vocalist Michale Graves. All of those folks have left the band at various times, leaving the bassist once again as the sole original member (and now, as I understand it, also handling vocal duties himself). Von Frankenstein was last seen as a member of the Danzig Legacy tour, which also featured the titular singer. Graves and Chud had set out on their own prior to this, working together in a band called Graves, if I’m not mistaken. Then the two parted ways, playing in other bands, and eventually the singer embarked on a solo career, which finally brings us to the present day.

Michale Graves has been performing solo acoustic shows for the past few years, in addition to releasing the album Illusions Live/Viretta Park via Screaming Crow Records in 2008. Now he’s back with a full band and kicks off his “War of Information” summer tour TONIGHT in New Jersey…

 
UPDATE – 18 September 2012 – click here to see the latest additions to the War of Information Tour dates!
 
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The “Signmeto” Unsigned Band of the Week: The “Where Are They Now?” Edition

Hey there, loyal and devoted Valley of Steel Readers!  For the past four months I’ve been doing these little profiles every Monday about bands that I’ve discovered on the “Sign Me to Roadrunner Records” website.  Mostly they’ve been bands that have sent me messages seeking reviews of their music, but occasionally I’ll just randomly stumble across something good and then I end up writing about that.  Either way, I’ve found some really cool stuff that I might not have known about otherwise!  I hope the same has been true for you, readers — have you seen any bands profiled here that really resonated with you?  Let me know in the comments section below; hearing that I’ve introduced a reader to some awesome new music (and also that I’ve given a band some much-deserved exposure to new fans) validates my existence and gives me a reason to get out of bed each morning.

Over the course of the past several weeks, I’ve tried to keep up with some of these exciting new discoveries — either by following their Facebook pages, or signing up for an email list, or possibly by watching for smoke signals.  In any case, I’ve been hearing some things lately about some of these bands — in terms of new songs, new videos, or upcoming new releases — and so I decided to use this week’s post to reflect back on some of those previous posts and see what the bands have been up to since I wrote about them…

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