All posts by tonythechosen

Ministry, Death Grips at the Electric Factory

Me, Jesse, Doug, Nick, and Andrew used a billing of both of these awesome bands as an excuse to make a road trip to Philly.  On the way there we did some random things such as eat cheese steaks at Gino’s and visited the famous Bomb Bomb bar.

At around 7:30, we got to the venue for the first band of the night.

Death Grips

I was very excited to see Death Grips finally after knowing them since Exmilitary came out. Doug and Jesse were both very excited being big fans as well (with them being Jesse’s favorite band). They did not speak a word during the entire set, knocking out over 20 songs in 45 minutes.

They didn’t run out of energy for a second and played so many great songs such a “Takyon,” “Guillitine,” “No Love,” “I’ve Seen Footage” and “Fever. ” They stole the show and even Andrew – who hates hip hop liked the set.

Ministry

Ministry’s set was decent but could have been better.

They played mostly stuff from the Last Sucker and onward – an era I’m not a fan of.  However, they did sound pretty awesome when playing later songs like “NWO,” “Just One Fix” and “Lies, Lies, Lies.”

We left an hour into their set due to being so far from home in addition to them not playing  a lot of their classic tracks (seriously no “Stigmata”????).

All and all, Ministry did fine but Death Grips owned the night!!

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Dark Tranquillity at the Chance

After being a fan since high school, I was excited to finally get the opportunity to see Dark Tranquillity when they were announced for the Chance Theater.

As the days got closer it became more of a debate with money being short at times and car trouble (which turned out to be nothing) in the weeks leading up to it but luckily, everything turned out fine when it got close. After school I headed to the venue to finally catch the Swedish melodeath legends.

Striker

First main band on was the traditional metal throwback Striker. These guys will awfully generic and weren’t very good at all. They just felt like a weaker version of the bands they were paying tribute to and made me long-await Warbringer.

Warbringer

Second on were retro thrash titans Warbringer. I had not seen these guys since they opened for Iced Earth in 2012, so it was refreshing to see them once again. They didn’t play for long, but they made the most out of their minutes.

Dark Tranquillity 

At around 10:30 p.m. it was time for the headliners. While I honestly wasn’t a big fan of their latest album Atoma, I didn’t mind anything they played live from it due to their good performance. I was also glad I got to hear a good amount of classics such as “Wonders at Your Feet,” “Mundane and the Magic,” “Misery’s Crown,” and my favorite track, “Terminus.” Not a dull moment went by at that show and it was one of the best I’ve been to at that Chance in awhile.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Underrated Tobe Hooper and George. A. Romero Films

 

by Anthony Carioscia

2017 is a sad year in the horror world as we lost George Romero and Tobe Hooper, arguably two of the genre’s best directors .

When your average person thinks of Romero, his legendary Living Dead Trilogy is what normally comes to mind and for Hooper, The first two Texas Chainsaw Massacres and Poltergeist. While these are all amazing films, let’s not forget that both directors had plenty of other movies that helped them earn their titles of masters of horror. Here in no particular order are those films, with five underrated films from each director.

Tobe Hooper:

Invaders from Mars

The 1980’s had several great remakes of classic 50’s sci-fi horror genre such as The Thing and The Fly. One that gets forgotten is Hooper’s version of Invaders From Mars, which is a shame since this film is a fun 80’s cheese fest joy ride with awesome special effects.

Body Bags

This made for TV anthology film was a giant lot between Hooper, John Carpenter and Larry Sulkis. Hooper directed the third and final segment “Eye.”

This film is about a baseball player who gets a replacement right eye after he looses it. He then starts getting disturbing visions and soon learns of the eye’s secret origin as he plummets into madness. This segment is the best in the film, but the other two are also well worth your time.

Funhouse

This slasher classic is set in an amusement park where a small group of teens get stuck in the fun house ride and are attacked by a killer with severe physical deformities. The film stars Elizabeth Berridge, who would later become known for being in the huge hit film Amadeus about the legendary composer Mozart.

