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The Bl@ck List: A Growing List of Black Musicians, Artists, Writers, And Then Some written by Alicia Lynn This is an interesting time to be alive, isn’t it? I think we can all agree on that much. Keen as I am to get on with discussing the inspiring artists I’m about to present to you (and I will), I can’t figure a way around establishing that specific truth between us first. Common ground, you know?...

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Filter is no stranger to politically charged music, for example their most famous song “Hey Man, Nice Shot”. The band was formed as an industrial metal band in 1993 by Richard Patrick, who is the brother of the actor Robert Patrick, and they released 7 albums the last one being in 2016. Their music was developed to make a statement, and they gained quite a popular following, with the debut album Short Bus being the...

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Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish are known for their grandiose albums, and their newest album Human:||:Nature, which released on April 10th, is definitely the very definition of that. This is technically a double album, except with a unique twist. The second disc contains one whole song that is broken up into 8 parts. Their closing tracks are usually the longest, and Nightwish really put their all into their longest song yet. Human:||Nature is a concept...

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The Birthday Massacre, hailing from Canada, released their 8th album Diamonds, and what an album it is. It is very fitting, especially during this time where things seem uncertain and everything looks dark. The album‘s theme is about being guided from the dark back into the light, providing a beacon of hope, which is very much needed especially now. The music is just as magical and soaring as ever with the beautiful and ethereal vocals...

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“What you do is what the whole universe is doing at the place you call Here and Now.” That’s how the intro to Joviac’s second studio album Here and Now starts off. It’s clear from the beginning intro of the album that this is going to be a deep journey into philosophical and conceptual viewpoints and hard-hitting music. Joviac is a progressive metal band from Finland who are working to progress metal as it is and...

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Monolith (ZA) The Lord Conspirator MMD Records South Africa’s Monolith (ZA) puts a moody mark on death metal with its new eight-song release, The Lord Conspirator, being released by MMD Records’ subsidiary, MMD Black on April 28th 2020. A follow-up to the band’s two previous EPs, Memory Palace and Legacy of the Opium Eater, The Lord Conspirator shows a band very comfortable in its own skin, seamlessly blending blast beats with somber passages and tightly...

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The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus hit the scene hard in the year 2006 with the release of their debut album, Don’t You Fake It. I remember blasting that album in my bedroom at my parents’ house on repeat. A few years later, I saw them live with a band called Tickle Me Pink as their opener. I remember every minute of that night as clear as day. Even though that album, with big hits like “Face...

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    A new contender in the black metal community has emerged from the depths of hell named Horse Drawn. When this was given to me, I was quite excited as I was on night shift. Listening and taking notes on this demo sampler was gonna carry me the rest of the night and boy was I in for a treat.        Horse Drawn have recently dropped their sampler Nonbeliever in preparation for their upcoming album. The band...

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Gator Shakes is a band you’ve probably seen on a flier or two if you’re a follower of the Pittsburgh metal scene. After a memorable performance at Deutschtown Music Festival and a conveniently-timed epidemic of alligators running wild in the city streets, Gator Shakes has been shrouded in a fog of intrigue and mystery. To cap off an active summer, they unveiled a 7-track album on August 24th with a release party at Cattivo. There...

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It is no surprise that I have been seeing the band Ignition Point pop up more and more lately. With an energetic live show and a knack for metalcore tendencies, the band are sure to be a hit with the Pittsburgh metal scene as they grow. I’ve always considered these guys a sort of hidden gem, as they have some time under their belts. With an album like “Natural Causes”, it evades me why they...

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As Descendants of Crom approaches not far off in the distance I can hear a rumble and see a fog descending. It’s a rumble that shakes the earth beneath my feet and has an unsettling vibe about it. It’s a dark fog that smells of whiskey and cheap cigarettes; thick and dense with a whole lot of attitude….and my friends I’m here to say that disturbance of the senses is Baltimore stoner rock outfit Foghound...

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Music truly is an amazing thing. You can express the same emotion within the construct of various sounds and moods. You can take an expression and blow it out of the water to blistering heights and volumes or pull it back to a quiet whisper to the get the same point across. Singapore screamo/emoviolence act Bethari opt the extreme measure on their newest split, proving very quickly this isn’t your standard Hot Topic/mallcore screamo affair….....

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In two weeks time, 9 Stitch Method will release their second full-length album, “Jaywalking Somnambulist“. It’s been a good year for the band, from joining the Brutal Business Entertainment roster, to opening shows for national headliners such as Trapt (along with a plethora of other shows both in and outside of Pittsburgh). The bottom line is, they’ve shown a lot of growth this year, and what better way to top it all off than with...

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New doom/stoner punks Coma are an emerging entity in the Pittsburgh Doom Metal scene. Having released their debut Ep “Saturnalian” back in the yesteryear known as 2018, the band have been busy writing a new album and crushing stages across the tri-state area. With a punishing Ep like “Saturnalian“, its plain as day why Coma will be at this year’s Descendants of Crom Festival…… “Saturnalian” struts a little faster than the modern doom affair, hanging tight...

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Pittsburgh “Brown Note” architects, Aspirant, have been taking over the Pittsburgh hardcore scene as of late. You would be hard pressed to find a recent show flier that doesn’t have their logo plastered on it; with the release of their debut Ep “Defeatist”, I don’t see this trio of panic chord enthusiasts slowing down anytime soon. “Defeatist” plays out almost as a time capsule over the last two decades, taking me back to the days...

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Often times when the metal genre is mentioned, the state of Ohio comes to mind. Having a rich metal scene featuring bands like Mushroomhead, Affiance, and A Killer’s Confession to name a few; I have a funny suspicion it won’t be long before Cleveland’s Pillars will be amongst those ranks. The band just released their split Ep with “Wallcreeper” and are quickly proving they are a force to be reckoned with. The sound Pillars belts...

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania art rock quintet Working Breed are about to unleash their debut album “Hieroglyphica”. With their diverse and eclectic sound, the band plans to hit the stage hard and heavy Saturday, August 24th in support of their blood, sweat, and tears. Let’s make this clear, upon a passing glance “Hieroglyphica” sounds and gleams like a top 40 alternative album, but below the surface lies many complex layers that shift and sway seamlessly. Imagine this:...

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Ever have an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? Ever wonder what it would be like if they actually worked together instead of whispering conflicting narratives in your ear? My friends I’m here to tell you that unison would sound like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based trio Dematus‘ Ep “Ghost Carnivale”. Dematus has slowly been building a buzz for some time now and with an Ep like “Ghost Carnivale” it’s easy to see...