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 List of 2013 Year-End Lists

Photo Collage - 2013 Shows - by Mrs. Valley of Steel

Click for full-sized image

 

Hey folks — a very Happy (Belated) New Year to all of you! 2013 definitely turned out to be an interesting year for me, with lots of big changes, new projects, new responsibilities, etc., but an unfortunate side-effect of some of that was (as you’ve surely noticed) that the amount of time I’d been spending writing really tapered off as the year went on, to the point where I didn’t post
anything here for the last few months! Well, as you may have seen, I’ve started writing reviews of some new 2014 releases — and as time allows I promise I will also be sharing plenty of older stuff I’ve missed writing about, because believe me there has been a TON worth sharing!

But more on that later. As I started doing last year, I’ve once again put together a collection of various people’s “best of” lists from 2013. Admittedly I sort of got a late start on this (I didn’t even put out the open invitation until after most websites had already finished with publishing all their year-end stuff), but several people have answered the call and contributed some really interesting lists that you’ll want to check out…

 

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VOS Videography 2013: A Mid-Year Retrospective (Part 5)

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6119 (East Liberty / Pittsburgh, PA), 23 February 2013

 
These videos are from Saturday’s Winter’s Wake performances.

 
The Gates of Slumber – “Bastards Born”

 
Occultation – “The Sea of Snakes and Souls”

 
Derkéta – “Rest in Peace”

 
Vattnet Viskar – Untitled (New Song) and “Intention Oblivion”

 
Molasses Barge – “Crux Influx” (New Song!)

 
Molasses Barge – “Bone Chills” (New Song!)

 
Vulture – “Coming Storm” and “Dead Sea”

 
NAVIGATION
 
Part 1 (28 December – 18 January)
Part 2 (01 – 09 February)
Part 3 (16 February)
Part 4 (22 February)
 
Part 6 (02 – 09 March)
Part 7 (10 March)
Part 8 (14 March)
Part 9 (16 March)
Part 10 (22 – 24 March)
Part 11 (28 – 29 March)
Part 12 (02 – 11 April)
Part 13 (12 – 19 April)
Part 14 (20 – 26 April)
Part 15 (04 – 05 May)
Part 16 (11 – 17 May)
Part 17 (18 – 27 May)
Part 18 (31 May – 20 June)
Part 19 (23 – 30 June)

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 Mrs. Valley of Steel

 
Greetings and salutations! Many of you know me, or have met me, or at least know of me. My name is “Mrs. Valley of Steel.” I’ve been married to “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 his 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 we 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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Winter’s Wake Winterview: Vattnet Viskar

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Hello once again. Winter’s Wake (day 2) is starting in less than six hours! If you haven’t noticed, I’m really excited about this. When the line-up for this show was first announced, there were so many bands I was really looking forward to seeing, I wasn’t even sure which one to get the most excited about. But if I had to pick one, there’s a chance it might have been this next band. Vattnet Viskar‘s self-titled album (Broken Limbs Recordings) was one of my absolute favorite releases of 2012, and in my opinion, one of the best examples of atmospheric black metal I’ve heard in a very long time.

So I am just thrilled that these guys will be in Pittsburgh later today, and I was also thrilled to get a chance to ask their guitarist Chris Alfieri a few questions about the band. Here’s what he had to say…

 
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Winter’s Wake Winterview: Vulture

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Good morning, folks! Winter’s Wake 2013 officially starts tonight! Words cannot describe how excited I am. I hope you feel the same way. I’ve still got a few more bands to talk about, so I’ll continue posting these throughout the day.

First up this morning is the “Steel City Sludge” band Vulture! You might remember that I had an interview with their drummer Kelly Gabany a few months back (you can read it here), but I checked in with her once more to find out what’s new in Vulture-land, and here’s what I found out:

 
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Winter’s Wake Winterview: Drones for Queens

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We’re drawing closer and closer to the Winter’s Wake 2013 Thursday Night Pre-fest Show! Here’s one more interview with a band that’s playing tonight!

I already wrote about this particular band a few months ago, but here’s the responses I got to some questions I asked Drones for Queens:

 
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Winter’s Wake 2013 Presented By Allure of the Earth

AOTE

 
So all the final details for this year’s Winter’s Wake festival are finally here! The venues, scheduled bands, and ticketing information all have been announced, and I’ve collected all of it right here for you!

 

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Happy (Belated) New Year!

Cheers!

* Happy National Day (for those who live on the island of Menorca)!

 

* Happy Feast Day of Saint Achilles the Confessor (for those who follow the Eastern Orthodox Church)!

 

* Happy Birthday to Benjamin Franklin “The Guy on the Hundred Dollar Bill,” James Earl Jones “The Voice of Darth Vader,” comedian Andy Kaufman, bassist Andy Rourke, boxer Muhammad Ali, actress Betty White, FLOTUS Michelle Obama, and singer Eartha Kitt!

 

* Let’s also commemorate the passing of music producer Don Kirshner, chess player Bobby Fisher, and former U.S. president Rutherford B. Hayes!

 
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If you can’t tell, I’m sort of reaching here, for any sort of a special occasion or commemoration to celebrate today. Since we’re now so long past the beginning of the year, I feel stupid saying “Happy New Year!” to you. But 2013 is still relatively new (and the majority of it is still yet to come), so I guess it really doesn’t hurt to still wish you a happy one.
 
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Allure of the Earth: Winter’s Wake Line-Up **ALMOST** Complete!

*** NOTE: ALL THE FINAL DETAILS FOR THE WINTER’S WAKE FESTIVAL HAVE BEEN COLLECTED AT THIS LOCATION: https://valleyofsteel.net/2013/01/28/winters-wake-2013-presented-by-allure-of-the-earth/ ***

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Ladies and Gentlemen, three more bands (***) were just officially announced for the upcoming Winter’s Wake festival!

At this moment the nearly-complete line-up is scheduled to run as follows:

 

FRIDAY, 22 February 2013:

*** Vektor (sci-fi thrash from Philly)
Black Anvil (black metal from NYC)
GNAW (experimental industrial/drone/noise, from NYC)
Vit (experimental black/doom/folk from Ohio)
Liquified Guts (brutalgoredeathgrind from Pittsburgh)
*** Meth Quarry (Grim “Dirge” Hardcore from Pittsburgh)

 

SATURDAY 23 February 2013:

Dream Death (doom metal from Pittsburgh / exclusive area appearance for 2013!)
Blood Ceremony (occult doom rock from Toronto)
Evoken (death-doom from NJ)
Occultation (traditional metal from NYC)
Vattnet Viskar (black metal from New Hampshire)
*** Derketa (doomy death metal from Pittsburgh)
Molasses Barge (doomy traditional metal from Pittsburgh)
Vulture (doomy sludge metal from Pittsburgh)

 

So that’s where things stand as of right now.

LAST UPDATED 10 January 2013: There will be a pre-show (no details available yet) on Thursday the 21st! More information about that, plus the full details (including venue and ticket information) for the festival will be announced on Wednesday, the 2nd of January, 2013. very, very soon. We hope. Any further information will be shared with you here at Valley of Steel, as soon as we learn anything ourselves! Stay tuned!

Facebook event page for Winter’s Wake: http://www.facebook.com/events/147586328726944/

http://allureoftheearth.com/