Chris sits down with the mighty Bruce Corbitt, who may or may not be Batman as they talk Rigor Mortis, Mike Scaccia, Corbitt’s uphill battles and much more – including the April 21 “Freaks” demo release that has Corbitt’s long-lost vocals from yesteryear!
Kreator was one of the first non-Big Four thrash bands I got into and had yet to see them. With a bill featuring Obituary, Midnight and Horrendous, I felt the time had finally come for me to see the teutonic thrash titans.
This show was a no-brainer as Obituary has always been a favorite of mine, Midnight is one of my favorite newer bands and Horrendous is pretty cool too. The day came and my friends Jay, Branden, Scott and I rode the bus to NYC. Jay and Scott went to the Blue Ruin for some drinks while Branden and I got some pizza before catching a cab to Irving. When we got there, Horrendous had started their set.
I was excited to finally see the old school death metal throwback Horrendous as I missed them at last year’s Maryland Deathfest. The band had great energy and made their long songs feel quick.
Second band on was the almighty Midnight. Before they played I ran into my friends Jason and Nicole (the latter who wanted to see Midnight badly). After buying a Cause of Death shirt, Scott and Jay showed up. The band started with “Vomit Queens” so I knew I was in for a fun ride. The band had amazing energy and played many great tracks such as “Black Rock and Roll.” No doubt about it, Midnight was the second best act of the night for sure.
Next on were death metal classics Obituary. This was my third time seeing them, the first being at MDF 2015 and second being with Cannibal Corpse and Cryptopsy at this same venue. Although the band was really good both times, this set blew the others away because it was loaded with classics. “Internal Bleeding,” “Chopped in Half,” “Turned inside out,” “Slowly We Rot” and more hits from their catalog were featured. As always, the energy combined with a great setlist made them the best band of the night.
In the ninth grade, the only thrash bands I knew were the Big Four, Sepultura and Suicidal Tendencies, my teacher(who also happened to be the singer for All Out War) recommended me a list of bands which included Kreator. After hearing “Betrayer” for the first time, I was hooked.
While I was glad to finally see Kreator, their set sort of bored me. They mostly played songs from the last two albums while throwing in some greats such as “Tormentor,” “Extreme Agression,” “Flag of Hate,” “Enemy of God” and “Pleasure to Kill.” I enjoyed them during these tracks while Jay only enjoyed them during “Pleasure to Kill,” “Tormentor” and “Flag of Hate” as he is only a fan of the first three albums. On the other hand, Branden loved every minute of the set as he loves their 2000 and onward stuff the most.
After Kreator finished, we left the building, got more pizza and hopped on the bus back to Middletown.
For this podcast we see the “classic” lineup of Dallas, Tx thrashers Insinnerator in a returning Christopher Atomic Thrasher along with newcomers Juan Speed and Benjamin Shanks. We talk metal, politics, the Legend of Zelda, and more.
When trying to get free tickets to Monster Mania Con failed, I decided the next best thing was see this awesome New Jersey bill. I had only been to the Starland Ballroom two other times, once in 2010 (the first time I saw Overkill with Forbidden and Bonded by Blood) and again in 2013 for Goblin and Zombi. Both were some of my favorite shows out of the many I’ve been to. The day came, I got my hair cut, did some errands then went to my buddy Jay’s house where our friend Ray picked us up and we left for the venue. When we got to the venue at around 8 p.m., it was during a random intermission between the last local opener and Swallow The Sun.
Swallow The Sun
Being the only main band on the bill I had never seen, Swallow the Sun was the one I wanted to see the most. After taking what felt like forever to set up, the band only got to play three songs. While I was disappointed that the set was so short, they sounded great for the amount of time they were able to play.
Next up was another Finnish band, Amorphis. I had seen these guys once before at Maryland Deathfest 2015, where they played Tales from One Thousand Lakes in its entirety. This time they had a set of mostly new material, which as a fan of I was kind of excited to hear.
