God Root – Salt and Rot (2017)

God RootSalt and Rot (CD self-released / digital Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, 11 July 2017)

 

The music world suffered a great, if largely unheralded, loss around the end of 2014, when ambient-experimental blackened doom duo Sadgiqacea, one of the only good things to ever come out of Philadelphia. (Our review of their last album can be found here). The pair briefly reunited to perform at last year’s Shadow Woods festival, but otherwise it seems they’ve been occupied with other projects. While guitarist/vocalist Evan Void continued on as a member of Hivelords and Tombs (both of which were discussed here), drummer/vocalist Fred Grabosky (aka the artist behind FTG Illustrations) was quietly assembling some other like-minded individuals to form a brand new group. After shifting a few pieces around for a little bit, the line-up stabilized with bassist/vocalist Ross Bradley, guitarist/vocalist Joe Hughes, guitarist Keith Riecke, and Jordan Stiff who is credited with “noise” and guitar, all joining forces as God Root.

The band’s second official release, Salt and Rot saw the light of day just a few weeks ago, and the guys are now gearing up to hit the road with New Jersey’s Sunrot. A full list of those dates, all over the northeastern and midwestern U.S., can be found down below, but first let’s check out that new album!

 
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Hivelords – Tapered Limbs of a Human Star (2015), Tombs – All Empires Fall (2016)

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HivelordsTapered Limbs of a Human Star (Anthropic Records, 04 August 2015)

 

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TombsAll Empires Fall (Relapse Records, 01 April 2016)

 

Hey folks, how’s it going? In case you missed, it, back on Monday I wrote a thing about Tombs and Hivelords playing some shows together (plus in that post, you can enter to win tickets for the show in Pittsburgh this Saturday, May 14th!)

If that information wasn’t quite enough to get you excited, maybe you just haven’t heard these two bands before? Or maybe you don’t live near the northeastern U.S. where these shows are taking place. In either case, I’ve decided to spend a little more time talking about both bands — and about their most recent releases, for your listening pleasure …

 

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Tombs & Hivelords On Tour / Win FREE Tickets For Pittsburgh Show!!

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Tombs and Hivelords Announce Spring Tour Dates

 

Hey folks! I’ve got some quick tour announcements to pass along to you… starting this weekend there will be a handful of northeastern U.S. dates featuring Philadelphia’s blackened experimentalists Hivelords (whom you may remember from our review of their 2013 album Cavern Apothecary) and Brooklyn’s post-black luminaries Tombs (whom we’ve mentioned before — nearly four years ago — when they came to Pittsburgh with 16 and we did an interview with the drummers of local openers Molasses Barge and Vulture).

Since then, both bands have undergone line-up changes — Hivelords now features two new guitarists (including Evan Void, formerly half of that band’s frequent tourmates Sadgiqacea), and Tombs has replaced some of its members on at least two occasions (also, coincidentally, including new guitarist Evan Void) resulting in essentially a wholesale overhaul for that band.

They’ve both also put out new material with their respective new line-ups: Hivelords‘ album Tapered Limbs of a Human Star came out in 2015 via Anthropic Records, while Relapse Records released Tombs‘ new EP All Empires Fall in early April this year.

And now, these two bands will be performing together on a series of dates, the details of which will be shared with you as you continue reading below. Further down, we’re also including the remainder of Hivelords‘ currently announced dates through mid-summer; and finally, details specific to both bands’ stop in Pittsburgh next Saturday, including your chance to WIN FREE TICKETS to that show!

 

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Two Reviews: Hivelords and Sadgiqacea (2013)

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HivelordsCavern Apothecary (Anthropic Records, 02 July 2013)

 

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SadgiqaceaFalse Prism (CD – Candlelight Records / Vinyl – Anthropic Records, 07 May 2013)

 

Hey folks, Happy Monday to you all. Remember about a week and a half ago when I shared the details about a joint tour between Philadelphia’s Hivelords and Sadgiqacea? Well, that tour’s still trucking along — there’s another whole month left — and tonight is when they are playing in Pittsburgh. They’ll be at a cool little BYOB ex-warehouse/garage-looking spot called The Shop, along with locals Slaves BC and Night Vapor; plus the last minute of Pinprick Punishment who, I’ve been informed, are a hardcore band from Japan. It’ll be an early (all-ages) show — the music will be starting at precisely 7:30 — so even those of us who live an hour away should be safely home in bed by about midnight. If you’re in the area and you’d like to drop by, you can find more details here. I’m pretty excited about this show — as I said in that earlier post, these Philly bands are both pretty incredible to watch. If they’re coming to a town near you I’d unreservedly say you should totally go see them. If they aren’t, I’m sorry. But at least they both have albums out that you can check out!

