Body Void / Keeper – Split (Tridroid Records [cassette] / Roman Numeral Records [vinyl], 15 January 2020)
Keeper / Sea Bastard – Split (Medusa Crush Recordings [N.A.] / Dry Cough Records [U.K.], 03 February 2015)
Hello there! Today we’re going to take a look at a split record that’s been generating a little bit of buzz since it came out last month, but not nearly as much as it should — considering the caliber of the two bands who released it (Californians Body Void and Keeper).
But I realize at this point that we have never mentioned Keeper previously, which is really a shame because they were involved with another fantastic split LP that came out about five years ago, along with Brightonian band Sea Bastard. Somehow we just never got around to covering it, so to rectify that error, let’s revisit that one today as well. So you can have a little “bonus review” as a treat.
Fister – Decade 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…!
Body Void – You Will Know the Fear You Forced Upon Us (Crown and Throne Ltd/Dry Cough Records/Seeing Red Records, 15 March 2019)
Each of the past two years, Body Void from beautiful, sunny California has unleashed an album unto the world, which could be called anything BUT beautiful or sunny. Even if you’ve been hiding under a rock this whole time, surely they’ve still managed to catch your attention. But if by some inexplicable means you’ve missed out, please do yourself a favor and check them both out here.
Well, this deteriorating mass called earth and all its awful inhabitants have crept their way around the sun once more, and sure enough, the Golden State trio has graced our ears with another heaping helping of auditory despondence: You Will Know the Fear You Forced Upon Us.
Chrch – Light Will Consume Us All (Neurot Recordings, 11 May 2018)
Fister – No Spirit Within (Listenable Records, 18 May 2018)
Hey! Remember that incredible split of DOOOOOOM between California’s Chrch and Missouri’s Fister, that came out last November? We just wrote about it at the beginning of this year. Well, both of those bands recently wrapped up a joint European tour, and coincidentally they are both beginning a series of U.S. tour dates TONIGHT (although those will all be separate shows). Also, they both signed to new labels in the recent past (Neurot and Listenable respectively), and both bands have just released their first album on those labels within the past month.
In this article we’re going to talk about both of those albums, and then at the end will be a list of upcoming performances for each band. Prepare yourselves.
Fister / CHRCH – Split (Crown and Throne Ltd / Battleground Records, 17 November 2017)
New year, new review! Here we have a split record between a pair of bands: Saint Louisian ugly-sludge architects Fister and fellow slow-doom-ahaulics CHRCH from Sacramento. While the first of these has been written about quite often on this site, up until this record’s release about a month and a half ago, that second name was brand-new to us here in the Valley. As it turns out, the name is (relatively) new to the band as well: their 2015 debut album was released under the name Church, and today’s subject is their first official recording with the abbreviated, vowelless moniker. It won’t be quite so long to wait until their next one, though: as of last month, word on the street says the band has signed with Neurot Recordings to put out another album this spring. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we’re supposed to be talking about this split 12″, containing exactly one gargantuan track by each of the two contributing bands.
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!
Northless – World Keeps Sinking (Halo of Flies / Gilead Media, 23 August 2013)
Primitive Man/Northless – Split (Halo of Flies, 04 March 2016)
As the end of the week draws near — if you didn’t have enough of Primitive Man after Tuesday’s post, maybe this will do it. Like Fister, whom we discussed on Monday, these Denverites tend to keep themselves pretty busy. Actually, it’s not that surprising to learn, those two bands did a split record together once upon a time! But that’s not what we’re here for right now — rather, I wanted to let you know about a much more recent release: a split that Primitive Man did earlier this year with Milwaukeean band Northless. And that reminded me that a full-length of theirs has been on my to-do list for quite a while (as it happens, 2013’s World Keeps Sinking was that band’s last release until this newer split record). Buckle up, this might be a bumpy ride …
It’s Monday and I’m tired and crabby and I don’t really want to be here and I just want to punch everything and everyone right in the damn face. It probably wouldn’t be advisable to do so, because there’s a good chance I’d end up losing my job — and despite what you might think based on how much bitching and complaining I do, that would probably not be a good thing. So as per usual, I’m stuck keeping all that annoyance and rage bottled up inside, with no real outlet through which to channel it. The best I can do is try to calm my nerves by grabbing a pair of headphones and blocking the whole world out with something loud and angry and particularly ugly. In fact, looking ahead at the schedule for the rest of this week, #SpoilerAlert, there’s going to be a lot of angry and ugly going on. So stay tuned for that.
To start off the week, we’re going to visit with St. Louis ultra-doom trio Fister. It’s been nearly three years since I wrote about their Gemini album on the day they were coming here to Pittsburgh with their friends and neighbors The Lion’s Daughter. At that time I had mentioned that there was quite a bit of stuff in the Fister discography, including a split record with The Lion’s Daughter, and that I had chosen to listen to Gemini (and share it with you folks) simply because it had been their most recent release at the time. Well those guys have continued to be pretty active since then, both touring and recording, and I figured it’s about time we checked back with them.
In particular, I thought we could take some time to check out a couple more records that have come out over the past two months. (There’s much more out there on Bandcamp, if you’re curious, but for practical reasons I had to limit myself to two releases to discuss today.) The first will be a split 7″ with Teeth from California, and the other is a split with Dopethrone from Montréal.
The Lion’s Daughter & Indian Blanket – A Black Sea (Good Die Young Music, 12 November 2013)
Hello out there, hope you all are having a good afternoon! If you caught the article I wrote yesterday, you would have been treated to an unsettling combination of folksy Americana (Bask) and grimy, noisy metal (American Heritage). Writing about those two bands together reminded me of another incredible album — one which actually combines an American folk band with a heavy, sludgy metal band (Indian Blanket and The Lion’s Daughter, respectively), both of whom are from Saint Louis. This album was released nearly two years ago, and I’ve been in love with it ever since, but somehow never got around to writing about it.
I was actually excited about this album from the first time I heard that it was being made — before I ever heard any of the music on it — because I was already familiar with one of the bands involved. The Lion’s Daughter had been on tour with another band from St. Louis, the amazing Fister, when I wrote about that band’s album Gemini on the day that they both came here to Pittsburgh — which, by some remarkable coincidence, was exactly two years ago today! It may have been because I’d listened to Fister a lot prior to the show but hadn’t really known anything about their tourmates at the time, so I didn’t really have any particular expectations before seeing them, but The Lion’s Daughter completely blew me away that evening. I feel like both bands managed to bring equal amounts of intensity and sheer volume (and for those of you who’ve seen Fister, you’ll know that is no easy task!)
Anyway, several months later a collaborative effort with their friendly neighborhood folk band came to fruition, and it was every bit as cool as I had hoped for — in fact, it has seemed to grow on me even more with repeated listens, to the point where I ended up including it among my favorite albums of 2013. Check out A Black Sea for yourself, and I think you’ll see why.