FINNISH METAL: Hooded Menace (2015), Solothus (2016), Ever Circling Wolves (2017)

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Hooded MenaceDarkness Drips Forth (Relapse Records, 30 October 2015)

 

No King Reigns Eternal lopullinen logon kanssa

SolothusNo King Reigns Eternal (Doomentia Records, 18 March 2016)

 

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Ever Circling WolvesOf Woe or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gloom (record label and release date TBD Cimmerian Shade Recordings, 27 January 2017)

 

Last week, President Obama made headlines when he made a reference to Finnish heavy metal while speaking at a summit of visiting Nordic leaders.

In that same spirit, today we’re going to talk about a handful of bands from Suomen tasavalta, the Republic of Finland: Hooded Menace from Joensuu, Solothus from Turku and Helsinki, and Ever Circling Wolves, also from Helsinki.

 

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The Mound Builders / Pale Horseman – Split (RSD 2016) +3 Pale Horseman Albums (2013, 2014, 2015)

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The Mound Builders / Pale Horseman – Split (Failure Records & Tapes, 16 April 2016)

 

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Pale HorsemanPale Horseman (self-released, 17 April 2013)

 

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Pale HorsemanMourn the Black Lotus (self-released, 07 July 2014)

 

Pale Horseman - Bless The Destroyer (2015) cover

Pale HorsemanBless the Destroyer (Bullet City Records, 30 November 2015)

 

Here at Valley of Steel headquarters, we’ve been trying very hard to bring you quality reviews almost every day (sometimes two at a time!) as a public service, so that you, the reader, get the opportunity to check out as much new music as possible. Hopefully some of you folks out there appreciate that, and you’ve managed to discover at least one thing you’ve really enjoyed after reading about it here.

Well yesterday there was no new review (but as a side note, for those who live near Pittsburgh, have you entered yesterday’s contest for Chelsea Wolfe tickets yet? — And as a side side note, have you also entered our other current giveaways, for Baroness or Thy Art Is Murder yet??), so to make up for that, today we’re presenting an unprecedented quadruple review!!

…Ok, ok, that’s not exactly how this came about — the truth is, just a couple of days ago, we received word that Failure Records had a special release lined up for this year’s Record Store Day (which is this Saturday, the 16th!), a split record featuring a pair of songs each from Lafayette, Indiana’s The Mound Builders and Pale Horseman from Chicago. And the second of those names really rang a bell, because over the past few years Valley of Steel has received a total of three albums from that band — all good ones, too — but somehow we just never have gotten around to writing about any of them.

Until today. Sit down and buckle up, because we’re about to cover all of it.

 

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Seven Sisters of Sleep – Opium Morals (2013)

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Seven Sisters of SleepOpium Morals (20 March 2013, A389 Records)

 

Well folks, the last weekend in May is upon us, which means that most of my peers in the music-writing industry (and many of my other metal-loving friends as well) have made their annual pilgrimage to Baltimore for the year’s largest metal festival (outside of Europe, of course), Maryland Deathfest. Once again, a number of huge names jumped out at me from the announced schedule (Hooded Menace! Crowbar! Fucking Candlemass!!), but also once again, various factors have conspired against me being able to attend.

But — whatever, I’m not just going to sit around all weekend and whine about it. I’ve got plenty of good music to keep me company, and I fully intend to listen to all of it. All of the musics. For starters, although I will not be seeing Californian sludge band Seven Sisters of Sleep performing at the MDF kick-off show tonight (Thursday, 22 May 2014), I can always stuff their second full-length Opium Morals (which happened to rank among my favorite albums of 2013) into my ears. And while I’m at it, I can share it with you readers (who, I assume, are reading this because you also not at the festival in Maryland right now). So here goes.

 

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Just Released: Ever Circling Wolves – Chapter III

Ever Circling WolvesChapter III: In Which the Protagonist Finds Himself at the Bottom of the Ocean as well as in a Petrified Forest (December 2011, Dethroned Productions)

Well, believe it or not, Christmas is almost here. I know I can’t believe it, myself — these past several months have been so busy for me that they’ve just flown by. Often it seems that all the stuff that needs to be done exceeds the amount of time available in which to do it, which of course means there is actually less than zero time left over in which to do anything that I want to do. That sucks, and it’s made even worse by how short the days are (the only time I see a little bit of sunlight is on my way to the bus stop when I leave work in the afternoon — unless it’s raining or snowing, which is often the case). When you add all the stress and anxiety involved with the holiday season on top of everything else, it’s no wonder so many people go into a deep depression around this time. Clearly, we need something to shake off these dark feelings and bring joy and cheer back into our lives. I don’t know about you, but for me there is nothing that can turn my frown upside-down faster than some good ole DOOM METAL!!  The doomier it is, the better it makes me feel.  So I’ve scoured the world in search of something to cheer me up, and I’ve found just what the doctor ordered.  Three different doses of it, in fact, and so I will be sharing these over the next three days — just long enough to take us through Christmas eve.

The first stop on our global quest for euphoria is in Finland, where death-doom quartet Ever Circling Wolves have just released their third recording (an EP, appropriately titled Chapter III) on CD via Dethroned ProductionsContinue reading