Lifeforce 

Written by horror and sci-fi master Dan O’Bannon (Dead and Buried, Alien) and based on the novel Space Vampires, Lifeforce is a must see for horror and sci-fi fans. In this film, vampires from space arrive in London and start infecting everyone. This picture’s style fuses primitive shlock with traditional Hammer style horror to make an experience that’s out of this world. It also has Patrick Stewart, which is always a plus!

Eaten Alive 

A spiritual follow up to Texas Chainsaw, Eaten Alive is a 70’s grindhouse classic. Like TCM, this film is about a sadistic killer redneck who feeds his victims to his pet crocodile.

Romero 

The Dark Half 

Based on the novel by Stephen King, this film tells the story of an author who creates a fake pen name sort of like what King did with Richard Bachman. This fake person now wants to take over the author’s life by any means neccessary.

Two Evil Eyes 

This overlooked gem is an anthology film involving both Romero and Italian, legend Dario Argento. It features two stories, both based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe with Argento directing The Black Cat and Romero directing The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. While Romero’s skit isn’t as good as Argento’s, it’s still excellent, well crafted gothic horror.

The Crazies 

Romero is most known for making films about the living dead. In The Crazies, he gives us a similar concept but with a virus causing people to become rabid and zombie like. The social commentary and military themes commonly found in Romero’s works are all here as it feels like a side film in the Living Dead franchise.

Martin 

George A. Romero is mostly know for his zombie films, but has several others well worth checking out – including the vampire classic Martin.

The film is about a young man who thinks he’s a vampire who goes to live with his insane elderly cousin who believes he’s a product of a family curse.

The film plays on the old-world hysteria that created vampires, but sets them in modern day. It also showcases Romero’s love for social commentary.

Creepshow

When master director George Romero teams up with Stephen King for a film, you know you have a masterpiece on your hands.

Creepshow is a horror anthology film that acts as a love letter to vintage horror comics such as Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror. The film consists of five shorts with two of the shorts, Weeds and The Crate being based on King stories. The rest were written by King specifically for the movie. From start to finish, Creepshow is a fun, gory, creepy and hilarious joy ride.

My Experience at MDF 2017 – Part 4: Sunday

by Anthony Carioscia

As always, Sunday was the last day of Maryland Deathfest like and the line up was killer. We walked down after getting food and I got there for the first band I wanted to see: Angelcorpse.

Angelcorpse

I had seen Angelcorpse last year at this fest and they were again heavy and intense. Vile and unrelenting with their aural assault, a great act to start the day.

Behexen 

I went to get some dinner and then came back for Finnish greats Behexen. I watched them from a high-up area with my friends Nick and Cheyenne. The atmosphere they invoked was like none other and were one of the bands that owned the day with their blistering intensity.

Oranzzi Pazuzu

Next up was experimental black metal group Oranzzi Pazuzu. The three of us watched them set up and we knew we were in for a different kind of band. We were all fans since around 2014 and what we got was a very good and jazz-like jam set, which really shook up the day in a good way.

P.L.F

I then went over to Soundstage to catch the Texas grind masters, P.L.F. They put on a great energetic punk show, making for a great warmup for the next act.

Iron Lung 

Next up were one of my favorite powerviolence bands, Iron Lung. They played a crushing set, although I didn’t see all of it because I wanted to catch some Akercocke at Rams Head.

Akercocke

Akercocke were one of the bands I wanted to see the most and when they started with my favorite song, “Horns of Baphomet,” I knew I was in for a great set. The sound was spot-on and the atmosphere was intense.

Terrorizer 

I caught a decent amount  of Terrorizer’s set, which was mostly their classic album World Downfall due to them not setting up on time. Their energy was unbeatable and they put on one of the best performances at the fest.

Candlemass

After Terrorizer I went to Ramshead for the rest of Candlemass’s set. Due to them also setting up late, they were playing “At the Gallows End,” my favorite song off of Nightfall, which they were doing in full.

I had seen them in 2014 and they were one of the best at the set’s at that fest. Here was no different. After they finished, the Nightfall set they played the two classics, ¨Mirror Mirror¨ and ¨Solitude¨ – a perfect way to end the night and the fest.

