Tag Archives: At The Gates

Behemoth and At The Gates at The Playstation theater

After a break from live music shows (though I had several awesome wrestling ones) it was time to go to an amazing show. I had been a Behemoth fan since high school and had only seen them open (both times only as an opener to Slayer).

I’ve been told by many that if you had not seen Behemoth live then you haven’t seen them at all. The day of the show me and my buddy Jay took a bus to NYC and hung out at the Blue Ruin for about an hour. Thankfully it was full of metal heads at that hour so we got to hear classics by Motorhead, Obituary, Unleashed, Rammstien, Celtic Frost, etc. as we hung out. We took an Uber there in time to catch the first band.

Wolves in the Throne Room

First up were USBM band Wolves in the Throne Room. Though not a favorite of mine, I always enjoyed them and they had a pretty awesome live set.

At The Gates

Next up were At the Gates. I caught them once before at MDF 2014 so they were due for another watch. Their set was action-packed with plenty of new songs but also a lot of classics like Cold and Blinded by Fear.

Behemoth

Last on was the headliner Behemoth. Having only see short sets from these tyrants I was anxious to see a full one.  They had amazing loud and intense presence. The venue really helped their sound. All in all it was a great night and one of the best shows of the year.

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The Vault: My Experience at Maryland DeathFest 2014 Part 1 – Friday

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Editor’s Note: In the wacky world of publishing, some stories don’t see the light of day. Whether they sit on the backburner until they become irrelevant, positions change hands or they just plain get cut, it’s just one of those things. Today, one of those unpublished articles will finally get its due as we traverse the archives of “The Vault.”

Back in late 2013 when the full line up for Maryland DeathFest 2014 was announced I knew I HAD to go. Last time I went was in 2011 (I had no money in 2012 and in 2013 I came close but didn’t go due to being in the probationary period at a new job. By now I had been working for almost a year and was going to earn vacation hours, so I found a group of friends to go with, booked our hotel and we were ready. May 23rd came soon enough (wasn’t able to do the Thursday date) and the MDF journey began .

FRIDAY

I arrived just in time for the doors to open. Even when standing right in line I was greeted by friendly metalheads from around the world. I met up with a few of my concert going friends from my area as well as some people I hadn’t seen since 2011 – all before the first band got on stage who turned out to be…

Castevet

Castevet - Photo

First up was this “hipster” black metal/hardcore fusion from New York City. For the most part, bands who fall under post-metal or post-anything genres generally tend to bore me and this band was no exception. I could barely pay attention as the band just sounded like Deafheaven with a small bit of punk influence. After a few songs, I just walked over to the other Edison lot stage awaiting something unholy.

MGLA

Hailing from Poland comes the unholy two-piece (a four-piece during live onslaughts) known as MGLA. This band played an intense set of raw drawn out black metal that reminded me a bit of Darkthrone during their most acclaimed era. If someone introduced me to this band as part of the 90’s Black Metal Inner Circle I would believe them. Though their sound fits well into that style, they did not sound like a carbon copy “kvlt” tribute band. MGLA was the first of many raw black metal bands to play the fest for the second time.

The Ruins of Beverast

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First of the bands on my MUST SEE list for the fest was The Ruins of Beverast. If you read my previous blog on my top ten albums of 2013 then you know I LOVE this band. I was in such disbelief when I found out they were added to the bill. I had no idea this one man act from Germany played live shows at all, let alone that I was actually going to see them. This band killed. Though Ruins atmosphere works a little bit better in studio (and probably at indoor venues), the band still sounded pretty damn creepy live and they played a great set of songs – including my all-time favorite Ruins track “I Raised This Stone as a Ghastly Memorial.” After their set my friend and I headed out of Edison to go get a bite to eat as well as walk over to sound stage to see…

ACXDC (Anti-Christian Demoncore)

Laugh at the name all you want, these guys kick ass. Originally I wasn’t planning on seeing this band as I had not heard a single song by them, but my friend Jason was heading over to Soundstage and I had no idea how to get there – plus a band I wanted to see was scheduled on the same stage right after so I figured why not? ACXDC sound nothing like AC/DC (though that would have been awesome). Instead, they play a modern take on 90’s powerviolence. Their set was intense with the pit going wild and Jason stage diving like crazy. All and all, ACXDC was a pleasant surprise and since I was already at Soundstage i didn’t have to worry about being late to…

