Hello again from the unofficial VOS WFH substation. Things are starting to settle down around here, at least to some small degree. At least, we’re all doing the best we can to adapt to this new reality of staying cooped indoors and never interacting with anyone except via a computer or other electronic device. To be honest, aside from no longer driving to and from work each day, that description isn’t all that far from how things have always been for me.
But anyway, disruptions to the day job modus operandi have really wrecked my publishing schedule, especially with large chunks of each day now spent on conference calls and in Skype meetings. But it’s time we get back into doing what we love best around here: talking about music we’ve enjoyed hearing lately and that you also may enjoy hearing.
First up is cinematic doom duo Insect Ark. Since the last time we checked in with them, founder/composer/bassist/slide-guitarist Dana Schechter (who has added collaborating with Swans to an already impressive resume that included work with Wrekmeister Harmonies, Gnaw, and others) has now been joined by new drummer Andy Patterson (who coincidentally had been looking for a new gig following the dissolution of his former band SubRosa right around the same time this group’s drummer had moved on).
And then more recently, Insect Ark‘s third album The Vanishing had just been released and the twosome had just headed out on a scheduled tour of Europe and the UK throughout the month of March, when the whole world suddenly went to hell (leaving the band with numerous cancelled dates and scrambling to find their way back to the USA). So, without any further ado…
Bi-coastal DOOM duo Insect Ark is made up of film music composer and animator Dana Schechter (Angels of Light, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Zeal & Ardor, Gnaw) on bass and lap steel, and electronics expert Ashley Spungin (Taurus, Purple Rhinestone Eagle, Negative Queen) on drums as well as various synths and analog noise pedals she created herself. With this unique arrangement (featuring zero electric guitars, in the traditional sense), the instrumental assembly has brought forth their latest sonic creation (through a combination of long-distance collaboration and in-studio cooperation).
Although nearly two months have passed since the record’s Profound Lore release, last night (Sunday, 15 April) was the celebratory release show in Brooklyn. Next up, the pair will be hitting the Roadburn stage later this week followed by a month-long tour through Europe. You can find a listing of all those dates at the bottom of the page, but first, check out Marrow Hymns!
Gnaw – Horrible Chamber (Seventh Rule Recordings, 15 October 2013)
Hello again, readers. As I’ve mentioned numerous times lately, things are still crazy busy around here, and I’ve been having some trouble finding much time for writing. But, I suffered a pretty traumatic experience this past weekend — while attending a bachelor party for a friend of mine, I found myself squished into a van with a bunch of other guys, subjected to something called “redneck hip-hop” at very a high volume. Trust me, the less said about that, the better.
But as unpleasant as that experience was, an even worse thought came to mind: I imagined a scenario in which folks didn’t have access to any good music simply because they didn’t know where to find it. That sounds like a nightmare, for sure! Now, I’m not going to pretend like I’m anybody important, or that there aren’t plenty of other places out there to learn about new music, but if my writing this helps even one person discover something that they might otherwise have missed out on, and if it saves them from listening to some other sort of rubbish, then it’s worth the effort.
Having said that, I’m pleased to bring to your attention Horrible Chamber, last fall’s sophomore full-length from the experimental/industrial/noise ensemble Gnaw.
Hey folks — a very Happy (Belated) New Year to all of you! 2013 definitely turned out to be an interesting year for me, with lots of big changes, new projects, new responsibilities, etc., but an unfortunate side-effect of some of that was (as you’ve surely noticed) that the amount of time I’d been spending writing really tapered off as the year went on, to the point where I didn’t post
anything here for the last few months! Well, as you may have seen, I’ve started writing reviews of some new 2014 releases — and as time allows I promise I will also be sharing plenty of older stuff I’ve missed writing about, because believe me there has been a TON worth sharing!
But more on that later. As I started doing last year, I’ve once again put together a collection of various people’s “best of” lists from 2013. Admittedly I sort of got a late start on this (I didn’t even put out the open invitation until after most websites had already finished with publishing all their year-end stuff), but several people have answered the call and contributed some really interesting lists that you’ll want to check out…
Good morning readers, here’s another Winter’s Wake band interview I’d like to share with you!
Once again, with so many people to talk to, I tried to keep these short and sweet. Just long enough for you (the reader) to get a bit of a lesson about 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!
Hello again, here is another entry in my series of interviews with Winter’s Wake bands!
As I said before: with so many people to talk to, I had to keep these kind of short and sweet — mostly enough for you (the reader) to get a sense of the band’s history, to learn a little about where they came from and what they’re doing now, so you can get excited about seeing all of them too!
Below, you will find what Alan Dubin (Gnaw, ex-Khanate) had to say…
So all the final details for this year’s Winter’s Wake festival are finally here! The venues, scheduled bands, and ticketing information all have been announced, and I’ve collected all of it right here for you!
Ladies and Gentlemen, three more bands (***) were just officially announced for the upcoming Winter’s Wake festival!
At this moment the nearly-complete line-up is scheduled to run as follows:
FRIDAY, 22 February 2013:
*** Vektor (sci-fi thrash from Philly) Black Anvil (black metal from NYC) GNAW (experimental industrial/drone/noise, from NYC) Vit (experimental black/doom/folk from Ohio) Liquified Guts (brutalgoredeathgrind from Pittsburgh)
*** Meth Quarry (Grim “Dirge” Hardcore from Pittsburgh)
LAST UPDATED 10 January 2013: There will be a pre-show (no details available yet) on Thursday the 21st! More information about that, plus the full details (including venue and ticket information) for the festival will be announced on Wednesday, the 2nd of January, 2013.very, very soon. We hope. Any further information will be shared with you here at Valley of Steel, as soon as we learn anything ourselves! Stay tuned!