Death Metal

Cognitive/Monotheist/The Machinist/Alukah/Sastruga 2-9-18 Casa Di Fransesca’s

So we helped keep this show in Buffalo, and we got assigned jobs.  Vick was running doors and collecting teh monies, and for some reason they trusted Dave to do sound.  It went okay, unusually enough! Dave took some crappy pictures but was right on stage side, so we just won’t put them up on here out of respect for these solid bands.  And some of the mosh pits kinda made it tough……so yeah no fuzzy pics.


For some reason, Vick and myself asked like 10 (close to!) bands and NOBODY could hop on as local support.  We were legit fishing for a couple weeks….so fucked Vick even memed us on our journey looking for a local band.  After we cast a line to at least 8 closing on 10 bands, we FINALLY got a bite…..from Rochester tech freaks SASTRUGA.  We both love the band, and they chomped at the bait.  I first saw them open up for Seplophile and was beyond blown away.  Buffalo couldn’t pull off a band as technical, heavy, and entertaining as Sastruga.  Vick is a Sastruga veteran and has been harping about them for so long I’ve finally seen the light this time was the convincing show. The fret work is absolutely blistering, technical and also well written…..not Brain Dill wild, but enough that you won’t be lulled to sleep or feel like they’re repeating the same licks.  Sastruga not only is a technical powerhouse, they put on a hell of a show to backup their enormous talent.  Alex’s drumming is an absolute treat to see live, and their bassist Dan has some tasty licks when the guitarists aren’t going batshit crazy.   Guitarist and Vocalist Dan (YES THERE’S TWO DANS!) voice is as stellar as his fretwork, having them consistent gutturals almost like Steffen of Obscura who is kinda like these Rachacha tech powerhouses…..wait did I just type that? According to my colleague Vick, the guys are working on an actual full length which will be wild. The guys made Western New York proud that evening…..and even Cognitve embraced them at the end of the night, who headlined the show.  If that’s not respect, I don’t know what is. The demo doesn’t do them any justice but at least you have some tunes to backup these wild words until that full length is done.


Vick being Vick HAD TO CHOOSE the photo I put online of wearing the poop emoji hat I won at a local fairground a few summers ago.  She’s good at these memes.


This band was a last minute add-on, literally a few days before the show.  They were supposed to play somewhere in Rochester and the show fell through is what I remember hearing? Either way, they put on a powerful performance and didn’t slack one bit.  This death metal crew from Baltimore brought the extended range pain, and really proved their worth in my opinion. The brutal 5 piece kept the train a rollin’ that Sastruga started earlier in the evening. I talked with their drummer Dan before they played (ANOTHER DAN HOW ODD!) and was as nice as could be.  The rest of the band was thankful for the show, and even got some props for running the sound board. You can check out their EP and one of their newest tracks below!




Enter New York City’s THE MACHINIST……..yeah, wow.  This progressive metal band really, really grooves. And, they really tore the roof off. The energy this band was just absolutely influential and radiating.  I did my homework and checked out one of their albums a few weeks before the show, and dug their interesting sound.  I wasn’t totally familiar with them and they totally surpassed any expectations I had.  Very, very solid live band to say the least.  The energy started from their vocalist Amanda and was a constant force to the rest of the band their whole set, and to the crowd as well. I didn’t even know their vocalist was female, until I listened to the album and checked out the band! Without even looking up any info, you’d think it was a guy with how heavy her voice is……and yeah I’ll say it’s even BETTER live. Way to go against the stereotype.  Her stage presence was probably the best of anyone that evening. If you want to try a new band and has the talent to back up the show (rhythmically speaking, as well!) give The Machinist a try if they every play near your neck of the woods.   TOTALLY WORTH your time, trust me.  Check out their music below and TRY not to break your neck, I dare you.




Next up is one of the biggest reasons I wanted us to help keep this show in our area.  If you remember I loved the band’s latest release “Scourge” from last year.  The Florida progressive death metal band by far had the most unique sound on this absolutely bonkers tour package.  Their heavy track layering, emotion, melodic guitar solos and interesting rhythms are just the beginning of the sound of this underrated band.   I wasn’t disappointed with the set by any means, being slightly new to the group for almost 2 years it just brought everything together.  I was so happy they made the trek to hit up my small town, coming from so far away.  They blend the perfect mix of technicality, melody and emotion to their songwriting.  Monotheist won’t go Necrophagist crazy on you, but there’s plenty of stellar riffs and beautiful guitar solos they’ll throw in your face.  And some pretty heavy vocals, as well.  The sound is absolutely comprehensive considering they’re a newer band (“Scourge” is only their 3rd album). You need more of a reason to check ’em out? There’s also some saxophone, flute and conga drums on the latest album as well!  I HIGHLY SUGGEST THIS BAND! If you desire an original progressive death metal band pushing the boundaries of the genre, Montheist will be a stellar choice for you.  You can check out their latest album below!


Enter the tour headliners, my Jersey boys COGNITIVE.  These guys have always been brutal and heavy as fuck, and did they ever prove it.  Their latest release from last year “Matricide” was absolutely head turning, if you never heard of the band.  I never, ever questioned the bands sound….but what really pleased me was they got a GREAT production, with more guitar leads and even better grooves than their earlier work! The mix turned out beautiful, and is a listenable record production wise.  Don’t need to question the band’s talents, the guitar work is absolutely flawless and a huge standout. An okay production can deter you from listening to a band and honestly may have been guilty of it with Cognitive, but man I’ve had “Matricide” on repeat for MONTHS now. The band overall has matured and on that album had better song structures. There are even greater vocals with an equally diverse range as well.   Their performance that evening was absolutely mind-blowing and tight as could be.  Ansh (Wormhole’s vocalist) filled in for their other guitarist on this tour, and seeing his talents well just put me through the roof.  I already know how stellar of a vocalist he is, but man he didn’t hold back playing guitar. Seeing him and Rob Wharton rip it up on guitar was one hell of a treat, I have to be honest.  You can check out their super impressive and most polished album “Matricide” right below.  DON’T FORGET TO SUPPORT THESE BANDS FOOLS!

Every band was a serious treat, and a diverse bill with something for many metalheads who are sub genre nerds (some tech, prog, death metal for everyone!).  For the price of admission, the audience got one heck of a show many people missed out on.  Every band was extremely nice and helpful, as well.   As much as I liked these bands, interacting with them and seeing their human side increased my respect for these artists.  Everyone was down to earth, and a great time was had by all.  Y’all done fucked up A-aron, if you didn’t show up!


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