Vermithrax – Vol. 1 Sampler (FREE Download!)

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VermithraxVol. 1 Sampler (14 February 2013)

 
Hey! Remember back when I used to write about music? That was fun, I think I’m going to try it again.

So the Pittsburgh-based old-school thrash & NWOBHM-influenced band Vermithrax has some new material available for downloading and inserting into your ears. They announced this fact a couple weeks ago, but I was right in the middle of a million different things at that moment, so I grabbed myself a copy and planned to go back to it later.

Well, “later” ended up being just a few days ago, and now I’m kicking myself for not jumping on this sooner. If you’re already familiar with Vermithrax — perhaps from their appearance on the Innervenus free compilation Iron Atrocity Vol.2 (more info here) — then surely you understand.

If you haven’t heard that compilation yet, go download the damn thing already!! But in the meantime, here’s the Vermithrax song, “The Final Feast”:

 
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Innervenus Music: Two New CDs Coming Next Month!

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Hello, friends. Regular visitors to this website have surely noticed that recently the volume of writing I am putting out there has significantly decreased. I apologize for that. But it hasn’t been the result of laziness, I assure you. I’ve been getting myself involved with a few other things — as I keep alluding to in several new posts over the past few weeks — and finally I want to let you know about one of those.

So, I have been asked to join the Pittsburgh-based record label The Innervenus Music Collective to help out with their PR and publicity. It’s a pretty exciting opportunty for me — first of all, as a writer I’ve been working with a variety of PR people and representatives from other labels, so I understand what’s involved, and it’s cool to be getting some experience from the other direction now. But even more than that, now I get to work directly with a group of people who do so much to support our local music scene — between planning shows and giving away the Iron Atrocity compilations, not to mention releasing albums from some really talented bands (Vulture, Invader, Fist Fight in the Parking Lot — just to name a few examples that I had written about last year)!

And so this new position has been using up a lot of my free time recently, mostly because we’re gearing up to put out two CDs in February: the debut full-length by grindcore/death dealers Grisly Amputation, and a self-titled EP by death-thrash-groove-sludge-core band Lycosa. I’ve been sending out promo materials to a whole slew of websites and magazines, so we should start seeing some reviews trickle in shortly, but I figure I wouldn’t really be doing my job (EITHER job – as a writer OR a publicist!) if I didn’t also inform you about the releases here on Valley of Steel!

 
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Solarburn – 13

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Solarburn13 (self-released, 14 September 2012)

 
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you — in my opinion — the #1 CD from all of 2012. Not only one of the best bands I’ve ever heard in Pittsburgh, but one of the best bands I’ve ever heard. And I stumbled into being a huge fan of theirs, almost by accident. Or some might call it fate.

See, these guys had included one of their songs (“C-Section”) on the Innervenus Music Collective‘s free Pittsburgh metal sampler, Iron Atrocity V.2 — a collection which I heard and wrote about when it was released last summer.

At the time, I was impressed by the Solarburn track, given that I’ve always been fond of instrumental metal music anyway, and (as I said in that article about the compilation), this song sounded “way heavier, more ballsy, and well, just plain more interesting than a bunch of the aimless noodly shit that’s out there.”

I also recall somebody involved with Innervenus talking about this particular song when the compilation was made public — I can’t find the exact quote, now, so I will paraphrase — playing the song for another person, that other person reportedly said something about how the song was absolutely perfect, and he kept hoping that nobody would start singing and fuck things up.

I was also intrigued to learn that the band had been working on a full-length album (which was to be unveiled at a show in mid-September), and thought that I might want to check that out — the new CD at least, even if I ended up not being able to make it to that show.

Anyway, within the next few weeks I heard about what was called the R.A.N.T. (Rock All Night Tour) in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. I wrote an announcement that this all-day free music festival was happening, and what really caught my eye was the fact that the renowned local pirate rock band, The Bloody Seamen, were playing a show that evening. I’d been wanting to get a chance to check them out ever since I’d seen a few of their videos, so that’s just what the wife and I had planned on doing.

Well once we got to the Thunderbird Cafe, where the “punk” show was taking place, it was already extremely crowded for such a small area — and people just kept coming and coming, to the point where we felt pretty claustrophobic, and couldn’t find anywhere to stand where we weren’t constantly getting stepped on. Frankly, it was kind of miserable, so we were talking about just heading back home — when I pulled up the Valley of Steel post about R.A.N.T. on my phone. I saw that the “metal” show was taking place at a bar called Cattivo, just a few blocks away, and it had a slightly later start time — so we decided to see what that was like, before just giving up on the evening.

