Short Attention Span Theatre

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The weird Progressive/Funk/Metal/Experimental band Short Attention Span Theatre bring a much needed and fresh sound to our local Western New York music scene.  Music is watered down these days, and it’s cool to see weirder and more artistic bands slowly come out of the woodworks.  These cats draw heavy influence from classic and modern progressive bands.  They’re very quirky like Protest The Hero and Dillinger Escape Plan….are they THAT good? That’s up for the listeners to decide, but I think they’re pretty good no matter what.

If you don’t know the band’s rhythm section (Gus on bass and Kenny of Avulsion on drums) make up a great instrumental band I absolutely love from our beloved Buffalo area Ish Kabibble.  I’m a sucker for these bands, if you know me well enough….SAST is not a one trick pony and bring lots of versatility and talent to the drawing board.

SHORT ATTENTION SPAN THEATRE

Ryan Mis- Vocals
Gordon Carlson- Guitar
Augustin Brand- Bass
Kenny Brand- Drums

 

Ryan’s voice is so pure, and can also fake you out with such a low guttural you wouldn’t think someone could get down that low for a guy that has a higher range.  Its wildly impressive, to be honest.  Gordon’s guitar work is all over the place, but is pretty sweet for the Primus fan in me. I think he has a lot of those weird ‘Ler guitar movements on his leads if you know what I mean.  I don’t need to say anymore on the greatness of the Brand father and son combo, they’re aliens from another multiverse. It’s well documented in their band, and now in here with Short Attention Span Theatre.  If you remember Avulsion from back in the day, Daddy Brand used to do some serious blasting for the Buffalo Death Metal heroes. You can check out the band’s wild musical adventures on their band camp and see when they will play out next by stalking their Facebook page.

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Interview: Cory Coleman, Chernobyl Agency 2019

Just when he thought he’d be done with promoting, Cory Coleman (Chernobyl Agency, ex-FTMP) got sucked back in. And naturally, I was curious about some things, and he was sweet to let me share them with you. Have a look!

Vick Sacha: How long have you been promoting? What made you want to start booking shows?
Cory Coleman: The start was in summer of 2013, but I didn’t really grasp what I was
doing until December of that year. The first few shows I did were
absolutely terrible, admittedly; disorganized, maybe a dozen people
there, etc. As a lot of people my age, we’ve all been involved in this
scene/community in some way for a while. I remember I was 18, street
teaming and what not, then I went to performing, then I felt like I
could make some good shows happen. I got asked to help with some shows
over that summer, as I stated, but I made a giant 3-stage/32 band
festival in December that started off my Live Alive series. Of all of
them, I think you’ve been at one; I had Rings Of Saturn for one of
them in 2014.

VS: And alas, I ceased giving shits about them that night. Anyway, Who’s been your favourite band to bring into town?
CC: Its a few; Lakota De Kai, Kaonashi, Second Death, Motives. I don’t
really book bands that I’m not a fan of, or that I’m not close with,
so its really hard to narrow it down to favourites.

VS: Who are your favourite locals to work with?
CC: Favourite locals? Inertia is at the top of the list, even though I
probably annoy their drummer hard by always mentioning that they
should do a Calamity From The Skies reunion. Grizzly Run is filled
with people I’ve known for half of my life, and they are doing a great
job of blending their old school influences into a sound that isn’t
catering to popular metalcore, but isn’t exactly a throwback either.

VS: Who’s been awful to work with?
CC: Awful to work with; one was a pop-punk touring band that was just
basically pissed the whole time because they knew I had tried to drop
their tour, since the headliner (who was the only reason I took the
tour) dropped. They actually told me (not realizing I was the
promoter,) that they just wanted to “play their set and get out of
there,” The other was this rather….interesting kid, who booked his
“band” on a show of mine. For weeks, he told me he never received
tickets, so I told him to just bring whoever he could. Show time
happens, and not only is his “band” not there, but tickets are being
handed in that, because of the tracking on my ticketing site, were
his. Turns out, his “band” didn’t exist. Good news; he realistically
only scammed me out of like $16, so in the grand scheme, not that
crazy of a screwjob or anything. There was also a band from Watertown
I think, that hopped on a show that just had like a $6 ticket attached
to it, sold nothing, but told the venue that they were “promised” $60,
so the venue paid them and then made us pay them back. I have a good
solid 3-5 bands on my “blacklist” locally. And probably a dozen or so
on the larger scales.

VS: What’s your favourite currently open venue?
CC: My heart tells me I’m supposed to say Casa Di Francesca’s because
that’s where we do things, but honestly, I’m giving it to the Rec Room.
Chris Ring/After Dark did a fantastic job of creating a comfortable
venue that fits quite a crowd, but also gives people room to escape
with the upstairs areas. We actually had an event there in the first
few weeks, when we hosted Storming The Heavens. Might not be the last
one we do there either….so stay tuned.

VS: How about one that’s closed?
CC: Closed venue; SO MANY. I’ll say The Icon, loved the area there, I
wanted to look into reopening that myself, but it doesn’t appear to be
for sale. A runner-up mention is warranted for Palmeri’s in Niagara
Falls, and Evolution in Depew. I got to see ETID/Poison The
Well/others at Evolution, and up until last year, that was my favorite
ETID holiday show.

VS: If you could bring anyone to town that you haven’t already, who?
CC: Honestly, its dream-booking for me; I’d want to bring Poison The Well
or Drowningman back. I’ve got a lot of bands on my radar that I want
to bring here; The Drowned God, Lionheart, if the Jonbenet would stop
fucking teasing and give us a reunion, I’ll book that in a second.

