Chrch – Light Will Consume Us All; Fister – No Spirit Within (2018)

ChrchLight Will Consume Us All (Neurot Recordings, 11 May 2018)

 

FisterNo Spirit Within (Listenable Records, 18 May 2018)

 

Hey! Remember that incredible split of DOOOOOOM between California’s Chrch and Missouri’s Fister, that came out last November? We just wrote about it at the beginning of this year. Well, both of those bands recently wrapped up a joint European tour, and coincidentally they are both beginning a series of U.S. tour dates TONIGHT (although those will all be separate shows). Also, they both signed to new labels in the recent past (Neurot and Listenable respectively), and both bands have just released their first album on those labels within the past month.

In this article we’re going to talk about both of those albums, and then at the end will be a list of upcoming performances for each band. Prepare yourselves.

 

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Austin Terror Fest (15-17 June 2018, Austin TX)

 

Austin Terror Fest

 

Friday 15 June 2018

at Lost Well, 2421 Webberville Rd, Austin TX 78702

doors 4pm

 

Saturday 16 June 2018

at Barracuda, 611 E 7th St, Austin TX 78701

doors 4pm

 

Sunday 17 June 2018

at Lost Well, 2421 Webberville Rd, Austin TX 78702

doors 2pm

 
More details: Facebook page / Facebook event
Tickets: Eventbrite

 
For the second year in a row, the Austin edition of Terror Fest has a plethora of fantastic bands descending upon the Lone Star State. Check out that list (more details below)!

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Mutants of the Monster 2018 (15-17 June, Little Rock AR)

 

Mutants of the Monster

 

Friday 15 June through Sunday 17 June 2018

at Revolution Music Room (The Rev Room), 300 President Clinton Ave, Little Rock AR 72201

All Ages | $15 each day | doors 6pm / music 7pm

 

Sunday 17 June 2018

at The White Water Tavern, 2500 West 7th Street, Little Rock AR 72205

21+ only | $15 | doors 6pm / music 7pm

More details: http://www.facebook.com/events/125506641561652
Tickets: Friday | Saturday | Sunday (sold out!)

 
Named for a song by their state’s most famous band, Mutants of the Monster is a weekend-long festival of heavy music taking place in Little Rock — featuring local legends such as Pallbearer and Rwake, a visit from the current Yob + Bell Witch tour, and more!! See the full list below …

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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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Conan / Slomatics – Split (2018 Reissue)

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Conan / SlomaticsSplit (original release 2011 / to be RE-re-released by Black Bow Records, 01 June 2018)

 

Almost two years ago, the 2011 split record between these two bands, each of whom has been discussed multiple times on this website (Conan | Slomatics), got the re-release treatment on a really cool picture disc by Black Bow Records. We discussed that right here.

But in case you missed it (or if you DID manage to snag one of those copies, but you wish you had a second one to listen to!), Black Bow is doing it again! This time on 180g heavyweight vinyl (for the first time ever) in a peculiar shade of “ogre green” (also for the first time ever). Keep reading to revisit our review of these songs from the 2016 release, and then find where you can buy a copy of the new edition.

 

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Vile Creature – Cast of Static and Smoke (2018)

Vile CreatureCast of Static and Smoke (Halo of Flies (US) / Dry Cough (UK), 09 March 2018)

 

Today we’ve got another album review for you — and a worthy follow-up to yesterday’s, as this one also contains long, low-tempoed tracks filled with filthy noise and despair. Although it’s actually their second full-length, Cast of Static and Smoke is the first output I’ve heard from these self-described “two weird queer kids with lofty ambitions.” But from that very first listen, Vile Creature grabbed my attention and never let it go throughout four tracks spanning nearly three-quarters of an hour. Let’s dig right in, eh?

 

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Psycho Las Vegas 2017

 

Psycho Las Vegas 2017

Thursday 17 August through Sunday 20 September 2017

at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 4455 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas NV 89169

 
This weekend-long party in Sin City will feature some folks that you’ll recognize from previous mentions right here at Valley of Steel (Neurosis, Conan, Fister, Melvins, Hollow Leg, North, Ruby the Hatchet, Slomatics — just to name a few). Some other highlights will include Inter Arma, Black Anvil, Minsk, Goya, Manilla Road, Mouth of the Architect, Pelican, Vhöl, Year of the CobraYOB, Pentagram, Corrosion of Conformity, Sleep, Psychic TV… oh yeah, and King Diamond performing the whole Abigail album!