Coffins

Coffins

Japanese extreme giants Coffins were one of Fridays two outliers for Soundstage (the venue was mostly a punk line up). They play a style of death/doom that leans more towards death metal similar to Asphyx and Autopsy. Originally they were scheduled to only play Thursday and missing them would have been the only reason I was regretting not getting a Thursday ticket (I had already seen Crowbar twice and  Tryptikon would eventually drop off the bill),  but when when The Secret dropped and Coffins took their time slot my regrets went out the window. Whether its games, movies, music or anime, Japan is known for making things energetic and over the top and Coffins’ live performance was no stranger to this. For a band that falls under doom they had tons of energy and it reflected in the audience as the pit transformed from punk rock circle pitting to extreme metal moshing. Sound-wise Coffins were definitely one of those bands that sound better live then in studio. I left their set 10 minutes early so I didn’t miss a minute of…

TAAKE

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Heading back to Edison (while hanging with a girl I met at the 2011 MDF and the bassist from ACXDC), I got back just in time to see Hoest’s crazy outfit. This was Taake’s first US show so there was no way in hell I was going to miss this. Hoest has always been one to get attention from the black metal crowd whether it be saying “Go suck a Muslim,” performing with his penis exposed or making out with the lead vocalist of Sweden’s Shinning and here he performed in a costume that made him look worthy of a Sith lord. This of course did not distract from the intensity that the band brought on. They had a great set list playing favorites from both old and newer albums. Taake blew both Ruins and MGLA out of the water but even their extreme intensity was no match for …

Capitalist Casualties

Ever since my buddy Nick first showed me them a few years ago I had been curious to see them. CC is a pioneering West Coast powerviolence band that has been around since 1986. These guys may be old timers but they had more energy the most bands half their age . This set  had the most intense mosh pit I had ever seen. Old-school powerviolence bands were known for their intense pits but were balanced out by the fact that they played small shows with a limited crowd. Here we had those same intense PV pits but at a huge fest.  The pit area became a battlefield which, along with seeing Nick live his childhood dreams made the show even more entertaining. They played a 45 minute set of short songs. As much as i enjoy grind and powerviolence bands with short songs, I feel bands like that are meant to have short sets. CC was though a huge exception as not a minute went by where I was bored. After their set I headed back to Edison yet again to see…

Agalloch

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I had been a big fan of Portland’s Agalloch ever since I first heard “Not Unlike the Waves.” Call it, dark metal, black metal, folk metal, etc., Agalloch’s unique sound has been labeled as so many things and on every album they have evolved and seem to always put out quality work. Their album “The Serpents and Sphere’s”  is destined to make my top ten of 2014 and is my second favorite album of there’s next to 2002’s “The Mantle.” Like Ruins, they were one of the bands I was most stoaked for on Friday. Sadly, they were the biggest disappointment on the whole fest.When I got to the Edison stage I noticed that they were already playing though they were not scheduled for another 10 minutes. At first that sounds cool like, “Yeah more Agalloch, right?” But in reality, it meant they rushed their soundcheck. The bass overpowered every other instrument. Since Agalloch were never much of a bass-driven band, this just made them sound like a mess of noise as they butchered not only their new album but their classics as well. Hopefully next time they will do better. After Agalloch it was time for the last Edison band that night.

At The Gates

Along with Ruins, Agalloch, and Incantation, Sweden’s melodeath creators At The Gates were one of the top of the must-see bands criteria for Friday. I have been a fan of At The Gates since I was in the 10th grade and felt extremely nostalgic when watching their set. Their set list was mostly songs off of “Slaughter of the Soul” with a few older tracks. To some that sounds disappointing (I even heard a drunk dude in the back say it’s “metalcore without breakdowns”), but personally, I greatly enjoyed that album and as for the litany of bands that ripped it off…not so much. There was a big rumor going around that they were going to debut songs from there then upcoming album “At War With Reality” at MDF, but it turned out to be false. Either way, I didn’t care as I was just happy to finally see these guys live. They ended their set with “Kingdom Gone” – my favorite track off the debut. The gates of Edison were closing and it was time to go to return to SoundStage to see…

Impaled

impaled

Carcass worshipers Impaled  are mostly known for being the unmasked members of the crossover thrash band Ghoul. They were the 2nd outlier on the Soundstage that day as well as the headliner. I did not get to watch too much of their set as their delayed sound check pushed them set back 15 minutes. From what I did get to watch (about like 20 minutes) they were pretty fun and I kind of wish I could have watched more but i had to leave for Rams Head at 12:30 to make sure I caught…

Incantation 

The time had finally come  for the band I wanted to see the most on Friday; the nights feature presentation: Pennsylvania classic death metal act Incantation. I absolutely love this band. They have been around since the early 90’s and still are able to put out killer releases (the album “Vanquish in Vengance ” was one of my top ten 2012 releases). I had once seen guitarist/vocalist John Mcentee’s other band Funerus play with Krisiun and Abnormality up in my area code last year but now was time to see his main band. Jason and I met up with my New Jersey friend Herb and we chilled as we awaited this moment. Once Incantation started we were all blown the fuck away. Rams Head by far had the best sound system of all three venues. The bands powerful sound was given great justice and they were loaded with energy. Incantation’s set list was great as they played plenty of songs from both the old and new eras. Incantation won the night and was a perfect closer for MDF Friday. After the set Jason and I went back to our hotel for some sleep after a successful night of metal. After all, we were just warming up, things were only going to get better.