VS: I don’t think that many people actually know you founded/ helped found
FTMP. Have you really been in the shadows more compared to your fellow
FTMP cohorts?
CC: I will correct that assumption; FTMP was created probably a full year
and a half before I joined on. As far as the shadows are concerned, it
wasn’t intentional, but it wasn’t displeasing to be considered in the
shadows compared to them. I was, and still am, very picky when it
comes to who/what I will book. So when I’m booking 1 show a month,
compared to the 12-15 my cohorts were doing, the shadows is where I
would be. Most knew I was part of the organization, they just rarely
saw me. One of the main differences I noticed between myself and the
remainder was that I would schedule shows around my job, where they
would schedule their job accordingly to ensure they could do all those
shows. Kudos to them for the time-management, but I just didn’t feel
the  need to book more than a couple times a month, so it was what it
was.

VS: You obviously had a falling out with Greg, can you briefly (and
vaguely, if you see fit) go through the sequence of events that led to
your decision to quitting?

CC: I have avoided this question for almost a full year. Not for lack of
things to say, not for any reason other than I didn’t think it would
benefit anyone.
To describe everything and do it justice, i’d have to write you a
thesis paper. To summarize, a lot of business decisions were made that
I didn’t agree with over a couple years before the falling out in
question. I’ve called it a “divorce,” and I remember being told that
the other side had proclaimed that “I didn’t share their vision”, and
that is probably the best way either of us would be able to put it. So
as much as mud-slinging could happen, I’d honestly rather leave it in
2018.

VS: If events panned out differently, would you still have stepped out of
the promoting game, even for a brief hiatus?
CC: What happened was less than desirable. In early December, I was
silently suffering from post-concussion syndrome, I was having trouble
sleeping to the point of hallucinating. It was physically making me
unable to function other than going to work, and even then I was
basically on autopilot. I couldn’t quit my job, so booking had to be
the one thing to go. So I made my sad announcement, and it was going
to be done. I had 5 shows left. The first one got cancelled due to
illness in the band, the second was due to all but one band dropping,
and the third was rerouted and I couldn’t secure the new date due to a
show that I found out did about 6 people. So out of that, I had 2
shows that went on as scheduled. I didn’t even attend what was my
“final” show; I hired someone to work that.
When I retired, I realistically wanted to possibly come back after
summer was over, do a couple shows to make amends for the cancelled
ones, and walk away with no regrets. Of course, when you go 2 for 5 in
the end of your run, you can’t be content with that. So, I discussed
rescheduling a couple things for a proper sendoff, ending my career
before the summer ended. That was the plan, however….

VS: You’ve been suckered back into promoting by a pretty solid group of
individuals. Who are they?  And how’d they convince you to come back,
especially so soon?
CC: The idea was to do a few shows with bands we wanted to bring here,
which has been my idea the whole time, just bringing bands we wanted
here. The grand scheme was to find/remodel and reopen a venue of our
choosing. This is still the plan, we’re just taking our time in doing
so, but we’re having fun booking the things we’ve done.
The agency itself is 5 people; myself, Felix Cruz & Ed Slowinski are
the “main” agents, so to speak. We’ve also contracted Rachel Surdi for
our design and marketing help because she’s amazing at what she does,
and Kahlil Sarikey from Inertia fame has stepped up to help us at
shows whenever his schedule aligns with ours, and I’m happy to have him
in any capacity, as he’s just an all-around great dude to be around.
I didn’t take much convincing after the initial comeback. It somehow
worked where the transition from my “tying up loose ends” May comeback
to a full-scale thing was seamless. I filed for our LLC, starting
purchasing new sound equipment to bolster the sound at our spots, and
we’ve generally been doing what we can to improve ourselves every
show.

VS: Why’d you choose the name, “The Chernobyl Agency”?
CC: When I first came back on the scene in 2013, I was the frontman for
critically-acclaimed (by maybe 3 people) metalcore band My Girl,
Chernobyl. The credit for the name goes to my dear friend Sarah, the
explanation behind it is very 2013 of me, as I’d proclaim “what girl
isn’t a meltdown?” Fast forward 6 years later, and I’m the meltdown at
this point.

VS: How did you convince a relatively fancy Italian restaurant to start
hosting metal/ hardcore shows?
CC: That happened by chance, I think we were going to just stick to
quieter/indie alternative shows there, but we took a chance and put a
heavier show there due to time frame, and it worked well. Ever since
then, we’ve had great success there, and honestly, the relationships
we have with our showgoers is essential to that. All I ever ask
patrons to do is make sure the respect the venue that is allowing us
to do this.

VS: CA hasn’t been around a whole year yet, but has already garnered
national attention.  Did you use this boost to your advantage?
CC: I saw us doing good things, but I did not see it happening this
quickly. I remember the national attention happened within a 4 day
time span; I got a call at work from an agent who wanted to ensure that
his act could find a last-minute show due make up for a cancellation.
This act ended up being Sworn In, and due to the unorthodox nature of
it being in an Italian restaurant, the internet was eating it up (pun
not intended, but not being taken out either). This has resulted in a
couple more bands coming under our radar, a few more things being
offered to us. Every show we do, we still have people telling us that
its wild that the restaurant is allowing us to do such a thing. I
think its great, I wish more venues would be open to the idea of
hosting things once in a while.

