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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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So, if your buddy said to you, “We’re gonna hold an event where we post a public set list of songs and open it up to all musicians and let them randomly jump on stage and take the place of a member of the band.” You’d probably say he’s totally nuts and wish him luck on that madness!  Well I said that to my guys and they said “Well alrighty then, let’s go!!!!”  So that’s...

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Friday night was a trio of great acts at Stage AE in Pittsburgh as California band The Neighbourhood came to town. Opening up the night was the band Claud out of the Chicago area. They are led by lead singer Claud Mintz. They entertained the crowd with a pop sound with heart felt lyrics. They have only been around for a little over a year but are skyrocketing in popularity. Doing a awesome job of...

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The Halloween season is one of many traditions; candy, costumes, goth kids drinking cheap beer while trying to summon Satan in a graveyard and of course NeverWake’s SleepWalker Ball. The third annual rendition of the latter was held this Saturday at the Hard Rock Café in Station Square. The Ball featured live music, a costume contest and the raffling of a guitar autographed by the bands that was generously donated by Schecter Guitar Research. As...

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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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Saturday night was a double kick-off night. First of all, it was the first show in the newly-minted Templars venue, just off of exit 13 on 28 N. More importantly, it was the official release party of 9 Stitch Method’s Jaywalking Somnambulist album. This was probably one of the most fun shows I’ve gotten to see this year.  All of the bands were on point and sounded great and everyone was there to have a...

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Thrival is Innovation, technology, music and more – and it happens each year in Pittsburgh! The seventh annual Thrival Music Festival happened last week, turning Schenley Plaza into a true festival with artists, vendors, installations and fitness classes. Thrival Festival is presented by PNC and supported by UPMC Enterprises, Comcast, Sheetz, Dell, the Pittsburgh Innovation District, and many others… including a recent partnership with Uber and their recent development of self driving vehicles. First Angel...

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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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  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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Summertime is always the best for concerts. Why? Because it invites opportunities to catch memorable shows such as the one I attended Sunday night. On tour right now are three of the Alternative Rock’s most talented artists… Bad Wolves, Asking Alexandria and Papa Roach. Currently the trio is on this summer’s “Who Do You Trust?” tour and I’d like to say if you have never any one or all of these bands then go and...

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On a night when many in Pittsburgh were attending Breaking Benjamin, I was at a small venue, Get Hip, for a DIY show with three bands, one stage, no genres. Sometimes you have to go back to the roots of where you felt the pull of music to have the best experiences. National shows are like the Wizard of Oz in his chamber with lights and smoke – but if you pull back the curtain...

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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 campaign, 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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The Keynote Cafe in Jeannette, PA started twelve years ago because the owner Jill Sorrels wanted to hear more music. The last Saturday in June was the venue’s final show. Jill had decided it was time to retire. The show started at noon and there was act after act continuously until after midnight.  Even though the venue is in a small town in southwestern PA, the amount of talent that played the last day was...

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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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Did you know that one person dies from suicide every 40 seconds? There is probably a good chance that someone you know has been impacted by this tragedy. It’s predicted that by the end of 2020, this number will increase to a person every 20 seconds. This concert at the Spirit in Pittsburgh was to raise awareness about this rising epidemic. These five talented groups of artists entertained the crowd with their diverse styles of...