Our friend Steve who was also at the show went mostly for Amorphis, while Ray and Jay didn’t care for them. As with Swallow the Sun, the sound guy took forever to get their sound right, cutting the band’s set time to about five songs. The songs were mostly later era such as “House of Sleep,” but we did get two older classics “Into Hiding” and “Oh Rich and Poor.” Similar to Swallow the Sun, they sounded great but deserved a longer set – especially since it wasn’t their fault that it was cut short.
Nile was Jason’s main reason to go and I was curious to see how they would do without longtime and iconic singer Dallas Toiler Wade, who surprisingly left the band just before the tour. I had seen them two other times and his stage presence was part of what made those shows so good. Unfortunately, their sound check again took too long and they only got to play five songs, though they sounded great and still had great presence (not to mention considering their length, five Nile songs is still a decent amount of set time).
At around 11:30 came the main event. When I first saw them in 2010, I was blown away by how insane the energy and sound was from these Jersey locals in their home state. Just like last time, acclaimed heavy metal DJ Eddie Trunk introduced the band as they are one of his favorites and close friends. Overkill’s set consisted of mostly later work, from the 2010 album Ironbound and onward as well as some old school classics such as “Feel the Fire,” “Hello from the Gutter,” and “Rotten to the Core” as well as some great covers such as Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald” and, of course, the Subhuman’s “Fuck You.” This was a pretty cool selection as it showed that Overkill is a band that continues to write great songs 30 years into their career.
Kicking things off with a Sam Kinison-esque scream from vocalist Chris Natalini, the Jersey devils rip into “INRI,” delivering aural force trauma from the get-go.
The heavy riffing of CJ Scioscia and Adam Tranquilli continue to wreak havoc on the senses with “Off With Their Heads,” “Bretheren,” and “By the Slice.” “Bretheren” is especially diabolical, from its bouncy main riff to shifting time signatures on a dime akin to Canadian thrash legends Voivod in the Killing Technology era. “By the Slice” not only keeps tradition to the band’s roots sonically, but also lyrically as they revolve around the cannibalism themes of the Herschell Gordon Lewis classic from which their name is lifted.
As the visceral revival continues, we are treated to the album’s second course. This boasts longer and sludgier tracks with a sincere amount of heaviness from all fronts. “The Underling” is a six-and-a-half-minute opus about toxic relationships and what they can do to a person. This is one of Blood Feast’s more human tracks and makes for one of the more impressive numbers in their catalog as the emotion seamlessly transfers from recording to reality.
“Last Rites” and “Who Prays for the Devil” are mosh-fiendly tunes that zig and zag with creative riffs, zany vocal patterns, and wildly over the top rhythm and percussion work by Tom Lorenzo and Joe Moore. While the latter comes off as a standard pit-starter until the coda, “Last Rites” is a flurry of death/thrash excellence that brings you back to the gory glory days of metal. That said, “Who Prays”makes haste as it doesn’t feel like a six-minute song for a second.
For the main course before the chopping block, Blood Feast deliver healthy portions of old-school thrash with “Nein” and “The Burn” with some bleeding room in the form of “Remnants II.” “Nein” is a drum driven frenzy with Natalini’s striking shrieks powering the ruthless rhythms of Tranquilli and company.
“Remnants II” serves as a warning to the album’s final one-two punch, “The Burn,” which sees Natalini channel his inner Kinison one last time for five minutes of absolute chaos.
With its 10 tracks of destruction, Future State of Wicked is proof that after more than 30 years, Blood Feast continue to kill for pleasure with their brash and intense style of thrash born and bred for the underground. Putting passion first, the New Jersey quintet have crafted a solid album that hearkens back to the good old days of thrash while maintaining their place in the genre’s history.
As we reach the final hours of 2016, we reflect on our top five best metal shows we attended for the year. While there were many, the final installment of this countdown rounds out our absolute number one favorites for varying reasons. As for 2017, here’s to more headbanging, moshing, and great times for all!
Chris’ #1: Carcass with Crowbar, Ghoul and Night Demon at Gramercy Theater.
Chris: This is mainly my number one because I never got to see Carcass until this point. Not only did that finally happen but I also got to interview Bill Steer at that show. He was a super nice guy and I got a free beer out of it. I was supposed to interview Ghoul but they have a lot of family in New York so there was too much going on. We finally did it a few weeks ago. Crowbar ruled. Definitely surprising as I wasn’t sure how they’d be live.