My Experience at MDF 2017 – Part 3: Saturday

by Anthony Carioscia

Saturday was the most interesting day at this year’s Maryland Deathfest, not just because of the lineup, but because of the day leading up to it as well.

Matt’s friend Dave came into our room as well as his friends Chris and Ricky.  We went for dinner at a place called Dick’s Last Resort. It was a cool place where the staff would  – in addition to insult the customers – yell at them, throw stuff, give them all hats with insults on them. The waiter asked who was here for the DeathFest, then blasted Venom on his phone while headbanging and thrusting (not making this up). After we laughed and ate their great food, we headed to the venue and ran into Dave from Nucleus.

Uada

The first band I wanted to see for the day was Portland black metallers, Uada. The band is normally criticized for sounding too much like MGLA, but I think they are a fun little band and their performance was top-notch.

Goolagoon

I was very curious to see this Spongebob-themed punk band. Once you get past the gimmick, they are actually a pretty decent punk band and live they were loaded with energy.

Exhumed 

This was my fourth time seeing Exhumed, but they are never boring live. This was no different as they had a great set list and their over the top horror stage show was great like always.

Exumer

I am a fan of the band’s debut Possessed by Fire but nothing  after that. However, I was still curious to see Exumer. They played some songs of the first album but just seemed boring live.

Root

Along with Insect Warfare, Root were the band I was most excited to see. I had requested for Root to play since 2014, so it was nice to see them finally get added. They played a nice mix of their early black metal stuff and their later heavy metal stuff and sounded great. Big Boss’s voice was spot on and their stage setup was fun. They ended their set with the iconic “Pisen Pro Satana.”

Grave 

Next up were Swe-death masters Grave. I didn’t watch too much of their set due to not wanting to miss a second of Insect Warfare but they played a nice old-school set from what I saw and sounded great.

Insect Warfare

I went over to the Soundstage for the band that made me buy my ticket. Insect Warfare is one of my favorite grindcore bands and I was glad I finally got to see them. Their energy was unbeatable with an insane pit full of people crowd surfing, slipping on beer, and someone even threw a trash can into the pit. The singer had tons of over the top banter such as threatening those who bootleg his shirts. This was without a doubt the best set and best day of the fest. After them, we called it a night and headed back to the hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iron Maiden, Ghost at the Prudential Center

When the Iron Maiden tickets at the Prudential Center went on sale, I was given a pre-sale code from a friend. I instantly bought one as ‘Maiden is one of my all-time favorite bands.

The day came and I went with Birdman of Roargh to Newark, NJ to see these amazing Brits play with none other than Ghost opening (this would be my third time seeing Ghost and my second time seeing ‘Maiden, Birdman’s first time for each band). We got inside then met up with two of Birdman’s Jersey area friends. At around 7:45 the show started.

Ghost

Ghost seems to get mixed reactions in the metal world and I’m one who has been a decent-sized fan since I first heard their demo. I had caught them once at MDF 2011 and then again three years later at The Chance. Both times they put on a great show and this time wasn’t any different. They played a set of great tracks including “Year Zero,” “Cirice,” “Ritual,” and “Monstrance Clock.”

Iron Maiden 

I had not seen Iron Maiden since 2012 at Jones Beach with Alice Cooper and I was overdue for another.

The band played a set that was mostly for their latest album,The Book of Souls – which is great. In addition to the new tunes, they also played many classics such as “The Trooper(which sounded beyond amazing),” “Wrathchild, “Iron Maiden,” and “Children of the Damned.”

They encored with “The Number of the Beast,” “Blood Brothers,” and “Wasted Years.” Their sound was phenomenal, proving that they’ll never lose their touch. After the show, Birdman and I got the hell out of Newark and were glad we got to go to this amazing show.

 

My Experience at Maryland DeathFest 2017: Part 2 – Friday

After Thursday’s events, Matt and I woke up the next morning, which I felt had one of the most interesting line ups.

We hung around the hotel until around 2 p.m. and walked down to the venue. Outside I met up with Jason and Nicole, then went into Rams Head to catch Skeletal Remains.

Skeletal Remains

Out of all these newer old-school death metal throwbacks, Skeletal Remains is one of my favorites. Their sound is blatantly old-school Florida death metal-inspired while still maintaining their own memorable riffs and songs. They sounded great live and made for an awesome warm up act.

