Death Alley – Live at Roadburn (2017)

Death AlleyLive at Roadburn (Tee Pee Records, 24 February 2017)

 

Hey, have you heard the news — the Netherlands’ biggest annual hard rock party Roadburn is coming up this weekend! (Oh wait, of course you already knew that — because you read this review yesterday of a band who’ll be playing there!)

But first, why not check out this local (well, only about 100km or so away) band who appeared at the festival in 2016? Following their 2015 Tee Pee Records debut Black Magick Boogieland, Amsterdam’s Death Alley was invited to perform at Roadburn, where their set was reportedly so “moving” and “magical” that Tee Pee decided to document it and make it available to the public in various physical and digital formats.

 

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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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Selim Lemouchi and His Enemies – Earth Air Spirit Water Fire (2013)

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Selim Lemouchi and His EnemiesEarth Air Spirit Water Fire (Ván Records, 06 December 2013)

 

Good afternoon. It’s been about eleven days since you last heard from me — sorry, but I’ve had shit going on. Like one of those times where everything decides to break all at once, and everything needs urgent attention. Whatever. I hope you’ll be able to forgive me when you hear the ABSOLUTE FUCKING MASTERPIECE that I’m sharing with you today. This album — a solo work by the former guitarist of Dutch occult band The Devil’s Blood — was released to not-a-whole-lot-of-acclaim at the tail end of 2013, and then was tragically overshadowed by its creator’s death just about three months later. A huge surge in attention for his former band ensued, but it felt (to me, anyway) like this record accidentally got swept under the rug. Which is really a shame, because it’s sheer genius.

One quick word of caution, before we get started, though — speaking of genius. This article is going to contain references to Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. If hearing those names conjures images of sappy poppy teeny bopper surf music — and nothing further — please take a moment to educate yourself about what is universally considered to be that composer’s (and his band’s) landmark achievement in the history of recorded music. You can thank me later. When you’re ready, please join us directly beneath the following photograph…

 

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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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Upcoming Shows: What To Do In Pittsburgh This Weekend (12-15 April 2012)

Hello, readers! How are you? I think I’ve officially recovered from the holiday weekend and am ready to get back into the swing of posting updates. Did you have a nice Easter? I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to Ghost, since I finally got around to picking up Opus Eponymous on CD almost two weeks ago. I like it a lot, but I’ve kind of got a funny feeling about it. I haven’t tried slowing it down or playing it backwards or anything, but I get the impression that there might be some kind of hidden evil messages or something. Oh well. Hey, speaking of which, they’ll be coming to town in just a few more days! In fact, they’re just one of a whole slew of awesome bands playing in Pittsburgh over the coming weekend. Just keep on reading for all the details on this show and tons more.

 
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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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Upcoming Shows: GWAR, Dying Fetus, Behemoth

Well, folks, here’s a pretty cool surprise that showed up in my inbox this weekend. I get updates at least once a week from Pittsburgh-based promoters Opus One Productions, but since they deal in events that range literally all across the musical spectrum, the majority of the information they contain usually is not of any interest to me. This time, however, the update pertains exclusively to metal shows, and (as you can tell from that headline) it includes some pretty huge names in the metal world, all coming to Pittsburgh!

All three shows — a co-headline of Dying Fetus and The Faceless in early March, GWAR on Saint Patrick’s Day, and Behemoth in mid-April — are taking place at Mr. Small’s Theatre in Millvale (just a few miles northeast of the city on Rt. 28). If you haven’t been there before, I’d highly recommend catching a show there. It has been converted from an old church, and has a lot of the original architectural features including a real high cathedral ceiling; I don’t know if that’s the reason why, but in any case, the place has pretty great acoustics. Plus, it’s got a pretty intimate feel to it (only holds a few hundred people) but at the same time it’s big enough that you usually don’t feel too claustrophobic (for all-ages or 18+ shows, there is a wooden half-wall barrier that separates the bar from the rest of the floor area; I usually end up hanging out behind here, since you can get a great view of the stage but it’s usually not too crowded).

After the jump, catch all the details of the events. If you aren’t local to Pittsburgh, take heart in knowing that all of these great bands are currently touring the U.S.; check out their Facebook pages or websites (most of which are linked in the information below) to find the full tourdates and see if there is also a show in your area. If you live outside the U.S., then piss off! You surely have awesome tours and festivals in your area all the time! Let me savor the thought of having these few visit my city, this time.

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