Read Part 2 here.

Anthony and Chris’s Top 5 Metal Concerts of 2015

As we continue to open the can of worms that is 2016, there are an abundance of great hard rock/heavy metal concerts waiting in the wings.
Of course there are the big festivals such as Maryland Deathfest and Germany’s Keep it True and Wacken Open Air, but those aren’t always the best shows of the year for each individual person for one reason or another.
Sometimes, it’s the little local shows that make the most impact.
Join us as Bonesaw’s contirubuting writer Anthony Carioscia (Tonythechosen) and Editor in Chief Chris Butera put the final nails in 2015’s coffin by discussing their top five concert experiences of last year.
5: Electric Wizard (4/2/2015) and At The Gates (4/12/2015), Webster Hall, NYC
Anthony: Number five for me would be Electric Wizard at Webster hall. I’ve been wanting to see these guys live since high school and the car ride there was fun. It sucks that I missed the opener but their (Eletric Wizard’s)  performance made it worth going for one band.
 
Chris: I wanted to go to that so bad. was so bummed to see it sell out so fast

Anthony:  It’s crazy how fast it sold out. I remember when I first got into doom and how no one was into it. How that times changed.

Chris: Doom pretty much became the flavor of the month once Black Sabbath started up again. I remember barely any doom bands around and then all of a sudden you can’t find a show around here without one.

Anthony: Maryland Deathfest gets loaded with doom now.

Chris: The D is unofficially for doom at this point. My 5th is also at Webster hall. My number five goes to At the Gates on April 12.

Anthony: With Vallenfye Pallbearer and Converge right?

Chris: Yes they were. I got to  see them on their reunion tour in 2008, when we thought it was one and done. Then they came back and put out a new album that I thought was decent, but impossible to live up to Slaughter of the Soul. In my opinion they should have just toured but maybe they were pressured into it and maybe they were jonesing for a new record anyway.  This show was unbelievable knowing what At The Gates can do. I rank it at 5 because I’m not crazy about any of the openers minus Pallbearer.

Anthony: I caught At The Gates at Maryland Deathfest 2014. It was pretty killer. How did Pallbeaer do? I never caught them live.

Chris: They did very well. One of the best shows I’ve been to  this year.

4: Nuclear Assault (9/12/2015) Gramercy Theater, NYC

Anthony: I guess my number 4 would be Nuclear Assault at Gramercy theater.

Chris:  Mine as well. If in fact this is Nuclear Assault’s last outing, it was a great send-off in their hometown

Anthony: I think after that one off show on Maryland Deathfest they are done.

Chris: Just the overall atmosphere was great. A bunch of hometown heroes and their friends. You couldn’t ask for a better ending.

Anthony: That was my second time seeing them. Both times they killed it. John Connelly’s voice sounds just as good it did in the 80’s. Having Whiplash open was a good choice too.

Chris: John always sounds awesome. I caught them at their semi-secret reunion in 2010 as well. Whiplash surprised me. I was not sure if they would be that good but they definitely still had their chops. It seems like they got better with age, and they were already good. Murphy’s law was a lot of fun too. Their energy was great and they were funny as hell.

Anthony: I was never a fan of Murphy’s Law but that set was fun as hell to watch.

Chris: They made if feel like a ceremony because they brought their whole crew with them onstage. It felt like a big house party.

3: Napalm Death,Voivod,Exhumed,Iron Regan and Ringworm (2/8/2015)  The Chance Theater, Poughkeepsie, NY and Ghost (9/27/2015) Terminal 5, NYC

Anthony: I guess since this was 4 for both of us. I’ll go with my 3rd choice, 3 would be Napalm Death, Voivod, Exhumed, Iron Regan and Ringworm at the chance theater.

Chris: That sounds ridiculous. I forgot about that tour

Anthony: It was a crazy show both the line up itself and what happened that day. I got to interview Barney (Greenway) in person. Hes a great guy and I was starstruck. He gets extra points for bashing the Chance’s disgusting bathrooms. The best performances were them Exhumed and Iron Reagan. Voivod’s set could have been better and of course a shout out to the local opener Blast Furnace. Those dudes are always awesome.