Organ Dealer 

After getting great food at Chicken Rico and hanging out with Nick and Cheyenne, we walked in to see Organ Dealer. I remember when Organ Dealer were just some local level band who would play shows with BillXNye. It was nuts to see them play to a larger crowd and as expected, they delivered.

Morbid Saint 

After Organ Dealer I headed back to Rams Head for to watch thrash legends Morbid Saint.  I had been a fan of these guys since tenth grade, so I was glad to finally see them.  They sounded great and the track “Assassin” was phenomenal live.

Sargiest

After Morbid Saint was one of the bands I was most stoked for and one of my favorite black metal bands, Sargiest. Like most black metal bands, they had an occult setup on their stage and it looked great. The venue’s sound was perfect for the guitarists signature riffs and atmosphere.

Gost

Gost were one of the bands I was most excited for as well and also the band I was most curious about since I never saw a synthwave act live. Gost had one of the most violent pits I have seen at this fest as well as plenty of people dancing awkwardly. The set was mostly instrumental and their stage presence fit the atmosphere of their set well.

Stormtroopers of Beer

After Gost I headed to sound stage to catch SOB (a Stormtroopers of Death cover band consisting of S.OD. member Dan Lilker and General Surgery’s Jocke, Kenneth and Adde). As much as I love S.O.D’s debut, I wasn’t in a rush to catch this version of the band as it lacked iconic vocalist Billy Milano. I got there and caught the last 15 or so minutes of their set – including my favorite S.O.D track, “Pussywhipped.”

Noothgrush

At MDF 2014 I skipped Noothgrush’s set due to a conflict with Unleashed, so I was glad I got another chance to see them. They played an awesome, slow and heavy set, and best of all, bashed Visas during their banter.

Vader

I headed back to Rams Head to catch one of the bands I was dying to see, Vader. These Polish legends were one of my first-ever death metal bands so I knew I needed to see them. The band played their first album The Ultimate Incantation in its entirety. The tracks all sounded great and the band had one brutal pit. It felt so great to hear a band you grew up with kill it live.

Autopsy 

The last band of Friday was Autopsy,  the band I wanted to see most of all. Jason and I sat at the highest part of Rams Head as we needed to see every second of this set. They took forever to set up (leaving us in suspense), but once they started it was magic. “Fleshcrawl,” “Torn From the Womb,” “Voices” and all kinds of awesome tracks were played. This was the perfect way to end the night and Autopsy remained one of the best of the fest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Experience at Maryland DeathFest 2017: Part 1 – Thursday

When Memorial Day Weekend reared its ugly head, it was time for yet another Maryland DeathFest (MDF).

While this year the Edison Lot was sadly gone, it still had a very good line up and the convenience of the two remaining venues being right next to each other. The day came and I got on a bus to New York City, met up with my friend Matt and we then both left to Baltimore. When we got to our hotel we dropped off our luggage, then headed to the venue. On the way to the fest we met up with some cool people, including this girl who came all the way from Chile. When I got there some sludge band called North was playing.

North

I had never heard of these guys until I got in the venue and from watching them, I was kind of glad I hadn’t. This band played boring cut and paste sludge – not the best way to start the fest.

SubRosa 

Next up were SubRosa, who I was excited to see. I always loved their sludge meets violin sound.  Their set wiped the bland taste North left out of my mouth. SubRosa had great atmosphere and really took advantage of the Ram’s Head stage’s awesome sound.

Conan 

I had seen Conan play two years ago on the same day and stage and it was pretty damn good.  Like before, they were great, heavy and crushing live.

Acid King

The stoner legends Acid King were up next and while they aren’t my favorite in that subgenre, there was no denying they put on an awesome performance.

Cryptopsy 

After Acid King finished up I ran over to Soundstage, where Decrepit Birth was finishing up their set. After watching them do an awesome cover of Death’s “Crystal Mountain,” Cryptopsy got on stage. Here I ran into my friends Nick and Cheyenne as we were ready to watch them play all of their 1996 album None So Vile.