It happened to be much more spacious there, and there weren’t nearly as many people (at least at first). So we grabbed a couple drinks, found an empty table, and waited for opening act Solarburn to take the stage.

 
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The Top Ten Shows I’ve Seen This Year: A Supplemental Video Guide

This was me on Christmas Eve.  In a couple hours, this'll most likely be me again.

This was me on Christmas Eve. In a couple hours, this’ll most likely be me again.

 
Good afternoon, Dear Readers, and a Happy Fucking New Year to you all! I hope you enjoyed the collection of top-ten lists I published yesterday!

Before we finally put 2012 to bed, though, here’s a quick supplemental post to go along with my personal contribution to that conglomerate of lists. I’m calling it…

 

The Top Ten Shows I’ve Seen This Year:

A Supplemental Video Guide

 
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The Huge List of 2012 Year-End Lists!

Well, friends, here we find ourselves in the waning moments of 2012. It’s been an interesting, eventful year that’s had lots of high and low points — a ton of excellent new music has been released and quite a few brand-new bands have emerged that I’d fully expect to be making some serious waves in the near future.

One of the best things about 2012, for me personally, was that I found myself (and my wife) going to lots more shows than in recent years, and as a result I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of new people — as well as starting to take a way more active role in the local music scene.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I had a suggestion from one of those people I’ve gotten to know in the past year (I won’t say who — he said he preferred not to be given credit for the idea, although I will say that it’s somebody who contributed to this). The idea was to collect top-ten lists from various folks in the Pittsburgh metal community.

So I put out an open invitation for any musicians or other people who are involved in the scene in some way — I was looking for anything, whether it was the traditional “Top Ten Albums” or something totally off-the-wall like someone’s ten favorite sandwiches they ate during the year. Really, the only rules were that it had to be a list, and involve something from 2012.

 
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What To Do In Pittsburgh This Weekend (30-31 August 2012)

 

Argus, Iron Crown, Devil to Pay

 

at the 31st Street Pub

3101 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh (at the 31st Street Bridge)

 

Thursday 30 August 2012 | 10:00pm | $5 | 21+ only

 
Looking for something to do tonight? Head out to the Pub to catch Ripple Music recording artist Devil to Pay, coming to visit from Indianapolis. Joining them will be locals Iron Crown and Argus (be sure to get there early, as Argus says they’re taking the stage first, and dusting off a few songs they haven’t played live in a long time — or ever, in some cases!)

More details and RSVP here or here.

 
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Lurking Corpses, Mud City Manglers, Abysme

 

at Howlers Coyote Cafe

4509 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh (Bloomfield)

 

Thursday 30 August 2012 | 10:00 pm (doors 9pm) | $5 | 21+ only

 
Another great band from Indiana (these guys are from Fort Wayne) are also coming to Pittsburgh tonight: horror punkers Lurking Corpses. They’re making an appearance at Howlers, alongside local punk rockers Mud City Manglers, and opening the festivities with some Pittsburgh-style death metal will be Abysme (whom you might remember from the Iron Atrocity V.1 compilation).

More information and RSVP here.

 
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Fist Fight in the Parking Lot, German Shepherd, Supervoid

 

at the Smiling Moose

1306 E Carson Street, Pittsburgh (South Side)

 

Friday August 31 | 9:30 pm | FREE!! | 21+ only

 
How’s this for a fun Friday night? The Moose will be full of heavy rock ‘n roll craziness as FFITPL take the stage (of course you remember them, from when I reviewed their self-titled CD earlier this year, right?), with two other local bands, German Shepherd, and the newly-formed Supervoid. Best of all, the whole thing is absolutely FREE!!

 

 
More information and RSVP here.

What To Do In Pittsburgh This Weekend (3-4 August 2012)

Hey yinz guys, good afternoon! As I write this, Thursday is approaching an end, which means the end of the work week is not too far off, meaning it’s almost time for the weekend to start! Probably the best news I’ve heard all day.

Do you have your weekend plans all figured out yet? If not, then please allow me to offer a few suggestions — I’ve got the details about some shows taking place around town on Friday and Saturday, and trust me, you aren’t going to want to miss these!

(Unfortunately, a few of these do overlap, so you’ll definitely be missing something, no matter what you end up doing… #firstworldproblems)

 

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