VS: What can we expect from CA in the future? Do you already have plans
for, er, expansion?
CC: Expansion has been talked about, mostly to further the reach of not
only our local bands, but the neighboring cities locals as well. I’ve
discussed adding a couple more people to the roster, but that will
probably come at a time when we book a non-metal show, as I’ve lost
touch with  a lot of the bands in the other genres. Mostly, we’re just
going to spend 2019 trying to put on crazy shows and even weirder
merch.

Dave’s Best of 2018 Awards!

Hello folks! I am back with my second “Best Of” Awards article…..but with more sections to spice things up. Newcomer Vick wrote hers and I’m here with my valued or unvalued opinion with some possible bias. The numbers aren’t important in my article I DO NOT RANK I just list my favorite albums. I’m going to apologize right meow as I have a lot of categories if it’s too long…..but then again its for a full year and there were lots of GREAT releases and new bands starting up that should be put to the forefront.  I hope you enjoy the new categories too.  Let’s get it on!

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Up and Coming Bands

Inanimate Existence– Artisan Era (my favorite label) tech/prog death metal powerhouses released a great album “Underneath A Melting Sky” in 2017 and Guitarist Cameron Porras’ songwriting and playing only gets better every release.  The guys work great as a cohesive three piece band.  If they get put on the Summer Sumerian/Slaughter/Summer’s Disappointment tour or a big festival like Download/Hellfest/Graspop they would kick the shit out of the same pop metal bands that have graced some of those stages.  I have a lot of faith in this band and are vastly underrated.  Keep an eye on the IE dudes.

Dischordia– Oklahoma dissonant/tech/progressive death metallers released a great EP that is the most experimental and original thing I have heard in a bit in the genre.  It’s becoming blatantly obvious how much I love the different experiments some death metal bands are doing.  If a genre stays stagnant…..are you really making any progression? Does one ALWAYS have to abide by the rules and stereotype of a genre? NO! As artists, we hate feeling creatively suffocated (so to say) to a label and want to write what we want and how we want! Dischordia just keeps pushing that envelope and their crazy 2 song 24 minute EP “Binge/Purge” really surprised me.  Earlier this year I heard the guys and it blew my mind.  Ukulele, Flute, Mandolin and other various instruments are included in their latest release.  Also, there is a plethora of  heavy influence of dissonance and cool rhythms the trio has come up with.  Every release Dischordia’s sound and songwriting has progressed “Binge/Purge” has really helped push their experimentation to the forefront.  Keep an eye on them as well.  Below is my article of the EP stream through Decibel Magazine to get your Dischordia on!

Dischordia- Binge/Purge EP stream via Decibel Magazine

Burial In The Sky– Another great up and coming band that’s helping break that stereotypical extreme metal sound.  Why do I dig this band a lot? Their latest album “Creatio Et Hominus” includes a lot of saxophone! The band also has hits of psychadelic rock sprinkled throughout the album.  BITS has been pushing progressive death metal’s boundaries as well.  Their first few offerings were more straightforward but got real experimental with the album. They’re a young and promising band who you need to look out for. Originality and talent can make for a promising career….and I hope Burial In the Sky achieves everything they want to because they deserve it.

Burial In The Sky April 2018 Interview

BEST EP’S AND SINGLES OF 2018

  1. Mordant Rapture- The Abnegation
  2. Carnal Decay- When Push Comes To Shove
  3. Dischordia- Binge/Purge
  4. Widow’s Peak- Graceless
  5. Infinitee- The Possibilities Are Endless
  6. I Am Destruction- Violence Devours
  7. Between The Buried And Me- Automata 1
  8. Divine Realm- Nordicity
  9. Leprous- Golden Prayers (Single)
  10. Cynic- Humanoid (Single)
  11. Between The Buried And Me- Automata 2
  12. The Odious Construct- Shrine Of The Obscene
  13. Godless- Swarm
  14. Oppressor God- Mechanical Manslaughter
  15. Promethean- The Nameless Colour
  16. Weaponex- In The Nick Of Time
  17. Infinite Nomad- Luminous Throat
  18. Catalysis- Catalysis
  19. Astrolabe- The Hermit, The Fool, The Hanged Man
  20. Crevassian- Crevassian
  21. Fawn Limbs- Thrum
  22. Ash prison- Prophetic Automation

BEST ALBUMS OF 2018

  1. Oubliette- The Passage
  2. Aethereus- Absentia
  3. Obscura- Diluvium
  4. Jollymon- Voidwalker
  5. Lago- Sea Of Duress
  6. Xenosis- Devour And Birth
  7. The Beast Of Nod- Vampire: Disciples Of Chaos
  8. AHTME- Sewerborn
  9. Burial In The Sky- Creatio Et Hominus
  10. Unflesh- Savior
  11. Alkaloid- Liquid Anatomy
  12. The Slyde- Awakening
  13. At The Gates- To Drink From The Night Itself
  14. Skinless- Savagery
  15. Galactic Empire- Episode Two
  16. ISA- Chimera
  17. Ingested- The Level Above Human
  18. Inferi- Revenant
  19. Aepoch- Awakening Inception
  20. Slugdge- Esoteric Malacology
  21. Augury- Illusive Golden Age
  22. Rivers Of Nihil- Where Owls Know My Name
  23. Montheist- Scourge
  24. Alterbeast- Feast
  25. Decrescent- Blackened Bequest
  26. Forever In Transit- States Of Disconnection
  27. Pestilence- Hadeon
  28. Into The Great Divide- Into The Great Divide
  29. Aviations- The Light Years
  30. Soreption- Monument Of The End
  31. Exocrine- Molten Giant
  32. Trigger- The Harbor
  33. Serocs- Phobos/Deimos Suite
  34. Cognitive- Matricide
  35. Haken- Vector
  36. Gorod- Aethra
  37. Internal Bleeding- Corrupting Influence
  38. The Ocean- Phanerozoic 1: Palaeozoic
  39. Neptunus- Alien Conspiracy
  40. Torturous Inception- Arcane Dominion
  41. Dysmorphic- An Illusive Progress
  42. Inertia- Teratoma
  43. Kraanium- Slamchosis
  44. Sarah Longfield- Disparity
  45. Psycroptic- As The Kingdom Drowns
  46. Arsis- Visitant
  47. Halothane- A False Reality
  48. Zac Leaser- Redeemer
  49. Gourmand- Blossoming From The Grave
  50. Tesseract- Sonder

