Lord Mantis Interviewed By Slaves BC!!

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Lord Mantis interviewed by Slaves BC

 

So tomorrow — Friday the 29th — the new Lord Mantis EP NTW will be released, the band’s first recorded material since their big line-up shakeup (and merger with Indian) last year. You can read all about those changes, and take a look at that new EP as well as their previous album, 2014’s Death Mask, all right here. But beyond just reading about my thoughts and reactions to this new and old material, perhaps you might be interested in learning more about what’s been going on with the band — in their own words?

 

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Anatomy of Habit – Ciphers + Axioms (2014)

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Anatomy of HabitCiphers + Axioms (Relapse Records, 10 November 2014)

 

Good afternoon, how is everyone out there? Myself, I’ve just finished my third cup of coffee (or was it the fourth?) and somehow I still feel like I could nod off any second. I did manage to sleep at least five hours last night — more than usual — which is a good thing. For a while, I’d been concerned I’d start seeing hallucinations.

Now, I’m just wondering if I’m hearing hallucinations. Yeah, I know, that was terrible. Sorry, but I just don’t have the energy to come up with a decent segue today. If you have a problem with it, you can write your own reviews.

Anyway, we’ll pretend that was a really smooth transition, and that brings me to what I wanted to share with you today. Again I’ve dipped into my extensive to-do list, and come up with this delightful little album that Relapse Records had unleashed on the world late last year. A bit strange, but it quickly grew on me, and I’ve come to really enjoy it a lot over the past several months. I’ve got a feeling that maybe some of you will, too.

 

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Wrought Iron – Rejoice and Transcend (2014)

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Wrought IronRejoice and Transcend (Grimoire Records, 24 June 2014)

 

Ever since the band was formed (which was at the end of 2011), and especially since they started playing live shows (the following spring), there’s been a significant amount of buzz surrounding Wrought Iron within Pittsburgh’s underground music scene. People who’ve caught their live shows (often appearing with some pretty big names, like Abigail Williams, Absu, Alcest, Dying Fetus, False, and Nachtmystium, just to name a few) have reported being spellbound by the ferocity as well as the raw talent on display.

Well, that — and one other thing too. It seems like whenever this band is being discussed, the performance of vocalist Kenny Snyder often gets brought up; several times I’ve witnessed certain people (without mentioning anyone specifically, but I will say it’s almost always been members of other local bands) trying to imitate the combined snarl-shriek-squawk that these folks affectionately refer to as “like a dying pterodactyl.”

Anyway. I personally may have been a little bit late to the party, but after hearing them recommended so highly for so long, I finally got the chance to see Wrought Iron last summer (and a couple more times since then). I was very impressed by what I saw and heard — they definitely lived up to the hype, no question about that. Fast-forward another year, and we find the band recording an album with Maryland’s Grimoire Records, which is being released digitally (as well as on CD or cassette) today.

 

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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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What To Do In Pittsburgh Tonight (20 November 2012)

Hey folks, what’s up??

It’s Tuesday, but it’s also Thanksgiving week, so I know a bunch of you are off work or school this week (or you conveniently got real sick all of a sudden) — and for those of us who still DO have to work tomorrow, everyone knows we’re just going to slack off most of the day and then leave early anyhow, right?

Either way, if you’ll be around the Pittsburgh area tonight, you’ll have plenty of choices if you feel like getting your holiday celebrating started early!

Check it out:

 
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Slaves BC – we mean nothing. EP

 

Slaves BCwe mean nothing. EP (self-released, 26 October 2012)

 
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PREFACE/DISCLAIMER:

Somehow this article turned out way longer than I originally intended, and the majority of it is way off-topic.

If you’re a big fan of my rambly writing style, feel free to keep reading.

But if you’re just interested in reading about some quality crust/hardcore/metal with a sprinkling of death/stoner/doom elements… you won’t hurt my feelings if you skip ahead to the next line of asterisks (where it says “Moving right along…”).

And if you really hate reading and just want to get to the music, you can skip all the way to the last set of asterisks, just above the Bandcamp player at the bottom.

 
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So I don’t know if you heard about this, because it didn’t get that much attention in the news or social media recently, but the other day there was an election held here in America.

In case you weren’t paying attention, the president was running for re-election, and quite a few seats in both houses of congress were up for grabs. And as it turned out, whichever political party was already in charge of those governmental positions basically stayed in charge of them. There may have been a few swaps here and there, but overall not a whole lot changed.

Naturally, the folks who wanted the party with more control to retain that power were delighted, and the others were disappointed, and there was a widespread reaction of surprise at just how evenly divided the votes were in some cases.

However, one thing that was made clear by the final results: America was not interested in electing the candidates who kept insisting that raping women is “God’s Will” — as that entire contingency ended up losing their respective contests.

Personally, I applaud this outcome, as (in my opinion) it seems to represent a triumph — for a majority of the voters living in each of those states or congressional districts, anyhow — of morality, human decency, and modern scientifically-based medical knowledge over ignorance.

Nevertheless, this is America, and of course we are all granted equal freedoms under our constitutional amendments — and many people are now worried that there is no outlet for the ultra-religious nut-jobs to voice their opinion publicly. (Okay, to the best of my knowledge no one is actually worried about that, just bear with me here…)

So that brings us to today’s discussion of the Pittsburgh-based hardcore band Slaves BC.

 
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Upcoming Shows: Chrome Waves Tour Starts Tonight!

 
Okay, folks, listen up. Here’s another tour you need to know about. It’s only nine days long and only covers the north-eastern quadrant of the United States, but if you live in or near any of the cities listed below (including Pittsburgh!) you won’t want to miss Chrome Waves. How’s this for a super group: Stavros Giannopoulos (The Atlas Moth), Jeff Wilson (Wolvhammer, ex-Nachtmystium), and Iron Bob Fouts (The Gates of Slumber)!
 
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