Tombs – The Grand Annihilation (2017)

TombsThe Grand Annihilation (Metal Blade Records, 16 June 2017)

 

Hey! Remember almost a year ago when we let you know that Brooklynite post-black metal ensemble Tombs would be releasing a new record — the fourth full-length in their decade-plus of existence, which would be the first thing coming out via the band’s new relationship with Metal Blade? And furthermore, that it would be the first LP featuring [the bulk of] the new line-up that had debuted a year earlier on the All Empires Fall EP?

Well anyway, that happened, and with Tombs hitting the road tonight for a handful of shows across the northeast over the course of the next week, it seemed like an appropriate time to finally get around to sharing that new album with all you swell people. Those dates are listed down at the bottom of the page.

 

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God Root – Salt and Rot (2017)

God RootSalt and Rot (CD self-released / digital Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, 11 July 2017)

 

The music world suffered a great, if largely unheralded, loss around the end of 2014, when ambient-experimental blackened doom duo Sadgiqacea, one of the only good things to ever come out of Philadelphia, ceased operations. (Our review of their last album can be found here). The pair briefly reunited to perform at last year’s Shadow Woods festival, but otherwise it seems they’ve been occupied with other projects. While guitarist/vocalist Evan Void continued on as a member of Hivelords and Tombs (both of which were discussed here), drummer/vocalist Fred Grabosky (aka the artist behind FTG Illustrations) was quietly assembling some other like-minded individuals to form a brand new group. After shifting a few pieces around for a little bit, the line-up stabilized with bassist/vocalist Ross Bradley, guitarist/vocalist Joe Hughes, guitarist Keith Riecke, and Jordan Stiff who is credited with “noise” and guitar, all joining forces as God Root.

The band’s second official release, Salt and Rot saw the light of day just a few weeks ago, and the guys are now gearing up to hit the road with New Jersey’s Sunrot. A full list of those dates, all over the northeastern and midwestern U.S., can be found down below, but first let’s check out that new album!

 
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Molasses Barge – S/T + Covered in Molasses (2017)

Molasses BargeMolasses Barge + Covered in Molasses (Blackseed Records, 28 July 2017)

 

So I’ve been writing about Molasses Barge basically as long as I’ve been writing about music in general. It all started way back in late 2011 when they had a few shows scheduled, and I threw together a little synopsis of my first experience seeing them perform live (earlier that year when they opened for Pentagram). This was followed by an interview with drummer Wayne Massey in 2012 (as they were about to open for Tombs and 16), and then guitarist Justin Gizzi also answered a few questions as part of our coverage leading up to the Winter’s Wake festival in 2013.

In all, these Pittsburgh-based doom-metal workhorses have appeared (at least mentioned in passing) on this website a few dozen times. And yet, as active as they are (and despite having been in existence for close to a decade now!), the band’s official recorded output thus far has consisted of one EP six years ago, plus a three-song demo a few months later. (Both of them are available to stream or download FREE at Bandcamp.) But that all changes now: this Friday they will be unleashing their stunning debut self-titled LP, and as a special added bonus (perhaps as a thank-you to all the fans who’ve been patiently waiting so long), it’ll come bundled with a second disc filled with cover songs.

 

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News Update: Four Albums and a Kickstarter

 
Happy Monday, folks! Not sure how many of you out there are hockey fans — and specifically, fans of North America’s NHL. Maybe some people reading this were in bed by a perfectly reasonable hour last night and got an adequate amount of sleep. Not me; I was far too busy reveling in watching my hometown team capture the league championship for the second consecutive year, and all of the trophy presentation ceremonies and the other assorted festivities that go along with that, until way WAY past my regular bedtime. So it might be fair to say I’ll be slowly easing my way into this week, and mostly using today to get caught up on some stuff. In that spirit, I’ll skip doing any reviews today, but I’ll take the opportunity to pass along some recent news items that just might pique your interest …

 

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Shadow Woods Metal Fest (September 2016, White Hall MD)

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Shadow Woods Metal Fest

Thursday 15 September through Sunday 18 September 2016

at Camp Hidden Valley, 4722 Mellow Rd, White Hall MD 21161

21+ ONLY

Weekend pass (includes on-site tent camping) $130 in advance or $150 at gate; limited cabin bunks available for an additional charge; single-day tickets also available.

 
In exactly two weeks, the weekend-long sylvan music and camping party Shadow Woods Metal Fest will kick off for the second year. Described by its organizers as “some of the best music the underground music community has to offer, all while camping in beautiful surroundings. The festival features bands spanning the musical spectrum from folk to doom to black metal to experimental and are carefully curated for their uniqueness in the current musical landscape.”

