Horseburner – The Thief; Howling Giant – The Space Between Worlds (2019)

HorseburnerThe Thief (Ripple Music, 09 August 2019)

 

Howling GiantThe Space Between Worlds (Blues Funeral Recordings, 27 September 2019)

 

Good afternoon! Another week almost over, are you excited? Probably not so much, huh? It hardly makes a difference, since the days all just run together anymore. Hard to believe we’re coming up on three whole months of this quarantine, shelter-in-place, work-from-home, whatever you want to call it.

But on the other hand, it’s starting to feel like this is the way life has been forever — it’s getting hard to remember a time when things used to be different. Remember going out to restaurants, bars, wineries? Remember live entertainment? Sometimes there would even be entire events dedicated to bands performing music for large crowds of people, entire festivals. Remember those? Remember crowds of people?

It was exactly two months ago today that Ripplefest was supposed to happen in Germany, what would have been an all-day raging affair hosted by Ripple Music. I wrote up a thing announcing the event just a few weeks before the entire world flipped completely upside-down.

That event is tentatively being rescheduled for August, with a line-up yet to be announced. I hope, for the sake of everyone involved, that it works out this time. I hope, for ALL our sakes, that things are back to normal by then.

Originally scheduled to play at the festival in March were two American bands, Horseburner and Howling Giant. I’ve written about each of them before (here and here), but in February’s Ripplefest post I also mentioned that both bands had released excellent albums last year, and that reviews of both would be coming up soon.

The festival might not have taken place as planned, but at least I can fulfill that one small promise. And at least you can treat your ears to these bands in pre-recorded form…

 

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Forest of Tygers – I Will Die of Violence (2019)

Forest of TygersI Will Die of Violence (Acteon Records, 08 November 2019)

 

Here at Valley of Steel HQ, we’ve been big fans of the husband and wife duo Forest of Tygers ever since they released their first EP Bruises over five years ago. We’ve written about these Nashvillians each time we’ve heard something new of theirs, and we’ve been anxiously awaiting the full-length record they’ve been talking about for a couple years — and (as of about a month ago) it’s finally here!

Guitarist/vocalist Jim and drummer Rachel Valosik have established themselves quite a reputation for creating superlatively black- and ugly-sounding conglomorations of hardcore/sludge/doom/metal, and newly-released I Will Die of Violence will only increase that…

 

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Howling Giant – Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 1 (2016), Part 2 (2017)

Howling GiantBlack Hole Space Wizard: Part 1 (self-released, 12 August 2016)

 

Howling GiantBlack Hole Space Wizard: Part 2 (self-released, 25 August 2017)

 

Starting this Thursday (the tenth of May) and then lasting for the next two-plus weeks, Nashvillian trio Howling Giant will be traipsing all over the eastern USA in what they’re calling their “Escape from the Lab” tour. We’ve got details down below, and on your way there we’ll be covering the first two portions of the band’s planned trilogy Black Hole Space Wizard. That way, once you get to the list of dates you’ll either be very excited if you find your city included or very disappointed if you find it omitted. Either way, though, you’ll be treated to some great music — which you’ll have the opportunity to download for as cheap as you’d like. Win-win!

 

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Anicon / Forest of Tygers – Split 7″ EP (2017)

Anicon / Forest of TygersSplit 7″ EP (Acteon Records, 03 October 2017)

 

Hey folks! How’s your day going so far? Got another one here to toss your way: a quick one this time, two different bands with one song each, right around five or six minutes apiece. Both of these — Brooklyn’s Anicon crew, and husband-and-wife team Forest of Tygers from Nashville — have been discussed around here previously, and personally I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve heard from both groups. So naturally it was exciting news when I recently learned that Acteon Records (which is run by the Tygers folks) had put out this split release of brand-new material last month!

 

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Echopraxia – Pumpkin Palace (2017)

EchopraxiaPumpkin Palace (self-released, 31 October 2017)

 

“But Halloween was like two weeks ago,” someone will surely be whining; “why would you be writing about a Halloween-themed metal album now??” For starters: it’s my damn website and I’ll write about whatever I want to. But also: just because the calendar turns over to November doesn’t necessarily mean that celebrating All Hallow’s Eve has to come to an end — in the immortal words of The Ghost of Christmas Present, “It is the season of the spirit / the message if we hear it / is make it last all year.” And I’m pretty sure that song (“It Feels Like Christmas”) was meant to be universally applicable.

And more seriously: especially now that the clocks have changed, it’s completely black outside both walking to the bus in the morning and coming home from work in the evening, the air is often cold and foggy, everyone in the neighborhood still has a whole bunch of pumpkin-based decorations (some of which were designed vaguely enough to work for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday as well, but many of which are just the result of being too lazy to put them away and drag out the Christmas stuff already), and one evening last week I happened to hear this five-song EP during my walk home and it seemed strangely appropriate. (Not to mention, at just under twenty minutes in length, it coincided with the journey from bus stop almost perfectly.) And therefore, regardless of the actual date, I felt like sharing this music with you.

 

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Green Elder / Pensive Ceremony – Split; Twilight Fauna – Fire of the Spirit (2016)

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Green Elder / Pensive CeremonySplit (self-released, 11 August 2016)

 

Cover

Twilight FaunaFire of the Spirit (Ravenwood Recordings / Fragile Branch Recordings, 19 August 2016)

 

Hello, and happy Friday! Today I’d like to call your attention to a pair of releases you may enjoy, that just came out last month. The second one is an album called Fire of the Spirit, Twilight Fauna‘s sixth full-length record over the past several years, in addition to numerous other discographical items. (As you may or may not be aware, Twilight Fauna is a solo black metal project with strong Appalachian folk roots, with everything written and performed by sole member Paul Ravenwood of Johnson City, Tennessee.) But before that, in light of it having been released a week earlier, we’ll talk about a 12″ split record that features Green Elder — also a Ravenwood solo gig, but this one entirely eschews the black metal aspects in favor of a more somber, pure Appalachian folk style. The flip side of this split consists of yet another single-member ensemble — one that’s even more elusive than the others we’re discussing today, in terms of sharing any personal information. It’s called Pensive Ceremony, and everything here is done by an individual known only as Pythagumus, apparently from somewhere near Tacoma, Washington.

 

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Battle Path – Ambedo (2015-16); Hollow Leg – Crown (2016)

Battlepath-Cover-FINAL

Battle PathAmbedo (digital+vinyl Inherent Records / Crimson Eye Records, 09 November 2015; cassette Wood and Stone Productions, 24 June 2016)

 

Hollow leg crown

Hollow LegCrown (Argonauta Records, 04 March 2016 EU / 24 June 2016 NA)

 

Well good morning, readers, and a happy Tuesday to you all. I’m finally back after taking an extra week off from writing — partly to recover from the Independence Day holiday weekend (and that Primitive Man show last Monday night!) and partly because of me being so overloaded at my day job. But as always, there’s tons of stuff to tell you about — both old and new — so here we go again. Today we’ll be taking a look at albums by two different bands from the southeastern United States, Battle Path from Murfreesboro and Hollow Leg from Jacksonville. Each of these albums originally came out a little while ago (Ambedo back in November and Crown in March), but they both just got reissued near the end of last month (the former has now come out on cassette, while following a European release the latter is now also available domestically).

 

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