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  The unseasonably humid air was thick with fog and mystique that wafted into the underground lair of Cattivo as two bands who have dueled before in Pittsburgh chose to engage each other once again, on a Monday night no less. Warbringer and Enforcer are each intensely devout regarding their respective metal denominations, the former worshipful of German thrash as the latter prays to the gods of the NWOBHM. Having seen them on two other...

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The air outside was arid and the overall climate broiling, making the gentrified neighborhood of Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville seem as if it were a battlefield in a hellscape of a forgotten world and therefore appropriate for the conclusion of a music festival that Robert E. Howard himself may have dreamt up had he lived in our era. White Alice broke the champagne bottle with a set of Sunn O)))-like sounds in the vein of yesterday’s opener...

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Molly Black (Clea Cutthroat) from local shock rockers Hot Pink Satan emceed what would be yet another decathlon for Steel Town hessians, her risqué, dominatrix image and hip-wiggle giving Descendants of Crom III a fun, classy, Midnight Special vibe. She was the hostess with the mostest for sure and led us to our collective doom. Chris Tritschler from local trad metal stars Lady Beast opened the first official day of Descendants of Crom with an...

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  A proper prelude to the third annual Descendants of Crom took place at Howlers yesterday evening, tingling spines with an eclectic mixture of bands doom and stoner and some that strayed far from that particular Venn diagram. Motometer, a quirky hometown power trio, broke the seal for the festival with a set of groovy, progressive 70’s fuzzrock that put Budgie, Primus, Led Zeppelin, and the guitar mathematics of Robert Fripp into a tornado. The act’s...

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To whet appetites for Descendants of Crom 3, which occurs this Saturday and Sunday at Cattivo in Lawrenceville, Howler’s Coyote Café in Bloomfield will host a pre-party featuring Icarus Witch, Fox 45, Enhailer, Motometer, Void King, and Submachine. Icarus Witch’s trad/power/prog will do battle with Enhailer’s doom/stoner/sludge, Submachine’s punk attack, Void King’s rock-n-roll Sabbath twist, Fox 45’s cosmic molasses, and Motometer’s nameless, genre-defying blues. While DOC may lean towards the slower end of the heavy...

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Desecendants of Crom III begins this Friday night with a pre-gala at Howler’s in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood and continues at Cattivo in Lawrenceville for the remainder of the weekend. One of the many bands that will grace the fest with its collective presence is New York’s Sun Voyager.   Self-reporting as “earthy heavygaze rockers,” Sun Voyager simply wail regardless of what they call themselves and do so with a bent towards the more unusual 70’s...

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Scott “Wino” Weinrich has found himself darkening the corridors of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area numerous times with his many bands, but it his particularly free-wheelin’, easy ridin’ biker doom vehicle The Obsessed that will roll into Cattivo next weekend. Yes, Pittsburgh’s Descendants of Crom III festival has seen a change in its lineup for its 2019 edition. ASG were to headline Day 1 (Saturday 9/21), but due to unforeseen circumstances, The Obsessed are taking their...

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Beginning the evening of Friday September 20th at Howler’s and running through until Saturday September 21st and Sunday September 22nd at Cattivo, Pittsburgh’s third annual Descendants of Crom festival brings doom and stoner metal to the forefront while touching on some other sub-genres and leaving no hessian dissatisfied. I chatted with the event’s organizer, Shy Kennedy, who also fronts the band Horehound and heads up Blackseed Records when she’s not promoting shows. Here’s what she...

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  Iron Maiden are my most treasured band bar none, so expect some bias in this review. But instead of being euphoric about seeing them this past Saturday night, I was a tightly-wound ball of nerves. Would I have a problem getting into the venue? Would their ticketless anti-scalper entry procedure thwart me? Would my old iPhone 5c betray me (it’s no longer compatible with the Ticketmaster mobile app)? Would I get a decent vantage...

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One could say that nascent  promoter Steel & Bone Productions has a Marshall Plan in store for the Pittsburgh underground metal scene. To kick off their crusade, we were given a seven-act Saturday night showcase at Cattivo featuring a number of bands that played last year’s Migration 2 Festival, allowing fans to sample what they may have missed out on or relive it if they attended it. Note: Migration returns in 2020. Abysme, a local act...

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In October of last year, golden-throated warrior angel Deb Levine appeared at Ventura, California’s fourth annual Frost and Fire Festival as a performer with her remarkable band Lady Beast. It gave her an idea for a throwback metal festival to be held in the Pittsburgh area, one where the sounds of early thrash, power, speed, and New Wave of British Heavy Metal would be celebrated and elevated a la Germany’s Keep It True or Chicago’s...

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Robert Collins is equal parts Angry Anderson, Bon Scott, and Howard Stern, and the ex-Dirty Charms crooner has a new joint you need to be schooled on. They’re called Royal Honey, and if you like your rock hard, a little red, sleazy, greasy, and vintage, I regret to inform you that you missed a right corker of a homegrown jam if you didn’t catch their record release shindig at Howler’s this past Saturday night. The...

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  The morbid Yakuza known as Church of Misery have been at large for around 24 years, with only bassist Tatsu Mikami remaining since the day they were born in blood and decided to dedicate their careers to musically documenting the lives and crimes of the very real ghouls that have walked among us. These samurai of doom were to play Pittsburgh once before in 2013 only to be halted by visa restrictions, making this...

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Royal Honey have been slinging, raw, dirty, fun, retro hard rock for almost a year now, and their debut EP, Hype, Money, and Misbehavior is set to drop tomorrow night at a record release show at Howler’s Coyote Café upon the stroke of ten. While they may be a new group, what this quintet has recorded thus far makes them sound as if they are a decades-old veteran act. Opener “Dirty Romance” gets the party...

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  When the spidery riffage and bombast of Coheed and Cambria’s “The Dark Sentencer” clashed with the spiraling mist and blustery wind of an unseasonably gloomy and crisp June evening, I was reminded of how formidable this prog-metal band is and how ferocious and proud they are as a live act as they eschewed their lighter, more syrupy material almost completely. Even poppier fare such as “A Favor House Atlantic” possessed tremendous bite as leader...

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Slough Feg have no parallel in modern metal. They take the obscure gems of the NWOBHM and use them to build new suits of armor while lead by a philosopher/axe warrior/brainac cult leader. I was both mesmerized and astonished by Slough Feg at 2014’s edition of the Alehorn of Power festival in Chicago. Meeting frontman/guitarist Mike Scalzi was like having a brush with a hero of myth. Trying to photograph him was like trying to...

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For forty years on, since the halcyon New Wave Of British Heavy Metal era, a movement that spawned only a handful of superstars, there has been a English-borne act plying their trade sporadically through touring or recording like errant paladins searching for honor more than fortune. They never reached the heights of Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon, or even Diamond Head, and their line-ups have been too numerous to keep track of, bassist Lee Payne...

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One must bathe in blood every so often to find purity of purpose. Such was this encounter… Hulking vocalist/guitarist/leader Ethan Lee McCarthy sees demons. As the leader of Relapse alumni Denver sludge/doom act Primitive Man, he has seen visions of hell and is only…an early man, a Neanderthal blessed with high intelligence and immortality from a meteorite. Those horrors danced before his eyes at Brillobox, a Lawrenceville bar/club/hipster haven that was once a darkened neighborhood...