Scene Report: 12 Killer Bands from Pittsburgh
The following is a guest post by Edward Banchs
Pittsburgh is a city misunderstood by those outside of the three rivers. Yes, it is true we are not a love-at-first-sight city, but we sure pack a little working-class punch. We love to revel in our oddities as much as we dwell on them, and continue to remain incredibly difficult on ourselves and our identity as Pittsburghers. But we are now on the upswing. So what if we still like fries and coleslaw ON the sandwich — we are now seen as one of the best food cities in America. We have not only been named the most livable city in America on more than one occasion, but now also boast the “coolest” neighborhood in the country! Pittsburgh is not the city you think it is.
Lucky for us headbangers we live in an amazing city for metal! We have never had a better scene than we do at the moment. At times we were tethered by a hardcore scene led by DaCore Records’ roster in the late ’90s, and a wonderful extreme metal culture that allowed bands like Commit Suicide and Circle Of Dead Children to flourish in the early ’00s. Today, there are so many wonderful bands flying the metal flag high in this misunderstood city. Here is a look at just a few of our bands turning heads in the Steel City at the moment:
(Roadrunner) Code Orange IS Pittsburgh. They have never hidden where they come from and damned if they know a thing or two about working hard for what you earn. No other band in this city epitomizes a Pittsburgh sound better: abrasive, gritty, unhealthy, and just so raw. A fixture of the local hardcore scene for almost ten years now, it is stunning to see the world learning about them by way of their critically acclaimed Forever. Hell, they even have a well-deserved Grammy nomination to their name. Code Orange is going to keep pushing walls down and continue to show the world what OUR band sounds like!
(Cruz Del Sol) Power metal done right! Lady Beast is a ripping band producing righteous tunes and some air guitar worthy licks that will keep you shredding for days. With their recently released album, Vicious Breed, a super cool cameo on CNN’s Parts Unknown this past October, and a recent feature in Decibel magazine, the metal world is taking a healthy notice to this group of battle-vest-clad headbangers. Given their trajectory, there may be two Grammy nominated metal acts from this city in due time.
(Cruz Del Sol) Lady Beast’s fellow Cruz Del Sol mates, Argus, bring a wonderful dose of power-sludge to the Terrible Towel waving masses. Powerful, memorable and loud, Argus is a wonderful fixture in this city. Check out their recently released From Fields of Fire.
(Closed Casket) Eternal Sleep’s brand of disgusting rock and roll is aggressive, unapologetic, and grittier than the others in their world. Forget the hardcore label. This is the kind of rock and roll that kick-starts engines on a cold Pittsburgh winter day and keeps your blood flowing! The latest from these road warriors, The Emptiness Of, is available now via Closed Casket.
(Unsigned) Horehound is a fantastic band on the way up, and 2018 should be the year that doom metal fans outside of Pittsburgh start buzzing this band up. Vocalist Shy Kennedy has her hands full running a label (Blackseed) as well as organizing the wonderful Descendents of Crom festival, yet that doesn’t keep her from honing her chops as Horehound’s powerful voice. For those of you with doom-soaked souls, do check this band out.
(Unsigned) A dynamic and superb instrumental trio, this band has long paid their dues in this scene. And it reflects quite well, as Solarburn have become a local live staple that fits any bill. Hard to categorize, but it is heavy and excellent. Need anything more?
(Unsigned) A melo-death quintet that is slowly becoming one of the more talked about bands in Pittsburgh for the all the right reasons. If you like blackened-thrash, twin guitar attacks, and some wicked double bass patterns, what are you waiting for? Push play!
(Season of Mist) 2017 saw Complete Failure release a new album, Crossburner, on which they grew their grind-crusted influenced extreme metal quite well. Check it out for your self:
(M-Theory Audio) Born from the ashes of Chicago’s Trouble, vocalist Eric Wagner relocated to the Steel City bringing together a fantastic band. The result is a cool mix of stoned-up doom with Wagner’s signature voice leading the charge.
Mires describe themselves as “depressive-stoner doom.” Cool!
(A-F Records) On the punk side of the heavy spectrum, edhochuli took their name from the football referee with the “guns” but it sounds like these guys have been doing the heavy lifting! Metal heads can dig their recent album Dream Warriors, a record that touches so much, yet has a defined, aggressive identity.
(Machine-Age) Taking it on to the rock and roll side of the metal umbrella, Outsideinside take their name from a Blue Cheer album and are not afraid to let those early rock/metal influences fly high. These are swinging, rocking, and wonderfully crafted songs that can move any room without a care in the world.
We are looking for suggestions for the next Scene Report. Does your region have a great scene that people should know about? Email us at hatemail [at] metalinjection [dot] net with your pitch.
View previous Scene Reports here.