Best Independent Bands

  1. Aepoch
  2. Unflesh
  3. Dischordia
  4. Xenosis
  5. Promethean
  6. Bleak flesh
  7. Gourmand

What releases I’m looking forward to in 2019

  1. Bleak Flesh
  2. Promethean
  3. Inanimate Existence
  4. Black Crown Initiate
  5. The Haarp Machine
  6. Opeth (maybe a single? Just…maybe?)
  7. Animals As Leaders
  8. Mastodon
  9. Scar Symmetry
  10. Aepoch (maybe?)
  11. Abbath (maybe?)
  12. Anabasis already won the best local release of 2019 already unless something changes my mind. If you supported the Syracuse band’s campaign, you would have received a digital download of their upcoming album “Of Conviction” due out officially in January.  If you want to grab a cd or some merchandise to help out the lads on their debut full length, go ahead and do so right here.
  13. Turning Virtue
  14. The Tao Of Davey K
  15. Fire Garden
  16. Continuum
  17. Desecravity
  18. Allegaeon
  19. Divinex
  20. Disentomb
  21. Fields Of Elysium (I hope!)
  22. Godeater
  23. Blasteroid
  24. A Novelist
  25. Contrarian
  26. The Zenith Passage
  27. Fractal Universe
  28. Organectomy
  29. Arkaik
  30. The Ocean
  31. Oblivion
  32. Devin Townsend
  33. Equipoise
  34. The Ritual Aura

Personal Favorite Music Industry Trends of 2018

  1. Increasing number of bands doing as much as they can independently. Record labels are becoming bigger blood suckers. Props to the increasing number of musicians going this route, also really great for more income coming back their way.
  2. More instrumental bands! I love seeing instrumental bands! Not every band needs a vocalist, or music needs a singer….the music can sing on its own.  Remember classical music? It was instrumental, then opera singers came along.  It’s just good to change it up….ya know, like Divinex or The Surrealist.
  3. The Artisan Era signing so many killer bands that are only strengthening their roster that has been a label since 2014.  A grassroots label run by guys in bands ON THAT LABEL there’s no suits involved….a label made by musicians, run by musicians, for musicians.  How can you not love the rise of The Artisan Era? OKAY, maybe if you don’t like or appreciate technical death metal and instrumental bands I guess I could see it.  How many did they add in 2018? Like 10 bands? But….10 GREAT BANDS.

Best TMR Moments of 2018

  1.  That wild voting race for the website’s May artist of the month….who remembers? And, who voted? That was fun!
  2. Getting a handful or more of EP, song and video premieres throughout the website’s first 10-ish months of being online.  Hard work pays off, promote yourself and your work….make connections.  I’m grateful for the friendships and opportunities I have been given in the short time Technical Music Review has been online.  I’m equally as humbled for all the music I have received through many sources. Being a musician and music freak I have learned of so many solid bands through this short journey.  And to boot, I also premiered a few playthroughs as well….the musician in me absolutely enjoyed them!
  3. Becoming the Prime Minster of Indonesia.  Not really, but seriously though their music scene is very killer and uncovered.  I discovered a few bands towards the end of the year from there and developing a growing interest in that country’s metal scene.  I’m buddy-buddy with a small record label from there and a band from said label.  It’s a tech driven country with plenty of death metal bands too.  Check out a few of their bands right here.

2018’S BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS

Yeah there are always letdowns it’s a big part of life.  Let me dive into some from 2018.

