Winter’s Wake Winterview: The Gates of Slumber

TGOS-COVER

 
Hey folks, how excited are you that Winter’s Wake is almost here??

I know I really am — there are so many bands I’m really excited about, some of which I’ve never seen before, some of which I’ve been a fan of for a long time, some of which I don’t know that much about yet, but there literally isn’t a single band that I’m not looking forward to checking out.

So when Jon Leone of Allure of the Earth Productions asked me if I’d mind doing an interview with each of the bands leading up to next weekend’s event, of course I jumped on the opportunity!

With so many people to talk to, I had to keep these kind of short and sweet — mostly enough for you (the reader) to get a sense of the band’s history, to learn a little about where they came from and what they’re doing now, so you can get excited about seeing all of them too!

Here is a conversation I had with Karl Simon of The Gates of Slumber

 
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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 (22-23 September 2012)

Happy Friday everyone!

Isn’t it so weird how time works? Or, our perception of time, anyway…

I mean, it feels like this week has been dragging on forever — like it seemed that the weekend would never get here (and now it’s just a few hours away!) But then, looking at the bigger picture, it feels like this year has been flying by. Like, it doesn’t seem like it should be September already, and here we are approaching the END of September!

And as of tomorrow, it’ll officially turn from summer to fall — which is fine with me, because I’m so sick of hot weather anyway, but my point is, time just seems to keep slipping away so fast… unless you’re stuck at work, that is.

Anyway, since summer’s basically over now, the schedule of local shows seems to have gotten a little bit lighter — but there’s still plenty of chances to get out there and rock out! (Or, to thieve the slogan from local printers Commonwealth Press on their new NHL-related tees, “Rock aht with your lock aht”!)

 
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Pagan Altar’s ‘The Time Lord’ EP Now Available On CD!

 

Pagan AltarThe Time Lord (11 September 2012, Shadow Kingdom Records)

 
Dear Readers — by now I assume most of you have heard the sad tale of Ed Barnard, from the website Doommantia?

If not, the Readers’ Digest Condensed version goes something like this: after some major health-related issues, then came the astronomical medical bills, which led to serious financial struggles, culminating in the loss of his home. Reportedly, he is now sleeping in a tent somewhere — you can read more at Doommantia (here might be a good place to start).

First of all, I think the whole situation is utter bullshit — something like this shouldn’t happen to anybody. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen to anybody. This is the sort of thing people need to keep in mind when they complain about health care reform, or when they look down upon unemployed and/or homeless people as the result of laziness (or whatever). The point is, shit happens, and it can happen to anybody. At one time or another, we all could probably use a little bit of assistance. Right now, it seems, would be one of those times for Mr. Barnard.

Additionally, I’ve just learned this morning that the Maryland-based doom band War Injun has made it known that they are in the process of putting together a benefit concert to help raise some funds. It will be held on a date yet to be announced, in Frederick MD. No other details are available yet, but here is the preliminary announcement.

Frederick is only a few hours from where I live, so depending on when this takes place, I’ll definitely do my best to be there. If you are somewhere around the area, you should too. If not, well, you can check out Doommantia here, and please note that there is a Paypal donation button embedded on that page. Every little bit helps.

Anyway, it’s interesting that I found out about this today, because it ties in with the post I was already planning on publishing. In addition to the excellent collection of reviews and articles featured on the website, Ed also had a hand in the internet radio station Foundry of Doom. (If I remember correctly, a few years ago the station was forced to cease operating — due to whoever originally ran it having financial trouble of his own, I believe — when Doommantia stepped in and resurrected it.)

Sadly, FOD Radio is no longer broadcasting at this time, but I used to spend countless hours listening to it at work, often discovering some amazing music, both new and old. Before I found that station, of course I was well-versed in some of the bigger names of doom metal — Pentagram, Saint Vitus, Candlemass, and so on — but I found myself getting quite an education.

One of the most significant discoveries I made around that time was the UK’s Pagan Altar — in fact, I can still remember how quickly I was hooked the first time I heard their song “Satan’s Henchman.” I think it’s a crime that this band doesn’t get quite the recognition that some of their peers do, and consider them to be seriously underrated.

So anyway, I guess you could say Doommantia is responsible (either directly or indirectly) for my high level of excitement when I learned that Shadow Kingdom Records had plans to release some Pagan Altar music that had never before been available on CD! This long-out-of-print EP of old demo recordings — some dating back to the band’s beginnings in the late 70s — is called The Time Lord, and it’s officially available from SKR as of today!
 

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Upcoming Shows: Maryland Deathfest (MDF X)

As everyone knows, almost all of the awesome metal tours and festivals take place over in Europe.  They’ve got Wacken Open Air in Germany, Download Festival at Donnington Park in England, Metalcamp in Slovenia, and what seems like millions of others — all with the most incredible lineups imaginable.  Meanwhile, the rest of us are pretty much just forced to contend with tours that have a far-too-high ratio of shitty-to-good, like Ozzfest or the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival.

Well, with a few exceptions, and probably the biggest exception each year is the Maryland Deathfest.  This weekend-long metal party is held annually in the city of Baltimore, which as everyone knows was named for the seminal 1970s metal band Sir Lord Baltimore.

This year, the Deathfest is taking place between the 24th-27th of May, and tickets are available for three out of those four days.  As we’ve recently discussed, Morgion had to pull out of their scheduled performance, but there is still a fuckton and a half of awesomeness in the lineup.

**Update (3 May 2012) — the official time-slot schedule has been released; details below**

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