Both bands had released a full-length in 2013, and I bought a copy of each when I saw them last summer; they’re both excellent and I’ve listened to each of them a whole bunch of times since then. But through an unfortunate oversight — Hivelords‘ was just coming out the same week these two bands came to Pittsburgh, and I remember seeing a press release about it from Catharsis PR, while Sadgiqacea‘s had been out for several months at that point and I don’t think I ever knew the actual release date — when I was compiling my list of 2013’s best releases, I only included Cavern Apothecary. (Instead of whining about it, I think I’ll just go and edit my list to sneak False Prism in there. Because once again, it’s MY list, damnit!)

 

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Tours Galore: Hivelords and Sadgiqacea Together Again

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Hivelords and Sadgiqacea Are Embarking on a Joint Summer Tour

 

Hey folks, if you live in the eastern half of the U.S. (that is, anywhere between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River, plus just a little further west in the case of Kansas City, Columbia, and Des Moines), you’re in for a real treat sometime in the next six weeks. Two Philadelphia-based bands who each play a uniquely interesting variant of black metal — Hivelords and Sadgiqacea — are heading out on the road, starting tomorrow night in New Jersey, and spiralling their way through the northeast, midwest, and southeast, before finally finishing up back in Philly at the end of July.

I saw these bands last July when they both played a show in Pittsburgh, and it made for a pretty amazing experience. I’d highly recommend it if you are able. I’ve got a video from each of their performances at that show, below, and then I’ll share the full list of dates for their current summer tour.

 

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The List of 2013 Year-End Lists

Photo Collage - 2013 Shows - by Asya Yanyo

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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…

 

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Person or Persons Unknown: Six Questions with Slaves BC Bassist Jason Cantu

Hey there, folks! I hope your week is going well. If it’s not, I guess you can be glad that it’s almost over! Personally, I’m just about totally recovered from last weekend’s Winter’s Wake festival, and sometime soon I’ll probably even start writing again.

In the meantime, please enjoy this BRAND NEW feature which will be running periodically here on Valley of Steel — courtesy of the lovely and wonderful person to whom I am fortunate enough to be married!

 
Person or Persons Unknown

Six Questions with Slaves BC Bassist Jason Cantu

by Asya Yanyo

 
Greetings and salutations! Many of you know me, or have met me, or at least know of me. My name is Asya (aka “Mrs. Valley of Steel“). I’ve been married to Eric (aka “Mr. Valley of Steel“) for about five years now — tomorrow [01 March] is our five-year anniversary, in fact.

I’m sure most of you have seen Eric‘s many posts about shows that are occurring in the Pittsburgh area. Well, he doesn’t just post about them; he actually attends — we both do, actually. [Editor’s note: at least, as frequently as physically possible!] Well, through the course of attending these shows, we’ve met some great people and it occurred to me that you (the general public) might like to hear a little bit more about these interesting people, the bands that they are currently in, and what brought them to the musical path that they are traveling down.

I will be doing these on occasion: they will always be six questions, just enough to give you a sense of the person and their tastes (as opposed to the same old stale band questions you’re always reading). So I hope that you will join me on this new journey in getting to know these wonderful and unique people, and — who knows — maybe you’ll find a new band that may change your life, too!

My first “Person or Persons Unknown” interview is with Jason Cantu, the bassist for Slaves BC, whom Eric and I have already seen three times this year. Jason, while just one part of this great band, has an infectious enthusiasm that really enhances their live show. His love and support of music in general is also infectious, and it has inspired me to do these interviews.

Everyone should have a friend like this: someone who’s always posting about records you’ve forgotten about, or wearing t-shirts you would kill for (specifically, I am referring to the Ten Years After shirt he sometimes wears), and someone who is supportive of not only his own band but all local and non-local bands. He is the type of fan that makes you want to be a better fan, too.

Check out his band Slaves BC on Bandcamp, and then come out to see them FOR FREE this weekend [Saturday, 02 March] at Kopec’s Bar. You will not be disappointed.

 
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