  1. Machine Head’s shitty album Catharsis.  This album was so bad, it forced two of it’s long time members to quit.  Now you’re talking about someone who has been a big fan of Machine Head since I got into them during the Ashes Of Empires era.  Besides The Burning Red and Supercharger I loved this band.  I’m more Conservative than anything, and even with their Liberal lyrics I still appreciate their emotion opinions and stellar musicianship.  I get it, most musicians are Democrats or Liberal to an extent.  Rob Flynn has had a solid career as a musician but the last few years have gotten bad and leading up to Catharsis (to me at least) was a totally different band.  It’s like his songwriting was uninspired and teenager like (random lyrics about sex, drug use, and not to mention bringing back nu metal to the band sound) for a band that has put out much deeper sets of lyrics.  I try to get in bed with the album, and every time I have to leave.  “Is There Anybody Out There?” was an absolutely awful song and a rant most likely about Phil Anselmo.  I had a bad feeling if their upcoming album was going to be like this song, it was going to be rough….and in my eyes I think it was.  I thought when Robb posted the acoustic set of “Bastards” I envisioned it as another rant and spur of the moment song venting frustration….I DID NOT EXPECT IT TO BE A MACHINE HEAD SONG! Voilatile is a good song musically, but when I heard he admitted he wrote the lyrics after the Charlotteville attacks was even more sketchy.  As soon as a big event happens, you decide to write song lyrics about it…..and bitch about politics again. How, original.  Let’s see if the band is done forever, or he can pull more rabbits out of his ass like he did for Ashes Of Empires and arguably the band’s greatest effort The Blackening. Oh, and the whole band costume thing is kinda gay…..like KISS gay.
  2. Threatin.  Yeah that shit was rough too.  Great for the guy he self booked and funded a European tour for his music, but feel bad for the poor bastards that temporarily took part in this shitshow.  Nobody bought the guy’s merchandise or even went to the shows.  I feel just as bad for the bands that opened up for the few shows Threatin played.  Just an absolute embarrassment all around.  To play devil’s advocate, it is pretty impressive logistically how the guy pulled this thing off financially and got artists to play his music (well for a few shows at least).  Disappointing to say the least but was there any stigma at all when he booked? Was it his fucked up masterplan that was to create a huge online presence (after he bought many Facebook likes) and promote himself? We won’t really know…or will we?
  3. Unique Leader Records and their fuckery.  COME AT ME BRO! It’s true, and their ever-growing laundry list of bands that have left the label is just insane.  They keep signing so many bands to the point they’re overloading their roster and also possibly ignoring bands.  Death metal made that label, modern metal bands are filling up their roster and the number of bands on the record label is sky rocketing unlike The Challenger.  With the unfortunate passing of label founder Erik Lindmark (Deeds of Flesh), other label coworkers took over the work in Erik’s absence.  It took them over a month to put some of their releases on Bandcamp, and kept making excuses (when it doesn’t take long) why they haven’t yet.  They recently signed another band, and I mentioned it again on their facebook announcement of another generic death core band.  They ignored and asked me if I listened to that band yet and said they should promote the bands on their label already instead of adding more.  They immediately took down their comment on their facebook page, trying to divert my attention from my comment and they failed….like they’re failing Erik who’s currently rolling over in his grave.  AND GET THIS…..they’re currently running a contest to buy one of their albums on their band camp website, and you’re then entered to WIN A CHANCE TO OWN THEIR ENTIRE LIBRARY OF MUSIC! Doesn’t that reek of even more desperation?  This shit is fishy as fuck metalheads. While they may house some great bands, shame on Unique Leader for their unprofessional fuckery and ignorance.  Shit like this is why more bands go independent.

The Return of Seplophile. Again.

Finally, I’ve gotten to see one of my favourite locals for the first time in what feels like forever. Some recuperation was necessary for them to return to the stage, but the downward spiral has finally turned upward. They have a new song, and they still remember some old stuff. Everyone’s playing is still tight, as if they never really phased out in the first place.

And that was in May of 2016.

But alas! Buffalo’s death giants Seplophile have returned for a second time! And in just over a year and a half. Almost kind of feels like that Slayer farewell tour that hasn’t ended yet, but like, in reverse. But this time it was a little different.

Our pals in Mass Casualty kicked off the night in classic brutal death style; you certainly can’t go wrong starting a night off with songs like “Dragged Into Cremation” and one of my personal favourites, “Cunt Slamming Frenzy”.

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All photos courtesy of Crown Vick Photography.

One of my favourites out of Rochester, Sastruga, carried on with their own flavour of techdeath. Their material is typically fast and complex, but also allows room for more ambient and jazzy sections that fit in perfectly in between all of the technicality. These guys steal the show for me every. Single. Time.

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Rochester’s death/grind/noise/etc. amalgamation Sulaco was on Seplophile’s last return show, but this time they brought with them a +1; they acquired themselves a vocalist to ease up on the pressure on guitarist Erik Burke. It was Jason Leone’s first live performance with Sulaco, and he did an  outstanding job. And the best news is, they’re keeping him! Or so I’ve been told..

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Sulaco weren’t the only one to present a new face on Saturday.  Founding member of Seplophile Greg DiPasquale stepped down earlier this year, and announced that his replacement would be no other than Louis DiThomas-Keller (Nethergrave, The Age of Plagues). I mean, its a huge bummer Greg had to put the guitar down for the foreseeable future, but stinky diapers aren’t going to change themselves. But it was awesome to see Louis back on stage, where he belongs, shredding with some of Buffalo’s best.

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And I do wanna thank the guys for letting me bust their balls on this a little, but I’m kind of being serious. I want to see EP release show. And if they have the chops, and LP release show. No more of this “return” bullshit. They didn’t really go anywhere to begin with.

In response, Seplophile vocalist Colin Winkelman had to say; “Why would you say that!? You totally already know we’re supposed to return again next year!”

Inertia- Teratoma

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https://inertiametalny.bandcamp.com/releases?fbclid=IwAR3POAmnB7AqOCmBNtd_7P3YARCCCwaxI5nGwN1oEEEze_pDQkAaclLHiFw

 

Happy Thanksgiving loyal web creepers! Buffalo’s fine tech death/prog/experimental trio INERTIA has released a fucking monstrous full length that isn’t Weaponex. Both bands have released my two favorite offerings this year from Buffalo bands and shit is it a treat.  Let’s dive balls deep into this wild album, shall we?

