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Yes, he’s at it again. Those who savored Dave Wheeler’s delectable licks in his former band, Carousel, a Pittsburgh act that remain one my personal local favorites ever, have an obvious reason to get excited over his new project, Limousine Beach. Think of the inaugural EP (part of a series of “concept” pieces) as the first course in a 70’s Metal tasting menu that will leave your belly gnawing for more. I recently spoke with...

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At the end of Martin Popoff’s excellent, poignant 2006 book about Dio titled Light Beyond The Black, a work I highly recommend to any heavy metal fan, Popoff states… “One day, Ronnie won’t be there championing the common cause — a cause dear to his heart because it’s dear to yours. Experience it and enjoy it while you can.” That was the first thing that came to mind when I read the news that Ronnie...

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For going on 11 years now, Horseburner have been on the run, making music and playing gigs as if there were prices on their heads. In August, Horseburner set off a bushel of fireworks in “The Thief”, a tricky stoner metal ode to the giants of the 70’s that was a watershed moment for the genre in 2019 and is worthy of some of your iPod space and headphone time. A short, titular instrumental sets...

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Columbus, Ohio’s Weed Demon have been lurking in the shadows for about 5 years, creating and relasing a handful of recordings since their formation, including an EP and two full-length albums. The latest, Crater Maker, is an underground mine explosion that measures 6 tracks wide, 45 minutes long, and 5 kilotons in strength. This infernal pit of sludge and doom begins with a short, innocuous instrumental composition only to detonate with another, much longer and...

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From the icy, bitter, perpetual night of space arrived Automb. Allow your imagination to blind you to the fact that they were formed by a European immigrant and a Connecticut transplant. Do not be deceived by their relative youth. Automb are vessels for gods long lost and older than the eldest sun. Chaosophy, the now three-piece act’s second album, is a cry from a void, a primordial frequency that only occultists can decipher, hurled from...

Rainscape call their style of music “Doomericana,” which implies a sort of “Bluegrass Sabbath” sound. With just a 3-track 2018 EP out prior to the release of their latest single, Rainscape are obviously just getting their tires wet. What I’m hearing with “Low Tide” is a sort of psychedelic. desert grunge. Imagine Mother Love Bone partying with King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Kyuss with whiskey in their gullets. If dreamy, hair-band melodies, jangly guitars,...

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Lady Beast are a band I’ve had the pleasure of watching/listening effloresce over the past 6 years after first catching them at a festival.  Their debut, self-titled record caused me to grin in approval at its derivative worship of British metal traditions, conventions, and convictions and little more. However, their exponentially explosive live performances kept my ears fixed on them, and I was rewarded with a succession of stellar releases that improved upon each other....

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Pittsburgh has apparently become another home to Martin’s Ferry, Ohio’s deft doom-rocking power trio Brimstone Coven. This past Saturday night was yet another successful stand for these groovy, Mephistophelean mischief makers of melody. Humorous stage banter between polymath bassist Andrew D’Cagna and guitar hitman Corey Roth, their music gluing Black to Blue playfully, like delinquents papering suburban homes. Songs such as “Earth and Ocean,” new, unrecorded song “The Inferno,” back catalogue classics “The Grave” and...

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Richmond, Virginia has proven to be metal hotbed over the past twenty years, and Book Of Wyrms have quickly grown into worthy alumni, their mesmerizingly melancholy psychedelic doom pulling in fans from all the splintered subgenres.  Remythologizer, the band’s second record, continues their exemplary and phantasmagorical mission to explore the multiverse in all its facets. Opening track “Autumnal Snow” is a breathtaking chimera of latter-day Candlemass and Oceans of Slumber, the ghostly vocals of one...

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On this bitter and chilly lover’s holiday evening, fans turned out respectably for an eclectic night of heavy music in what is a promising old-yet-new McKees Rocks concert hall, the current owners of The Roxian Theater apparently sparing no dollars in making it a truly special place for the live experience to happen once again. Tough-guy New Yorkers Eve To Adam got things started with a bruising session of groovy, Godsmacked hard rock, the streetwise...

You may notice that my annual concert tally is down a bit from last year, but that’s what happens when life gets in the way. This is by no means a ranking. Rather, it is just log of shows I went to in 2019. Although, admittedly, the Iron Maiden gig would top my all-time list. And yes, the personal bias is strong on that one. How many did yinz make it to? List them in...

I normally don’t rank or put too much stock in EP’s, but I heard enough memorable and hopeful ones this year that I felt they all deserved to be honored in their own list for 2019. History has shown that EP’s can jumpstart band’s careers, and I think that may happen in at least some of these cases. Let’s begin! Royal Honey-Hype Money, and Misbehavior  Riparian-s/t Cianide-Unhumanized Dusk-The Toll  Beastmaker-Eye of the Storm   Feverhawk-Nocturnal Urge...

I’ve dreaded having to compile this list for a few years now as I almost found it too daunting and risky. What would I be leaving out? Which albums would prove to be controversial inclusions? What haven’t I heard? However, in curating this roll call of greatness, I was reminded of the stylistic diversity and strength heavy metal possesses and how it seems to constantly branch out into endless tributaries. We bore aural witness to...

Welcome to yet another year-end metal albums list, and what a 12 months it has been! Older bands and newcomers from myriad subgenres fought alongside and against each other for honor and the common hessian cause. Veteran acts said farewell and young lions bathed in baptismal, Promethean fires. Yes, I listed 80 albums this year, making for an unprecedented roll call! Paring it down proved to be far too difficult. The numerical rankings are fairly...

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When the underground was young, black and death metal were synonymous with each other. Those days are no more. However, these genres have crossed streams quite often since then and remain kindred to this day. Tonight’s gory revue was an opportunity to examine and celebrate that. In one corner, hailing from Austria, we had the occult death/black metalists known as Belphegor snorting brimstone and kicking with cloven hooves. In the other, hailing from Long Island,...

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A casual Hard Rock Café-style venue in the unassuming Pittsburgh suburb of Baldwin was where crypts opened, sandstorms raged, curses were realized, and long-dead pharaohs were resurrected last week. Nile, led by founder and metal archaeologist Karl Sanders, were in town to support the release of their latest opus Vile Nilotic Rites and represented it duly as “Long Shadows of Dread,” “Snake Pit Mating Frenzy,” and the title track proved to be highlights of the...

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  Epic, Pittsburgh traditional metal power trio Legendry recently let slip their third full-length concept album within a four-year span, The Wizard and the Tower Keep telling a harrowing, musical fantasy tale of virtue challenging evil in a far-off land that time has forgotten. The album begins with an earnest medieval folk tune and never looks back, its Manilla Road aspirations effectively filling a void left by the death of that band’s key member Mark...

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  Throwback metal dominators Savage Master have been campaigning ruthlessly within the underground metal scene for the past 6 years, their Bitch/Exciter alchemy entertaining audiences at large festivals and intimate club gigs alike with a NWOBHM verve to compliment their leathery, spiked, shock-rock showmanship. A mere stroke of luck is not the reason for Savage Master’s growth in stature as a sought-after support act for bands such as High Spirits and even GWAR! Rather, Savage...