Chris: The above three are always great. Haven’t seen them in awhile but looking forward to Napalm Death and The Melvins as well as Vektor and Voivod.

Anthony: Voivod were amazing at Maryland Deathfest 2011 and had a much better set. I plan on going to the Napalm Death/Melvins show as well.

Chris: My 3 would be Ghost at Terminal 5 . It was my first time seeing them and was blown away by their presence.

 Anthony: They are a lot of fun live. I’ve seen them twice.

 

Chris: They’re unbelievable. The house was packed and it was the same week the Pope was in town so there was a very ominous vibe in the air.

Anthony: I wonder if that was scheduled on purpose.

Chris: Could be. Also the opener Purson was pretty good too. Their singer/guitarist was a breath of fresh air. She’s got a lot of charisma.

Anthony: Never heard of them. Last time I saw Ghost the opener was King Dude who was cool but didn’t fit the bill at all.

Chris: I heard mixed reactions about King Dude on that show, but their music is pretty decent. Purson is similar to Coven in that female-fronted psychadelic rock (which a lot of people mistake for doom).

Anthony: Coven-esque bands are pretty common nowadays.

Chris: Unfortunately, a lot of people are jumping on that but this one stood out.

2: Maryland Deathfest XIII (5/21/2015-5/24/2015) Baltimore, MD

Anthony: My 2nd place choice would be the Almighty Maryland Deathfest.

Chris: That would have been my first but I feel like because I didn’t go to it that puts in second for me as well. I have yet to go but i’m clamoring for one.

Anthony: It’s an experience. This was my third time going. This was the only year where I went all four days. I normally skip Thursday.

Chris: It sounds like the raddest party. I feel like the 10,000 Tons of Metal cruise is becoming the semi-mainstream version of this. Which band was your favorite at this year’s Maryland Deathfest?

Anthony: I’d say Agoraphobic Nosebleed had the best performance. Craziest pit ive ever seen. Demilich was a close second though.

Chris: Wasn’t that one of their (Agoraphobic Nosebleed) first shows or something?

Anthony: First official show. Also the Mobb Deep bonus show that was packaged with it was cool to0 though we left when it looked like fights were starting.

Chris: I could see that happening due to a mixed crowd.

Anthony: Yeah more metalheads were watching them than rap fans.

Chris: Groovy. I think our number one is the same band, possibly a different show each,

 Anthony: King Diamond?

Chris: Yep.

1: King Diamond and Exodus (11/20 and 11/21/2015) Playstation Theater, NYC

Anthony: I caught King Diamond on the Abigail tour at the Playstation theater.

 

Chris: Me too, which night?

Anthony: The 21st, I also caught King Diamond at Mayhem Fest but this show throws it out of the water. Mainly because of King playing all of Abigail and not having to sit through Hellyeah and Devil Wears Prada. Slayer and Jungle Rot ruled though.

Chris: I saw the man himself on the 20th, night two for me.
Mayhem Fest shot themselves in the foot with that lineup.

Anthony: I can’t believe how much he (King Diamond) recovered.

Chris: Me too. I had tickets for King Diamond and Kreator in 2008 – just before he had the back surgery and then the triple bypass so when this was announced I was so psyched because that tour got cancelled for the above reasons. I would up having my friend go down to the venue the day the first night tickets went on sale and he got tickets for the second night about an hour before they were officially announced so it was a sweet score.

 Anthony: It was sold out but thanks to Adrenaline PR I was able to get free last minute tickets. I do feel Exodus got screwed over on the tour though.

 

Chris: Exodus was great as usual, I liked how their merchandise played off of NWA’s imagery. It was nice seeing them with Zetro. How do you think they got screwed?

Anthony: Maybe it was just my show, but when I saw them they didn’t even play for half an hour and had no pit. They were much better when I caught them at the Chance with Testament last  year.

Chris: I felt that their set could have been longer but “Impaler” was awesome to hear. I still can’t believe they played that. They had a decent set for me and their pit was ok. It could have been bigger but the crowds were mostly older fans. There were a few dads and their grown children in attendance.

Anthony: I was so glad King Diamond played “Melissa” and “Come to the Sabbath” back to back, especially since those songs were connected. The fact that they were right before the Abigail part of the set made it seem like a short film before the main one.

Chris: I agree. He also played “Curse of the Pharoahs” for me which was awesome. I just remember that this was the first show in a very long time where I was smiling and legitimately happy the entire time.
Anthony: This might very well be the best live performance Iv’e ever seen.

Chris: It did a lot for me personally. It definitely has earned a spot in the top five of all time.

Anthony: Same here.

Chris: The King is King, what more can I say?