More details: http://shadowwoodsmetalfest.com
Tickets: http://shadowwoods2016.bpt.me/

 
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Hivelords – Tapered Limbs of a Human Star (2015), Tombs – All Empires Fall (2016)

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HivelordsTapered Limbs of a Human Star (Anthropic Records, 04 August 2015)

 

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TombsAll Empires Fall (Relapse Records, 01 April 2016)

 

Hey folks, how’s it going? In case you missed, it, back on Monday I wrote a thing about Tombs and Hivelords playing some shows together (plus in that post, you can enter to win tickets for the show in Pittsburgh this Saturday, May 14th!)

If that information wasn’t quite enough to get you excited, maybe you just haven’t heard these two bands before? Or maybe you don’t live near the northeastern U.S. where these shows are taking place. In either case, I’ve decided to spend a little more time talking about both bands — and about their most recent releases, for your listening pleasure …

 

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Tombs & Hivelords On Tour / Win FREE Tickets For Pittsburgh Show!!

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Tombs and Hivelords Announce Spring Tour Dates

 

Hey folks! I’ve got some quick tour announcements to pass along to you… starting this weekend there will be a handful of northeastern U.S. dates featuring Philadelphia’s blackened experimentalists Hivelords (whom you may remember from our review of their 2013 album Cavern Apothecary) and Brooklyn’s post-black luminaries Tombs (whom we’ve mentioned before — nearly four years ago — when they came to Pittsburgh with 16 and we did an interview with the drummers of local openers Molasses Barge and Vulture).

Since then, both bands have undergone line-up changes — Hivelords now features two new guitarists (including Evan Void, formerly half of that band’s frequent tourmates Sadgiqacea), and Tombs has replaced some of its members on at least two occasions (also, coincidentally, including new guitarist Evan Void) resulting in essentially a wholesale overhaul for that band.

They’ve both also put out new material with their respective new line-ups: Hivelords‘ album Tapered Limbs of a Human Star came out in 2015 via Anthropic Records, while Relapse Records released Tombs‘ new EP All Empires Fall in early April this year.

And now, these two bands will be performing together on a series of dates, the details of which will be shared with you as you continue reading below. Further down, we’re also including the remainder of Hivelords‘ currently announced dates through mid-summer; and finally, details specific to both bands’ stop in Pittsburgh next Saturday, including your chance to WIN FREE TICKETS to that show!

 

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Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden (2014)

In the VIP section (balcony) at Mr. Small's Theatre (Pittsburgh), February 2013

In the VIP balcony at Mr. Small’s Theatre (Pittsburgh), February 2013

EDITOR’S NOTE: for nearly two years, the Arkansas melodic doom quartet Pallbearer has been among my wife’s absolute favorite bands. I know she’d been eagerly snapping up every available bit of information leading up to the release of their second album; now that it’s been released, we listened to it together, and she had some strong reactions and opinions — so I asked whether she wanted to write something about it. So here is her review of Foundations of Burden.

 

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PallbearerFoundations of Burden (Profound Lore Records, 19 August 2014)

reviewed by Mrs. Valley of Steel

 

I first heard Pallbearer in December of 2012 on accident. I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a video that someone had posted, which I thought was something else. I clicked on it, I listened and I had no idea what I was in for ultimately. I have to admit, I felt an immediate kinship to this music. For much of my life, I have felt an attachment to a darker side of my personality; I often embrace being melancholy and don’t always see it as the burden that some people do with those types of emotions. Pallbearer definitely tapped into that for me. I felt instantaneously connected to each riff and sludgy chord. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, this band is mainly responsible for so much of the music I have discovered in this journey with my husband over the past three years. It’s clearly felt personal to me and I am sure, with all the recent hype, that I am not the only one who enjoys dwelling in the despair.

 

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The Top Ten Shows I’ve Seen This Year: A Supplemental Video Guide

This was me on Christmas Eve.  In a couple hours, this'll most likely be me again.

This was me on Christmas Eve. In a couple hours, this’ll most likely be me again.

 
Good afternoon, Dear Readers, and a Happy Fucking New Year to you all! I hope you enjoyed the collection of top-ten lists I published yesterday!

Before we finally put 2012 to bed, though, here’s a quick supplemental post to go along with my personal contribution to that conglomerate of lists. I’m calling it…

 

The Top Ten Shows I’ve Seen This Year:

A Supplemental Video Guide

 
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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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