Anicon – Aphasia (2015)

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AniconAphasia (self-released 06 May 2015; cassette via Acteon Records, 15 September 2015)

 

It’s Friday and the work week has ended and I’m all ready to kick off the weekend by heading out to the Slaves BC record release show! For those of you who aren’t close enough to Pittsburgh to make it here this evening, though, I’ve got something for you to keep yourself occupied — a band I first discovered when I saw them at another Slaves show…

About two and a half years ago, I went to see them with another excellent local band, Storm King, at this rinky-dink little dive in Pittsburgh called Kopec’s. The performance area was more like the living room of a run-down old apartment upstairs from the bar — a cool little space, which has been sadly missed ever since they stopped hosting shows later that same year. Anyway, that night was a special treat because a third band also played, whom I was not previously familiar with, but who definitely grabbed my attention and impressed everyone in the room with their energy and high-quality musicianship: the New York black metal group Anicon. Here is a video from their set that night, to give you a taste of what’s in store.

As one does when seeing a really good band from out-of-town play, I remember wanting to patronize their merch table, but as I recall they only had cassette tapes for sale, and since this is the twenty-first century, I had to leave empty-handed. Well, fast-forward to mid-2015, and I discovered that Anicon had put out a new EP. They said they had recorded it themselves in their practice space, intending for it to serve as a demo for a full-length due out sometime in 2016. But practice space demo or not, “Aphasia” still landed a spot on my list of last year’s best releases. Keep on reading (or just skip the next bit and head down to the part where you get to hear it for yourself) and I’m sure you’ll understand why.

 

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VOS Videography 2013: A Mid-Year Retrospective (Part 19)

VOStube

 

Kopec’s (Lawrenceville / Pittsburgh, PA), 23 June 2013

Anicon

Storm King – “Aura of Failure”

Storm King – “Backfill”

Slaves BC – “The Four Horsemen: Wild Hunt”

Slaves BC – “Armageddon”

 

The Rock Room (Polish Hill / Pittsburgh, PA), 29 June 2013

DeathCrawl – “Kill or Be Killed”

DeathCrawl – “Dead is Dead”

The Osedax – “Time Unveiled”

Meth Quarry – “Afterlife Daggers”

Slaves BC featuring Meth Quarry vocalist Adam Bailey – “Armageddon”

 

Sluggers (Charleroi, PA), 30 June 2013

M-13

No Movement

Flesh Addict – “Sludge Surf” and “Brain Dead”

 
Stay tuned, because there will be lots more of these, as more shows take place throughout the second half of this year! Just keep checking back, or better yet, subscribe to the channel and you can get notifications whenever there’s something new for you to watch.

 
As an added bonus for making it ALL the way to the end of this lengthy retrospective, here is the full-sized version of the photo collage that was posted on Facebook. (Click to enlarge).
collage

 
NAVIGATION
 
Part 1 (28 December – 18 January)
Part 2 (01 – 09 February)
Part 3 (16 February)
Part 4 (22 February)
Part 5 (23 February)
Part 6 (02 – 09 March)
Part 7 (10 March)
Part 8 (14 March)
Part 9 (16 March)
Part 10 (22 – 24 March)
Part 11 (28 – 29 March)
Part 12 (02 – 11 April)
Part 13 (12 – 19 April)
Part 14 (20 – 26 April)
Part 15 (04 – 05 May)
Part 16 (11 – 17 May)
Part 17 (18 – 27 May)
Part 18 (31 May – 20 June)

VOS Videography 2013: A Mid-Year Retrospective (Part 6)

VOStube

 

Kopec’s (Lawrenceville / Pittsburgh, PA), 02 March 2013

 
Diamondbreaker – “Fish Chum”

 
Slaves BC – “Armageddon”

 
Originally there was a third band scheduled to play at this show, but it seems they forgot to show up, or to tell anybody that they weren’t going to show up. But there happened to be some members of Meth Quarry and Liquified Guts in the audience, so somebody grabbed a couple extra guitars and they threw together an impromptu jam session — which is captured here in its entirety (in two sections):

 

 

 

Howlers Coyote Cafe (Bloomfield / Pittsburgh, PA), 09 March 2013

 
VEGA – “Children of the Fright”

 
VEGA – “Fall Upon the Sword” (New Song)

 
World’s Scariest Police Chases – “Robocop”, “Cannabusted”, and “You’re Only Punk Once”

 
Asphyxian – “A Sophisticated Insult”

 
Asphyxian – “Black Coffee”

 
Asphyxian – “700 Miles til Graceland”

 
Invader – “BDR 529”

 
Invader – “Tools of God”

 
NAVIGATION
 
Part 1 (28 December – 18 January)
Part 2 (01 – 09 February)
Part 3 (16 February)
Part 4 (22 February)
Part 5 (23 February)
 
Part 7 (10 March)
Part 8 (14 March)
Part 9 (16 March)
Part 10 (22 – 24 March)
Part 11 (28 – 29 March)
Part 12 (02 – 11 April)
Part 13 (12 – 19 April)
Part 14 (20 – 26 April)
Part 15 (04 – 05 May)
Part 16 (11 – 17 May)
Part 17 (18 – 27 May)
Part 18 (31 May – 20 June)
Part 19 (23 – 30 June)

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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Gay Kiss – Fault (Free Download / In Pittsburgh Tonight!)

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Gay KissFault (Anxiety Machine Records, 21 December 2012)

 
HELLO OUT THERE! HAPPY 2013!! How’s life been treating you, dear readers?

I wish I could say that flipping the calendar over to a new year has also turned the page on all the problems and stresses and worries and other crap that infringes on my time I’d rather be spending with fun stuff like listening to music and writing about music and all that.

So far, that has not been the case. And at this moment I almost literally feel like I am bursting at the seams with stuff I want to share with you, because you’ve all been such wonderful, loyal readers for so long, I feel like you really deserve to be rewarded with some good music you can listen to.

For my first post as we enter into the thirteenth year of this millennium, I want to tell you about an up-and-coming group of young men who come from the city of Tempe, which is just outside Phoenix and is also the home of the ASU Sun Devils.

That band is called Gay Kiss.

 
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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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