Yob – Clearing the Path to Ascend (2014), Our Raw Heart (2018)

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YobClearing the Path to Ascend (Neurot Recordings, 02 September 2014)

 

YobOur Raw Heart (Relapse Records, 08 June 2018)

 

Oregonian doom trio Yob vocalist/guitarist Mike Scheidt has always had a distinctive voice. Whether it’s as a member of Lumbar or making a guest appearance with Red Fang or a whole plethora of others, there’s just no mistaking who is singing. Piercing and powerful, like Conan‘s Jon Davis, expressive and emotional like Argus/Molasses Barge‘s Butch Balich, and always just a bit grizzled and weathered like Wino or Lemmy.

But since the last time we heard from these guys (Clearing the Path to Ascend, which in a year filled with tough competition, still came out as our clear #1 album of 2014), some serious health complications cast some doubt as to whether we might ever hear that voice again. You can read all about that journey in this Rolling Stone interview, where the band’s sole remaining founding member (over twenty years ago!) describes his harrowing experiences while also discussing the creation of Our Raw Heart.

The album was “largely penned from what he worried would be his deathbed,” said the magazine, quoting Scheidt as saying, “there was no guarantee that I was going to live long enough to record the album.” Fortunately for himself, his family and friends, and also for everyone on planet earth who has ears, he did survive and he did record the album, which undoubtably will be contending for the same spot in this year’s list. In this post we’ll touch upon that record from four years ago, as well as the follow-up which hits stores TODAY. Furthermore, keep on scrolling to see a list of opportunities North American readers will have to experience Yob live: for one month (starting next Thursday, 14th June) with Bell Witch or again during September with Acid King and CHRCH.

 

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Eternal Black – Self-Titled (2015), Bleed the Days (2017-18)

Eternal BlackEternal Black (Obsidian Sky Records, 30 June 2015)

Eternal BlackBleed the Days (Obsidian Sky Records, CD/cassette/digital 08 August 2017, vinyl 04 February 2018)

Is it just me or has this week been dragging on way too long — like, excruciatingly, brain-deadeningly long? Just me? Ok. In any case, I feel like I need a break from anything that requires too much thinking. So I’m going to take a moment and share some music with you.

This is coming courtesy of old-school stoner/doom trio Eternal Black from Brooklyn. We’ll start with their self-titled debut EP from a few summers ago, and follow that with their first full-length which came out last year but just recently got pressed to vinyl for the first time (all via the band’s own Obsidian Sky label). Hope you enjoy it.

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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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Karma to Burn – Arch Stanton (2014), The Atomic Bitchwax – Gravitron (2015)

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Karma to BurnArch Stanton (FABA Records, 18 August 2014)

 

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The Atomic BitchwaxGravitron (Tee Pee Records, 30 December 2015)

 

Hey folks, HAPPY FRIDAY! As you’ve surely noticed, we’ve spent a lot of time this week talking about tours kicking off this weekend, and bands who are coming to Pittsburgh, but believe it or not I’ve got another announcement for you!

Starting TONIGHT (Friday, May 13th) instrumental legends Karma to Burn from West Virginia and long-running stoner trio The Atomic Bitchwax from New Jersey will be heading out on a month-long tour all across America, opening for The Obsessed (which was one of the earliest of Wino‘s plethora of bands).

The full list of dates for this tour (including a stop at Pittsburgh’s Altar Bar tomorrow night) will be listed down at the bottom of this page — in the comments. But first, lets take a closer look at a (relatively speaking) recent album from each of those two supporting bands …

 

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VOS Interview: A Drummer Double Feature! Molasses Barge vs. Vulture!

Hello folks, and a happy Friday to you! Just when it felt like it would never happen, the weekend’s finally here. I’ve got a feeling this is going to be an especially good one, because there’s a ton of amazing shows and events happening! I’ll have more on that later, so stay tuned.

One of them in particular stands out, though — tomorrow night at the 31st Street Pub is the first date on the joint headlining tour between Relapse Records artists 16 and Tombs. That by itself is reason enough to get excited, but opening the show will be two of my absolute favorite local bands, the heavy doom armada that is Molasses Barge and Steel City sludgelords Vulture!

I’ve only seen Molasses Barge once before (and it was over a year ago! — read more about that here), and (believe it or not) although I’ve been listening to Vulture for a long time, I’ve never had the chance to see them play live yet! So needless to say, I’m really looking forward to this show. I’ve already got my tickets (they can be ordered here) but if you don’t, it’s just twelve bucks when you show up at the door. More info on the show itself can be found here.

Anyway, in anticipation of this event, I decided to get a couple of interviews lined up. If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you may have picked up on the fact that I often tend to focus on drumming while listening to music. It’s just the way I hear things, I guess — and I don’t know if it’s because I play drums (occasionally) or if I chose to play that instrument because it’s something I pay a lot of attention to.

In either case, the drumming in each of these bands’ genres is one of the main things that attracts me to those particular styles. So, it only seemed natural for me to talk to the two bands’ drummers. Here, then, are the questions and answers from Molasses Barge’s Wayne Massey and Vulture’s Kelly Gabany

 

 

 
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What To Do In Pittsburgh This Weekend (22-23 September 2012)

Happy Friday everyone!

Isn’t it so weird how time works? Or, our perception of time, anyway…

I mean, it feels like this week has been dragging on forever — like it seemed that the weekend would never get here (and now it’s just a few hours away!) But then, looking at the bigger picture, it feels like this year has been flying by. Like, it doesn’t seem like it should be September already, and here we are approaching the END of September!

And as of tomorrow, it’ll officially turn from summer to fall — which is fine with me, because I’m so sick of hot weather anyway, but my point is, time just seems to keep slipping away so fast… unless you’re stuck at work, that is.

Anyway, since summer’s basically over now, the schedule of local shows seems to have gotten a little bit lighter — but there’s still plenty of chances to get out there and rock out! (Or, to thieve the slogan from local printers Commonwealth Press on their new NHL-related tees, “Rock aht with your lock aht”!)

 
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Out Today: Fist Fight in the Parking Lot – Self-Titled

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Fist Fight in the Parking LotFist Fight in the Parking Lot (21 February 2012, Innervenus Music)

Good evening, readers! Sorry for the tardiness of this review — I totally meant to publish it this morning, but then I got distracted by something shiny. It happens. Actually it was an announcement that the new self-titled album by Corrosion of Conformity was streaming in full over at AOL Music. I hadn’t heard it yet, and I don’t know how long it’ll be available, so I wanted to jump on that. I’m sure you can understand. If you haven’t heard it yet, you’ll probably want to check it out, too.

From what I’d read about it, the new COC album is supposed to appeal to fans of their earlier, more hardcore-oriented work, as well as those who prefer their more recent foray into Sabbath-inspired stoner metal. So I was curious to see what it was all about. What I found surprised me: I heard very little of the sound mainly associated with either era of the band’s history, instead feeling more of an old-school doom vibe — along the lines of some of Wino‘s earlier work, or any of a slew of his bands’ imitators. A style I enjoy, to be sure, but one that can also seem monotonous at times, over the course of an entire record. This was one of those occasions: despite some higher points, the album really didn’t reach out and grab my attention at any point. Missing here were the truly memorable songs that make you want to sing along, or hear them again and again.

Well, all of that soon changed, because a little later in the day I switched gears to the brand new release by Pittsburgh’s Fist Fight in the Parking Lot, made available today through the Innervenus Music Collective.

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