INERTIA:

Steve Mcintosh- Vocals

Kahlil Sarikey- Guitars/Bass

Doug Griffith Jr.- Drums

I’ve heard their originals, and never saw the band live until I saw them at the GAWD (Greatness And World Domination) CD release show at the Rockin’ Buffalo.  Holy fuck did they leave a lasting impression.  What I love the most about “Teratoma” is how far they’ve progressed as a band, branching out to realms outside of obnoxious riffs and technical death metal.  There’s a ton of clean sections this time around, and Kahlil’s work can not be understated here.  The guy has some of the prettiest melodic chord progressions, and then sweeps all day like its his job.  I can’t get over how clean he plays, it was a damn treat to see it live at the Rockin’ Buffalo.  As a fellow guitarist, I salute you brother!

Inertia is our local Between the Buried and Me/Contortionist mashup.  I really dig these guys because there’s so much watered down music here, and truthfully in any local music scene and they are far from that.  Inertia defies “another metal band” or “another rock band”.  Their music really shows how hard the trio works at composing their music, and transitioning from track to track.

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I’m not the biggest fan of modern metal, but the breakdowns that Inertia throws in are tasteful and totally not focused on them….you know those cool “GET YOUR FUCKING ASS UP ITS THE BREAKDOWN” annoying brocore kids, that annoying shit.  What Inertia is doing is tasteful….and ART.  You can hear all of modern prog metal and a laid back 70’s prog or classic rock all in one track.  Inertia WILL and give you one hell of a musical ride and shit you won’t want to jump off once you’re on.

Griffith’s drumming demands your attention. I loved how wild this guy gets, and then can dial it back playing tasteful fills in their clean jazzy sections. Steve’s wide vocal range is awfully impressive with some real low gutturals and higher shrieks that fits his band’s sound to a tee.  It’s amazing a band of this artistic caliber isn’t known enough around their own area, and hope everyone outside of Buffalo checks out these guys. It wouldn’t be too far fetched to say they could open for BTBAM and The Contortionist on a tour. Yeah, I think these guys are that damn good.  Bands like Inertia are refreshing to someone like me looking for weirder music, and something out of the norm.

Inertia IS hosting a release show in support of “Teratoma” at the Mohawk Place in good ‘ol downtown Buffalo.  $5, $8 day of….come on what reason DO YOU POSSIBLY have to pass up this show? I hope it goes well for the guys, I know I’m gonna make it one way or another.  GO!  It’s November 30th starting around 7pm, featuring ISHKABIBBLE (another local favorite of mine, bassist and drummer instrumental duo they’re wild), Grizzly Run and Allegiant.

https://www.facebook.com/events/182998982627715/

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Only YOU can make the difference.

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I haven’t done an opinion piece in quite a while…..between a lot of random emails promoting bands, interviews, album reviews, random streams and everything I put into this site I finally got something to rant about.  First off…..this is generalized, don’t get so self indulgent.  This isn’t against a certain person, band, group, website, or anything.  Let’s face it…..independent music and your local scene is a freaking mess.  Yeah there’s some great bands, but there’s a plethora of issues and only THE FANS can make it any better.  Promoters are rough……nowadays your average promoter picks up shows, “promotes” them and also makes the band sell ticket. HELLO YOU’RE THE PROMOTER! Yeah, that means more than putting links on Facebook. GO TO SHOWS! Yeah, socialize in real life and hand out fliers.  Bring it up at work! Bring it up at family gatherings!  Bring it up at school if you go to one! Tell your friends! Is the job easy? Not at all! More than my local scene here in Buffalo have these issues, and more I will continue to rant about without blowing my lid.   It’s simple……don’t take on so many shows that you can’t promote equally and work hard at it.  Remember the time when promoters would actually sell tickets? And actually promote? It feels like forever, to be honest.  Only you can support for your favorite smaller bands and local bands…..tip them, buy their MUSIC that will help too!

Everyone needs your help to survive in the industry even with that music modernization act passing trying to give more moolah to artists who stream their music.  If you’re a fan of a band, promote everything online……tell people, invite people to shows NOT JUST ON SOCIAL MEDIA! Talk about what they’re doing and do your due diligence! Wonder why some bands can’t carry on or some shows don’t do well? It’s not ALWAYS the promoters fault…..Stop going to those $50+ shows and check out some random band that might interest you in your local scene.  $5 isn’t a terrible cover even $10 to check out original bands! And when you’ve seen some bands, try something new and check out new bands! Switch it up sometimes, and keep that palette fresh.  Meet some people and bands, get into your local scenes actively! You can make a positive difference in your local scene by being proactive instead of being inactive…..being that person complaining their favorite band couldn’t continue on or a venue shuts down at least TRY to make a difference.

 

I have seen far too many good shows with very talented bands with low attendances.  Give something a chance for a band you may have not heard of! I was at The Metal’s Halloween show last Saturday, and damn did Rochester bring the heat.  There had to have at least been 60+ people at that show give or take! That is like 10 times the amount of your average show in Buffalo.  Signed bands with local support, not just a local show…..Alterbeast and Inferi had like 25ish people, Inanimate Existence/Fields Of Elysium/Last Of Lucy had 15ish people at best….Micawber/Ahtme/Lago had a halfway decent turnout with 30+ish people, maybe? There have been worse turnouts we can remember, those are just somer recent shows I have been to that had lower turnouts that should have done much better.  If a promoter is handling too many shows, or isn’t into a genre….why run so many shows you can’t put the attention to? Why book random shows and tours you aren’t putting your heart into? It’s frustrating to see so many great bands come through my area, and get god awful turnouts. And some people wonder why many tours skip over Buffalo……Run contests! At least TRY to get people in the door, relying on social media isn’t always the key to success.  Yes, there’s many factors into the game but I hope this gets better one day…..eventually…..maybe?