More details:
http://www.vivapsycho.com | http://www.facebook.com/events/1636267026703732/
 
Tickets:
3-day (Friday through Sunday) passes, and single-day tickets for Thursday Pre-Party, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday currently available at http://psycholv2017.eventbrite.com

 
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Argus – Beyond the Martyrs (2013), From Fields of Fire (2017); Arduini/Balich – Dawn of Ages (2017)

ArgusBeyond the Martyrs (Cruz del Sur Music, 01 October 2013)

 

Arduini / BalichDawn of Ages (Cruz del Sur Music, 24 February 2017)

 

ArgusFrom Fields of Fire (Cruz del Sur Music, 08 September 2017)

 

I can still remember the first time I heard Argus — in the burgeoning days of the early 2010s, the song was “The Damnation of John Faustus” from their self-titled album. I can’t say for certain, but it was probably on Foundry of Doom radio, since that’s what I spent most of my time listening to back then. And here, among epic tracks by the likes of Solstice, Atlantean Kodex, Solitude Aeturnus, etc., this song’s dark themes and powerful vocals really caught my ear.

This was still months, maybe even up to a year, before the genesis of my career as a writer, but I’ve always been inquisitive and wanted to research and learn more about everything I heard. In this instance, I was struck by how new the band was (their first demo dates back ten years, now, but at the time of this story the debut full-length was about a year or two old), but even more surprised to see that these guys were local (originating in Franklin, PA, just about an hour and a half north of Pittsburgh)!

I also discovered that the vocalist, Brian “Butch” Balich (formerly of Penance), is also a member of Molasses Barge, another local doom band that would greatly impress me when I saw them for the first time just months later. Eventually I’d manage to catch Argus live, as well, and they definitely managed to live up to the high expectations set by their incredible recorded output. I believe this was just before the 2013 release of their third album Beyond the Martyrs — one that immediately made its way onto my writing “to do list” but inexplicably has stayed there for these past years.

But now there’s a ferment of activity surrounding the band once more: they recently announced that their fourth album will be coming later this year — and I’ll be discussing both of those today, with an added bonus that was released a few months back by a side project involving Balich. And to top it all off, Argus will also be performing in Pittsburgh THIS FRIDAY (14 July) at an event that doubles as a preview of September’s Brewtal Beer Fest as well as featuring the world premiere of the new beer produced through a collaborative effort between the band and Big Rail Brewing! So after you’re done reading about the music, pop on down to the comments section for more information about that.

 

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Conan / Slomatics – Split (2016 Reissue)

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Conan / SlomaticsSplit (original release 2011 / to be reissued by Black Bow Records, September 2016)

 

Yesterday when we talked about Slomatics‘ first two albums, I mentioned that the band has signed with Black Bow Records, who has rereleased those two albums in advance of the band’s new record due later this year. But this partnership was not the first time they’ve dealt with that label OR its owner Jon Davis. Slomatics and Davis‘ band Conan — from Merseyside County, England, just across the Irish Sea from Belfast — had put together a split record back in 2011. After that limited-edition vinyl quickly sold out, Black Bow put out another pressing of the split in 2014, which also wasn’t around for very long.

And now, they’ve announced that there will be a new batch coming soon — only 200 copies will be made available this time, and each record will be pressed onto a full-color representation of that incredible cover art! An exact release date hasn’t been set yet, but pre-orders are on sale now, and they’re expected to begin shipping around early September.

 

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Corrections House – Last City Zero, Lumbar – The First and Last Days of Unwelcome (2013)

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Corrections HouseLast City Zero (Neurot Recordings, 29 October 2013)

 

lumbar_cover-e1380226295748

LumbarThe First and Last Days of Unwelcome (Southern Lord Records, 11 November 2013)

 

Salutations. It’s Monday, and I just don’t have the energy for any of the wisecracks or silliness these things often start with, so instead I’ll just jump right into introducing today’s topic of conversation. It’s been a long time coming, but finally I’m getting around to writing about these two albums which were each released in late 2013, and which each subsequently found their way into the top ten of my Top 13 of 2013 list. Yes, that particular list did contain a total of twenty-seven albums, technically speaking, but still that’s no excuse for a delay of more than two years before getting some of these reviews done — particularly considering the exceptionally high quality of the material found here.

The two albums in question were the first to be released by two different groups of musicians, all veterans of fairly well-known bands: first, Corrections House is a conglomoration of Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod), Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), and Sanford Parker (Minsk), with some of the lyrics contributed by the phantasmatic “minister of propaganda,” Seward Fairbury; and Lumbar is a project led by Aaron Edge (well-known as a graphic designer, who worked for Southern Lord Records for several years, but also a guitarist and drummer who has been part of literally dozens of groups, including Brothers of the Sonic Cloth), with the addition of Mike Scheidt (YOB) and Tad Doyle (Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, formerly Tad).

In each case, I think you’ll find — as they say — that the finished product shows each collective to be more than simply a sum of its parts. But even if that wasn’t the case, looking at the particular parts involved, those would still be pretty lofty sums, no?

 

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