Derkéta – In Death We Meet (2015 Reissue)

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DerkétaIn Death We Meet (originally self-released 2012; remixed/remastered CD and vinyl edition Ibex Moon Records, April/December 2015)

 

Named for a goddess of death in the mythology of the fictional kingdom of Stygia (analogous to Egypt in the Hyborian era setting of Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories), the band Derkéta are widely regarded as Pittsburgh’s own goddesses of death/doom metal. You remember Derkéta, don’t you? Formed almost three decades ago, active on and off throughout those years with many of the same core members rotating in and out of the line-up; released a number of demos and EPs but then finally put out their debut album in 2012?

For a quick refresher, you could get a more complete history by checking out this interview that I did with founding guitarist/vocalist Sharon Bascovsky about three and a half years ago, when the band was about to perform at the Winter’s Wake festival in Pittsburgh.

Since that time, In Death We Meet was remastered for a vinyl release via Ibex Moon, and during that process they went ahead and polished up the recordings for a new CD version as well — which (in my opinion) was a vast improvement to the overall mix (generally sounding louder and heavier, wider and more spacious, with a more even blend of all the instruments rather than having the cymbal crashes dominating everything else) and warranted an “Honorable Mention” on my Top 15 of 2015 list.

And now — tonight, in fact — the band will be appearing in Pittsburgh once again, this time alongside the legendary Deströyer 666 at the Smiling Moose. You can find the relevant details about that right here if you happen to be in the area, but first, whether you’re planning on going to the show tonight or not, this seemed like a perfect opportunity for us to discuss In Death We Meet

 

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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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Person or Persons Unknown: Six Questions with Grisly Amputation/Vulture Guitarist Gene Fikhman

  
Person or Persons Unknown

 

Six Questions with Grisly Amputation/Vulture Guitarist Gene Fikhman

by Asya Yanyo

 
 
My second Person or Persons Unknown is with Gene Fikhman, guitarist for Grisly Amputation and Vulture (one of my personal favorite bands EVER), horror and gore movie enthusiast, and all around cool and collected kind of guy. I must admit that I don’t know Gene very well, but in my personal interactions with him it has always seemed like he was the type of person who knew lots of information once you scratched the surface. I’ve had a lot of men in my life that are like this — in fact, I am married to one — and it’s been my personal experience that you are never disappointed when you get to know these kinds of guys. They are usually extremely intelligent, full of useless knowledge, helpful in all kinds of situations and hell to play trivia against. This is what made me want to interview him, not about just GrisAmp or Vulture, but about him personally so I could see if I was correct and I think you’ll see from this interview that I wasn’t disappointed. I hope you won’t be, either.

 
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Winter’s Wake Winterview: Derkéta

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Hello, it’s time for another Winter’s Wake band interview!

I’ll repeat once more: with so many people to talk to, I tried to keep these short and sweet — just enough for you (the reader) to get a sense of each band’s history, to learn a little about where they came from and what they’re doing now, so that you can be as excited about seeing all of them as I am!

This time, I exchanged some words with vocalist/guitarist Sharon Bascovsky from Derkéta

 
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Upcoming Shows: Wykked Wytch Joining Soulfly on Tour

Hey, you remember Wykked Wytch, don’t you? Blackened death metal with vocals by a lady who is clearly possessed by demons? If not, you can check out the review I wrote for their latest album The Ultimate Deception, which was released by Goomba Music on the 14th of February, and you can also listen to it on Soundcloud:

 
 

Anyway, it’s just been announced that the band is heading out on the road with Soulfly, on what’s being called the “Maximum Cavalera” 15th Anniversary North American Tour

I haven’t seen anything that clearly explains the meaning of the name — my first thought was that Max might be accompanied by his brother (and ex-Sepultura and Cavalera Conspiracy bandmate) Igor, but as far as I can tell, this is not the case. Rather, it appears to be a reference to one or more of Max’s sons; from what I understand, there were guest appearances by three offspring on one of the songs from Soulfly’s latest album Enslaved, and one of them reportedly was playing drums with the band on a recent South American tour. Furthermore, it looks like there are a few junior Cavaleras involved with the opening act, which would add up to a hell of a lot of Cavalera (if not literally the maximum as advertised).

Also joining Soulfly and Wykked Wytch on this month-long, 24 27-city trek are Incite and Lody Kong. See below for a full list of dates. UPDATE 11 April: three new dates have been confirmed and added to this list – Wilmington NC, Dallas TX, and Lubbock TX – see below.

 

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The “Signmeto” Unsigned Band of the Week: Necro

Hello, and welcome to the second installment of the “Signmeto” Unsigned Band of the Week, the weekly profile of a little-known unsigned band for you to check out.  As I have said before, the material here will be of varying quality, but in every case you’ll have the opportunity to listen to whatever music the band has available at this point in their career; my hope is, maybe you’ll find something you really dig, which you might not have heard otherwise. Then, when they explode in popularity and sell a million records, you can scoff at all the bandwagon-jumpers, saying you’ve been a fan since their first demo recording or whatever.

Once again, for those who might not have been paying attention: “Signmeto” is a division of the Roadrunner Records website, where unsigned bands get the chance to upload their recordings for other users to hear and rate, as well as (hopefully) to catch the ear of a label representative (hence, “Sign Me To Roadrunner Records”). I don’t know if anyone who uses that website has ever gotten a record deal out of it, so I don’t have any idea how useful it is from that perspective. However, as a music fan, it can be a good resource for seeking out new things to listen to, and perhaps in that way it can be good for the bands as well. That is, maybe they won’t be picked up by Roadrunner, but maybe putting their songs out there will help attract some sort of attention anyway, and get a little bit of publicity for themselves. That’s how I intend to use it, at least; I’ll be digging through the Signmeto archives for some hidden gems, and then sharing them with you, dear reader.

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