Hello, it’s time for another Winter’s Wake band interview!
I’ll repeat once more: with so many people to talk to, I tried to keep these short and sweet — just enough for you (the reader) to get a sense of each band’s history, to learn a little about where they came from and what they’re doing now, so that you can be as excited about seeing all of them as I am!
This time, I exchanged some words with vocalist/guitarist Sharon Bascovsky from Derkéta…
Dear readers, as you should already know (because I just told you a couple weeks ago!), two Innervenus artists have CDs coming out tomorrow (Tuesday, 12 February 2013)! One of those is the death metal + grind unit called Grisly Amputation, with their debut full-length Cannibalistic Tendencies.
Considering my professional relationship with the band, as the record label’s PR representative, it didn’t seem appropriate for me to write a review of their album, because it wouldn’t seem objective or unbiased. So I found a neutral outside reviewer who was willing to write about the album and then let me publish it for him. He was a frequent contributor to the “Sign Me To Roadrunner Records” website when I used to spend a lot of time there, and his reviews were always very thoughtful and detailed. Plus, as a musician in a death metal band himself, I’d be inclined to say he’s even more qualified to discuss this album than I am…
Hello, friends. Regular visitors to this website have surely noticed that recently the volume of writing I am putting out there has significantly decreased. I apologize for that. But it hasn’t been the result of laziness, I assure you. I’ve been getting myself involved with a few other things — as I keep alluding to in several new posts over the past few weeks — and finally I want to let you know about one of those.
So, I have been asked to join the Pittsburgh-based record label The Innervenus Music Collective to help out with their PR and publicity. It’s a pretty exciting opportunty for me — first of all, as a writer I’ve been working with a variety of PR people and representatives from other labels, so I understand what’s involved, and it’s cool to be getting some experience from the other direction now. But even more than that, now I get to work directly with a group of people who do so much to support our local music scene — between planning shows and giving away the Iron Atrocity compilations, not to mention releasing albums from some really talented bands (Vulture, Invader, Fist Fight in the Parking Lot — just to name a few examples that I had written about last year)!
And so this new position has been using up a lot of my free time recently, mostly because we’re gearing up to put out two CDs in February: the debut full-length by grindcore/death dealers Grisly Amputation, and a self-titled EP by death-thrash-groove-sludge-core band Lycosa. I’ve been sending out promo materials to a whole slew of websites and magazines, so we should start seeing some reviews trickle in shortly, but I figure I wouldn’t really be doing my job (EITHER job – as a writer OR a publicist!) if I didn’t also inform you about the releases here on Valley of Steel!
Well, good day to all you fine people out there! It’s the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S., traditionally known as Black Friday — and legions of idiots have been lining up outside retailers for hours (or days, in some cases) to get their hands on TVs and junk at discounted prices.
I hate shopping, and I hate crowds of people (or more accurately, I hate most people in general), so would be pretty much the worst possible time for me to go out. Therefore, I won’t be anywhere near any stores today.
However, there are some other good deals out there, if you know where to look — lots of record labels and music stores are offering discounts or bonus gifts or incentives — and this is stuff that interests me way more than anything that people will probably be fist-fighting for at Wal-Mart or Target!
Since many of you readers probably feel the same way (why else would you be reading a music-related blog?) I’ve thrown together an assortment of these special offers right here in this post, for your shopping convenience. Enjoy!
Dreaming Dead – Midnightmares (Self-released, 20 April 2012)
So it’s been about three weeks since Midnightmares, the new Dreaming Dead album was made available. As you may recall, I told you they were giving it away for free on the day it was released. Did you see that post, and did you take advantage of that offer? If you did, feel free to share your opinion in the comments below — I’d love to hear from you. If you missed it, though, I’m sorry — but you should totally consider taking advantage of subscribing to the Valley News email updates or RSS feed (see the relevant links somewhere on this page), or heading over to Facebook and “liking” the Valley of Steel page, because I’m always sharing information about freebies like that when I hear about them, and maybe next time you can be better informed!
In any case, if you haven’t had a chance to check out this lovely slice of progressive death-thrash yet, don’t worry — it might not be available to download for free any more, but you can still catch a stream of the album at the band’s website, and they’re also selling it in download, CD, and LP formats!
Welcome to this week’s installment of the “Signmeto” Unsigned Band of the Week feature, which is where I profile a band I’ve discovered on the “Sign Me to Roadrunner Records” website, and then give you the opportunity to listen to a few songs from somebody you might never have heard before. My hope is, you might find something you really dig, and then when they explode in popularity and sell a million records, you can scoff at all the bandwagon-jumpers, saying you’ve been a fan since the beginning.
All of the bands I’ve written about so far in this weekly column have been people who’ve contacted me directly, actively seeking reviews. If your band has already written to me, don’t worry, I’ll get to you soon — I’ve got a few more lined up for the next several weeks. But today is a little different because it’s a band I ran across last weekend when I was writing about the upcoming Dream Death reunion show — one of the opening acts for that show is a local band I hadn’t heard before, so in the course of writing that article I had to do a little research to find out who they are. That was Closer to Hell, a death metal band from Ford City, PA (just a little while north of Pittsburgh in Armstrong County). After I located their Facebook page, I found that they also had an account on Signmeto, where I was able to give them a listen. So naturally, I decided to include them here so you could do the same. Continue reading →