 

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Musicians, lay off the ego and stop being fucking assholes. Wish it could happen, but that too is a pipe dream.  Support each other, grow the fuck up.  If you don’t like something, don’t be a fucking prick.  Yeah, it sucks we all have lives and musicians can’t make a living like they used to.  Stay as late as you can, and don’t lie…..be honest for a change.  Make friendships, connect, and be a good person……I guess that’s a lot to ask for these days.  Too many artists just book it after their set.  Check everyone out….you’re there, why the hell not? Not just the concertgoers and promoters, but the bands itself need unity…..it’s been a long time coming.  Any scene can relate to these struggles, just not Western New York.

Some people talk about shitty show times.  A bill of 4 bands with music “starting” (very loose quotations) at 6pm will be over by 11ish.  Maybe we should start shows earlier so everyone can still hang out after and everyone working the next day can still get a decent nights sleep.  Then theres the crazy folk that try to show hop and hit up a few shows in a night…..trust me if teleportation was real I’d be all over it.  Pick your one show and either stay or spread the love and maybe hit up a few in one night if there’s a lot going on one night.  It just pains me to see so many good bands not have respectable turnouts. Maybe this makes me look like an asshole, maybe it doesn’t…..good thing I generally don’t care what most people think anyways.  I’m just trying to be honest.  I want everyone’s local scene to thrive, and have many bands.  I want good turnouts for shows and to check out new bands and music.  Trust me,  I only want the best for my local scene and wish the best for everyone else’s.  Unfortunately, Buffalo is now a cover band town who draws the best.  Let’s hope original music regains it’s rightful throne of every genre.

 

Weaponex- In The Nick Of Time

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Weaponex is one of Western New York’s better bands and one of the area’s best kept secrets.  The Buffalo proggers are putting out a killer EP on October 6th  titled “In The Nick Of Time”.  I was lucky enough to be approached to check it out, and the guys overdid themselves yet AGAIN.  How can you also not LOVE that EP cover? It perfectly displays the band personality!

The release show is at the Rockin’ Buffalo Saloon, there’s a few great bands supporting Weaponex before they hit the stage that night! Mark your calendars chumps, it’s gonna be a serious shredder.

https://www.facebook.com/events/265694257313525/

https://www.facebook.com/WEAPONEXBAND/

https://weaponex.bandcamp.com

 

Weaponex is:

Mike Willard – Guitar & Vocals
Dan Behrens – Bass & Backup Vocals
Larry Steele – Percussion

The guys went all out on “The Nick Of Time”.  Would you expect anything less from Willard? The man is definitely one of the area’s best guitar players and definitely one of if not the most polished player.  It was a treat to hear a fellow guitar player flawlessly do his thing and put a big stamp on the band’s EP.  Steele kicks serious ass on drums, as well. Weaponex seamlessly works together on the quickest parts, and some of the slower and groovy sections that make them such a great band.  There’s a lot of odd experimental and fusion-esque parts throughout the album that showcase the band’s influences outside of the metal world.  Let’s not forget about Dan Behrens (who is “Danimal Cannon” outside of Weaponex who plays a killer guitar and combines video games as an instrumentalist, totally fun show you should check it out!) who is a wild bassist.  There’s some sweet bass fills on this meaty offering.  The band also recorded a very fun and modernized cover of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star”.  They totally knocked it out of the ballpark with a grand slam as a great homage to the prog and classic rock legends.

I can’t pick standout songs, because the flow is so great and there isn’t one second I was bored.  Weaponex does a great job keeping your ears engaged and not losing your attention.  There are a multitude of guitar duals, drum fills, awesome melodies, and impressive vocals that totally keep you zeroed in.  Support the band by attending their release show and buying the EP that evening! It’s definitely one of the best releases of 2018 out of Western New York, without a doubt.  It was an honor listening to this masterpiece!

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Aspired Infliction- The Undying

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Buffalo’s own Aspired Infliction is releasing a groovy album “The Undying” officially August 18th, and my preorder came in early! In that case, the people of the internet have to put up with my shit again for yet ANOTHER article *cue groaning in the background*!  The album was recorded at Studio A Recordings and damn is the mix very good on the album.  Why do I like it, you ask? Your average album tends to have one instrument or the vocalist (if there is one) that is more dominant in the mix, and I believe it’s mixed well to the point nothing dominates at all.  It’s well rounded and nothing feels too quiet or buried in any of the songs, once again proving how a solid mix can make an album sound better.

I hate comparing bands because I believe most bands have an original sound and try not to be someone else, and there’s obvious situations where some bands and artists are really trying hard to be their idols.  If I was asked to describe Aspired Infliction it would be like this…..they’re the end result of Pantera and In Flames having a bastard child behind a Dollar General, with sprinkles of Lamb of God and At The Gates.  They have groove for years, and worked hard on their album.  It took them a whole EIGHT YEARS for this record! 2024 here we come?

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Pictured are the five goofy fuckers with Anthony the owner of Studio A Recordings

Knowing guitarist Mike Marlinksi, I’m not shocked his geeky ass agreed on a dorky theme involving knights swords and metal armor.  To be honest for the first time in this crappy article, I think the band’s songwriting has evolved from their previous singles.  They were a bit stale and boring before, and never was motivated to catch a show…..after hearing the first few singles they released for “The Undying” I was blown away! Mikey is obsessed with the Swedish Melodic Death Metal scene (melodic death metal, in general) like I am for proggy and techy music.  It really shows on the album with dual guitar leads and harmonies that spice up their songs.