They started their set with three really bad, newer songs which caused Nick and Chey to leave. Once they left the band started playing None So Vile in order. This improved the set greatly even if the Matt McGachy was no Lord Worm. The pit was also as insane as it was fun to watch that carnage unfold. After Cryptopsy the two of us headed back to the hotel to get ready for day two.

 

 

 

 

My Experience at Hudson Horror Show XV

Another May meant another set of dates to look forward to.

That set of May dates in question being Memorial Day Weekend’s Maryland Deathfest and the Hudson Horror Show’s 15th outing a week prior.

This year had an awesome line up of Frankenhooker, Slaughterhouse, the traditional mystery film, Nightmare on Elm Street 3, The Hidden, and Piranha.

Although I had seen every film on this bill before (and highly recommend them to anyone who hasn’t), I wanted to see them on a big screen. Unfortunately, I only wound up staying for the first four.

While I didn’t buy much merch this time around, I did win a copy of the film Hardware, which despite it being a pretty terrible movie it was pretty cool to win it.

Frankenhooker 

First up was the classic from the man behind Brain Damage and Basket Case. I had not seen this great horror comedy since high school but I remembered loving it.

Frankenhooker tells the story of a weird nerd name Jeffery who’s girlfriend dies in a freak accident. Jeffery then looks for ways to put her back together using the body parts of dead hookers. This is one flick that needs to be seen to be believed. It’s fun from front to back with its offensive humor, gross-out scenes, and of all things, exploding hookers.

Slaughterhouse 

The second film was the 80’s slasher Slaughterhouse which, ironically, I bought at the last Hudson Horror.

The film is a mix of 80’s teen slashers, redneck Texas Chainsaw Massacre type films, and dark humor. Slaughterhouse is about the owner of a slaughterhouse and his mentally challenged son who talks in pig sounds. When the town decides to shut them down, the two start capturing the town’s officals and making them into meat along with teenagers who try to joke about the place. Slaughterhouse is lots of fun and one to check out if you like slashers.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Between Dream Warriors and Slaughterhouse was the mystery film. While I can’t say what it was I will say it’s a violent non-horror movie based on an old Manga and it was awesome.

Dream Warriors is my favorite Freddy sequel as the film takes the series into a more comedic/fantasy direction. In the third Nightmare installment, a band of teenagers discover they have special powers in their dreams which they use to battle Freddy Krueger. This film is 80’s cheese at it’s finest and a perfect finale to end the fest.

 

Amon Amarth, Goatwhore at the Paramount

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by Anthony Carioscia

Although In Flames and Katakylsm were playing The Chance in Poughkeepsie, I had no interest. I don’t care for Katakylsm, plus I had a good feeling In Flames wasn’t going to play anything before Clayman (I’d later find out I was right).

Instead, my friend Don and I decided to go see Amon Amarth and Goatwhore for a much better show at The Paramount in Huntington, Long Island. Upon getting there we realized it was a pretty nice place and hung out at a bar for a bit before going inside. Once inside, we spoke with some cool Long Island metalheads until it was time for Goatwhore to get on stage.

Goatwhore 

Though we’ve both seen Goatwhore so many times (this was my sixth to be exact), they never get old live. The last time I saw them was 3 years ago, so you could say it had been awhile. The energy of their performance was insane and it was cool to see them play for a bigger crowd. We also got to hear all kinds of classics such as “Baring Teeth for Revolt” and “Apocalyptic Havoc.”

Amon Amarth

After Goatwhore finished, it was time for the band I was most excited about. Back in High School, Amon Amarth was one of the first death metal bands I had ever listened to and I still consider their early material through 2008 to be top-notch melodeath (the stuff after…not so much).

Their set tonight had a lot of newer songs and although I’m not a fan of that era, their performance on those tracks was great. Amon Amarth also played many great old-school tracks, including “Death in Fire,” “Twilight of the Thunder God,” “Pursuit of Vikings” and my all time favorite “Cry of the Black Birds.”

Out of the 2017 shows I’ve been to so far, this one was my favorite. Both bands had tons of energy and because the show only consisted of two great bands rather than an endurance test with four or more good and bad ones.