Migration Fest – Pittsburgh, July 2018

 
Following the success of Wisconsin’s Gilead Fest in 2012 and 2014, the organizers (Gilead Media) hooked up with west-coast label 20 Buck Spin to continue the biennial tradition, kicking off the new Migration Fest in Washington state in 2016. Naturally, the next edition of this festival would be slated for 2018, and the labels have jointly announced that it will be held at the highly-esteemed Mr. Smalls Theatre in Millvale, PA — immediately adjacent to Pittsburgh.

This is, of course, huge news for us at Valley of Steel, and anyone else who lives in the general vicinity. And the first wave of bands has recently been released, which can be found listed below; we’ll continue to bring you more news about this festival as information becomes available. There are many more announcements forthcoming, including the headliners (although just the part of the line-up we know about so far is more than enough to get pretty excited about!)

 
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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

CosmicBadger

 

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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Wrought Iron – Rejoice and Transcend (2014)

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Wrought IronRejoice and Transcend (Grimoire Records, 24 June 2014)

 

Ever since the band was formed (which was at the end of 2011), and especially since they started playing live shows (the following spring), there’s been a significant amount of buzz surrounding Wrought Iron within Pittsburgh’s underground music scene. People who’ve caught their live shows (often appearing with some pretty big names, like Abigail Williams, Absu, Alcest, Dying Fetus, False, and Nachtmystium, just to name a few) have reported being spellbound by the ferocity as well as the raw talent on display.

Well, that — and one other thing too. It seems like whenever this band is being discussed, the performance of vocalist Kenny Snyder often gets brought up; several times I’ve witnessed certain people (without mentioning anyone specifically, but I will say it’s almost always been members of other local bands) trying to imitate the combined snarl-shriek-squawk that these folks affectionately refer to as “like a dying pterodactyl.”

Anyway. I personally may have been a little bit late to the party, but after hearing them recommended so highly for so long, I finally got the chance to see Wrought Iron last summer (and a couple more times since then). I was very impressed by what I saw and heard — they definitely lived up to the hype, no question about that. Fast-forward another year, and we find the band recording an album with Maryland’s Grimoire Records, which is being released digitally (as well as on CD or cassette) today.

 

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What To Do In Pittsburgh Tonight? (10 September 2012)

Seriously, that’s a tough question. Must-see shows don’t come around all that often, and even less frequently on a Monday night… but by some strange, freak-of-nature coincidence, there will be two of them taking place in town tonight!

Here are the details for each of them, and then — I dunno, you can flip a coin or something:

 
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Root of Evil Collective Presents:

False, Bellow, Egality, Wrought Iron

 

at the Mr. Roboto Project

5106 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh (Bloomfield)

 

Monday 10 September 2012 | show starts at 7:00 pm | $5 | all ages

 
 
Appearing tonight at Roboto are a pair of bands visiting our fine city from Minneapolis! Neither one (apparently) believes in using Facebook, but you can check out False‘s self-titled LP of angry black metal at the Gilead Media Bandcamp page (here) and Bellow‘s self-titled EP of atmospheric doom on their own Bandcamp page (here — download for free, or pay whatever you like!). Kicking things off will be Egality from Derry, PA, and Wrought Iron from Pittsburgh!

RSVP for this event here.

 
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Allure of the Earth Productions presets…

The Atlas Moth, Supervoid, Falling Upward

 

at The Smiling Moose (upstairs)

1306 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh (South Side)

 

Monday 10 September 2012 | 9:00 pm | $10 | 21+ only

 
 
Chicagoan black/doom metal band The Atlas Moth‘s An Ache for the Distance (Profound Lore Records) made countless year-end best-of lists in 2011. You can listen to the album here, then you can hear the band tonight at the Moose! Featuring the much-hyped local hard rock supergroup Supervoid as well as the Burgh’s prog-metal darlings Falling Upward.

PS: The poster shown here is an old image; the date was changed since then, so disregard where it says “Sunday” — honestly, the show is tonight (Monday)!

RSVP for this show here.

Upcoming Shows: Dresden 2012 U.S. Tour Kicks Off This Week

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Crust Warriors Dresden Announce May/June Tour Dates

…and they include Pittsburgh! Even better, although the show is on a Sunday, it’s the night before Memorial Day, so you don’t even have to worry about going to work in the morning.

 
Here is the official press release, and the list of dates will follow below.

Crust punk crew Dresden will be hitting the road later this month, burning their way through their native Midwest and out towards the coast. The band’s M.O. is a powerful mixture of D-beat hardcore and powerful punk imbued with a vicious intensity that comes from their depth of experience playing in bands like Wartorn, Despite, In Defence, False, and Remission. Along the way, Dresden will be joining forces with Profane Existence cohorts and legends in their own right Deviated Instinct, Antisect, Wartorn, Appalachian Terror Unit, and Tragedy. Don’t miss out on these gigs – blood will be shed, cities will be leveled, justice will be served.

 
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