The vocals of Tony are powerful and emotional throughout “The Undying”.  I personally believe its one of the best aspects of the album.  Ben’s groove on drums brings their songs to live and Bill’s thunderous bass playing gives the band a really heavy rhythm section that is very much in sync.  Mike and Jason have great chemistry on guitar, and should definitely check out the band live….I have seen them a few times and they’re very fun! They also do random themes that involve Star Wars and other shit, so you should pay attention.

 

If you can spot me in their music video, I’ll give you a high five and maybe a slice of bacon.

 

 

One of my favorite tracks from The Undying.  Groove, melody and guitar duals (HINT HINT MORE MELO DEATH DUAL GUITAR INFLUENCE)! Oh, and Tony’s heavy ass voice too.

 

 

 

Well….there’s 4 tracks of the 10 songs from The Undying.  Preorder the album at their band camp link or better yet go to the show on it’s release day August 18th at the Tudor Lounge in Buffalo!

I really like the guys….  they’re funny,  they take their job seriously but also have a personality which blends it all to one end result….A Spider Infection.  Er, Aspired Infliction….yeah whoops, my bad.  Check out The Undying today fuckers!

bandcamp website

facebook

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Alterbeast/Inferi/Nyktomorph @ Stamps June 27 2018

Alterbeast, Inferi and Rivers of Nihil are conducting a nation wide tour in support of all three band’s releases with Nihil headlining.  Fortunately for us Western New Yorkers, the supporting bands booked an off date with local black metallers Nyktomorph opening up. A second local band was supposed to play but dropped off last minute.  iPhone quality photos, excuse my amateur status I hope you enjoy the article!

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https://www.facebook.com/NyktomorphNY/

I think this was the band’s 3rd show? I saw their first show at the Rockin’ Buffalo, and they had a good performance.  As you can tell, they’re a 3 piece now they need a bass player. They’re going to start working on their full length during the summer, so you won’t see the band coming out of hibernation until the fall time I heard there’s a show sometime in September I think they’re playing.  They’re a black metal band, without all the getup.  I was impressed this time around as much as their first show……they’re dark and eerie like any black metal band, but there’s something I really dig about them I can’t put my finger on……It’s just heavy as fuck, and awesome. My colleagues in THE METAL were at the show and also took some video….

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwelcometothemetal%2Fvideos%2F2046002182283124%2F&show_text=0&width=560

 

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Next up were the Inferi dudes. When they took the stage, there was a confirmation their other guitar player Mike couldn’t make the tour for some vacation or something? But they’re continuing the tour as a 4 piece.  Both guitarists Malcom and Mike run their record label The Artisan Era together.  They’re continuously signing mind blowing tech bands including their own (Inferi and Oubliette).  Unfortunately the guys played a handful of songs even with a smaller bill with the other band cancelling….point is I still got to see one of the most overlooked technical death metal bands on the scene right now.  They’re all the way out in Nashville, so it made it easy to go to the show knowing they may or may not be back.  Their latest album “Revenant” is one of the best releases of the year without a doubt. The neoclassical elements and obnoxious guitar playing of the bearded wizard Malcom made it a very entertaining set.  The band’s first two albums are great, but the production wasn’t the greatest……Revenant is a well produced album and if you didn’t know they’re working on remastering and remixing their first two and putting them on vinyl!

If you somehow need further convincing you can check out the stream of Revenant right below here.

 

Here’s some great guitar work from Malcom himself…..I swear the dude is extremely underrated and if put on a larger level, he’d wow larger crowds. An inspiration for all guitarists, especially for a bum like myself!

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Video clip of Inferi via The Metal:  https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwelcometothemetal%2Fvideos%2F2046004802282862%2F&show_text=0&width=560

 

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Now for the main act…..Tech death thrashing Alterbeast.  Wow, their 2 albums do them no justice in comparison to their live show.  Now, if you know me I’m the laid back metalhead who doesn’t really mosh, protects the people who get thrown from the pit and constantly headbangs.  During Alterbeast though, they really energized the crowd and I felt the need to be a stereotypical metalhead.  I really like Alterbeast’s formula of fitting as much into a shorter song rather than the opposite of the band who played before them Inferi who have some bigger songs.  Their latest album doesn’t even hit the 40 minute mark! They’re quick, tech, and straight to the point.  The Californians put on one hell of a show and left me pumped full of adrenaline.

 

Here’s the stream of their latest album “Feast” which dropped earlier this year in February.  Buy it!

 

Video clip of ALTERBEAST via The Metal: https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwelcometothemetal%2Fvideos%2F2046007558949253%2F&show_text=0&width=560

 

Overall, this was a killer show and for a measly $12 who wouldn’t want to see a lineup as killer as this? If it cost $30 I wouldn’t have felt ripped off, considering the talent that was put on display that evening. Next week Inanimate Existence pops (another great band like Inferi signed to Artisan Era!) with Last Of Lucy and Fields of Elysium at the same venue Stamps on July 3rd.  I’ll be there, so you can probably expect another article similar to this….and I have an obsession with Inanimate Existence, so it might be a bigger article.

Stay tech!

 

Aspired Infliction- Apathetic Totality Lyric Video

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Buffalo groove metallers Aspired Infliction have just released a lyric video for another track off their upcoming album “The Undying” due out August 18th. They have mastered a great mix of dual guitar melodies and serious grooves that’ll keep you going for days. The music sounds great boys, keep up the killer work.

 

https://www.facebook.com/aspiredinfliction/

https://aspiredinfliction.bandcamp.com