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…

 

Continue reading

Congratulations to GRAMMY Nominees Candlemass! [The Door to Doom (2019)]

CandlemassThe Door to Doom (Napalm Records, 22 February 2019)

 

Doom metal may have been invented when Tony Iommi hammered out those very first notes of Black Sabbath‘s 1970 debut, but the genre really started to take shape during the 1980s, and unquestionably one of the principal players behind that defining moment was Sweden’s Candlemass — particularly, their own debut record which officially coined the phrase “Epic Doom Metal.”

The U.S. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences may have a somewhat shaky track record when it comes to recognizing achievements by metal bands — or even properly distinguishing between metal and hard rock, or deciding whether there even should be such a distinction — but for the first time in their 35-year history, the innovation of Candlemass has been honored with a Grammy award nomination for “Best Metal Performance.”

Taken from their latest album The Door to Doom, the song that earned this recognition for the band is “Astorolus – The Great Octopus,” which fittingly features a guest appearance on lead guitar by none other than Mr. Iommi himself.

 

Continue reading

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 Mrs. Valley of Steel

 
 
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.

 
Continue reading

Hey Look: One Inch Giant Unleashed a Gigantic Black Sabbath Tribute Medley

So, back in January, when the news came out about Tony Iommi‘s health condition, kind words and well-wishes came pouring in from all directions (this blog included). Right around that same time, Gothenburg stoner/sludge/doom metal titans One Inch Giant mentioned on Facebook that they planned on recording a Black Sabbath cover song in tribute to the legendary guitarist. They sought suggestions from their fans as to which song they should attack.

Well, that tribute has taken four months for the band to arrange and record, but when you listen to it you’ll hear why! Instead of choosing one of the suggestions, it seems they decided to go with all of them — with a couple extra thrown in for good measure! I only heard it once through, streamed on my phone, so I can’t guarantee the accuracy of this list, but I believe I picked out a few lines or phrases from each of the following:

  • Black Sabbath
  • Children of the Grave
  • Wheel of Confusion
  • Snowblind
  • Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
  • Under the Sun
  • Paranoid
  • Lord of this World
  • Supernaut
  • War Pigs

Continue reading

Just Released: GIRLFIGHT – Holy Fuck

image

GIRLFIGHTHoly Fuck (22 February 2012, self-released)

Hey readers, how’s it going? Me, I’ve been pretty busy. Between working full-time, running a music blog of skyrocketing popularity, and taking online classes half-time, sometimes it can be a lot to juggle. Like today, when usually I’d be working on blog stuff while pretending to work, I had a bunch of school stuff that needed done instead. So that means for the majority of the day I ended up neglecting my duties here.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I forgot about you, or that I wasn’t busy finding new things to write about. I’ve always got something to listen to throughout the day, and today was no exception. And as luck would have it, on a day when I found myself without a whole lot of time to write, I came across something to share with you that hardly takes up any time at all: a two-song release that runs a mere six minutes.

Of course, just being short isn’t enough to make me want to recommend something to you. I wouldn’t want to waste any of your time, even if it’s only a little bit, with something shitty. Well, no need to worry about that. What I’ve got here is a nice healthy slab — well okay, more like a sliver — of high-quality angry Pittsburgh hardcore, courtesy of GIRLFIGHT.

Continue reading

Dear Mr. Iommi

Almost four years ago, I got married.  Instead of the usual “Here Comes the Bride” melody, my wife and her father walked up the aisle to this song.  It was my suggestion.  I sat at the computer and painstakingly edited a waveform of that song to loop it, just so I could be sure it was long enough, then stuck it on a CD and gave it to the DJ to play at the ceremony.

That might give you some small idea how important your music has been in my life, but nothing could truly describe the significance of its impact – both directly (through your own band’s albums) and indirectly (through the entire genres of music that trace their genesis straight back to the notes you wrote and played).

I just want to say, I’m sincerely wishing you all the best for a full and speedy recovery.  And, thank you.

Nothing to See Here, Folks… Just Move Along…

image

From the “News that isn’t really news because everyone knew what the news was going to be before it became news, and in all honesty nobody really even gives a shit anyway” department…

So we’ve all known this for weeks now, and there’s no point even really mentioning anything, right?  Ok good, we’re in agreement.  Stay tuned for some real actual blog updates coming very soon…

Happy Nigel Tufnel Day! (whatever you’ve got left of it wherever you live…)
And as always, thanks for reading!
Sincerely, A Denizen of the Valley

EDIT (The morning after)-
Okay, okay, might as well jump on this bandwagon.
I’m embedding the official video announcement of the Black Sabbath original line-up re-re-reunion…
After the jump.
Continue reading