Anthony: Yeah, Crowbar are great live. I saw Carcass this year too but at The Chance with Inter Arma who were a nice surprise and Deafheaven who were…..ugh.
Chris: Night Demon was ok. Too much of Anvil meets Motorhead. They were cool but sounded too much like their influences. I’m not sure why everyone loves Deafheaven so much. They’re just ok.
Anthony: Night Demon are pretty bland. A lot of newer-trade metal just sounds off.
Chris: My runner up is Conditon Critical and Game Over at Lucky 13’s. Mostly because Condition Critical are my boys and I’d like to think I helped break them in and put them over as they were on their way up. Game Over blew my mind. Very nice Italian boys. They were the second coming of Overkill.
Anthony: Mike is a cool dude. I interviewed him awhile back.
Chris: Yes he is. Can’t wait for the new Lich King album.Was also a pleasure to finally have them on the Thrash Bash this year.
Birdman and Lyon’s #1: Sonata Arctica, Dark Tranquility, Swallow The Sun, Leaves Eyes, Omnium Gatherum, Enforcer and Starkill at The Upstate Concert Hall
Birdman: I think Lyon and I are tied for our favorite show of the year so we’ll talk over each other.
Lyon: We sure are.
Anthony: That’s pretty sweet. I’d love to see Swallow the Sun, DT and Omnium.
Lyon: Those three sets in particular were amazing.
Birdman: I guess the first reason it’s my favorite is that there was not a single bad band on the bill. Even Enforcer was mildly entertaining whom Anthony and I have mocked in the past. Leaves Eyes was a nice surprise as well, not too big a fan of symphonic metal.
Lyon: They do it well and Dark Tranquility is one of my favorite bands.
Anthony: They are one of my top melodeath bands for sure.
Birdman: And of course, that was a show where I got to interview three guys from the Century Media bands from that show.
Lyon: They played a lot of songs from their new album. The new stuff is great, they played a bunch of great old shit too.
Birdman: Omnium was definitely Rob’s favorite of the night.
Lyon: Omnium surprised me the most with how good they were, Swallow the Sun hits all the right notes for me too. And their set was long and great .Starkill was honestly really entertaining.
Birdman: Didn’t get to see Starkill because of the interview. Sonata was great to hear live again after a seven year lapse.
Maryland Deathfest 2016
Anthony: Didn’t go Thursday this year and I was sad that both discharge and Destroyer 666 dropped, but overall it was a great time and saw many awesome bands.
No locals unless you count the side bar as part of the fest.
Lyon: Sweet. What were the top three acts?
Anthony: Dragged into Sunlight, Demolition Hammer and Angelcorpse.
Lyon: Dragged is fucking sweet.
Anthony: Runners up will be Exciter,Venom, Hirax and Rotten Sound. I’m guessing this is it for the round table. I’m sure Mayhem, Nuclear Assault and Testament all sounded great there to. I skipped them for Magrudergrind, Infest and Hemorrhage since I’ve seen them all. Cool chatting without guys going to try to get it up for the end of the year.
Lyon: I always try to get it up for the end of the year!
As we near the end of 2016, we also near our number one spot of our top five countdown of metal shows for that year. While there was an arsenal of spells, speed and sonic bliss, these are the ones that were our second favorite. For our number one’s, check back tomorrow.
Chris’s #2: Spellcaster, Exmortis and Holy Grail at St. Vitus
Chris: I ended up interviewing all three, meeting the guy behind Heavy Artillery Records and some hot chick who I went on a disater date with a few weeks later. They (the bands) are all extremely talented. It was really nice to catch up with Alex Lee as I hadn’t seen him since he was in Bonded By Blood when I was interning at Earache. He still does the crazy yo-yo tricks. And Spellcaster has been one of my favorite modern bands since their first album.
Birdman’s #2: Fear Factory and Soilwork at The Chance
Birdman: Plus a lot of unmentioned openers
Lyon: That’s likely the show I most regret not going to this year.
Birdman: The Chance failed to mention Spades and Blades and Without A Martyr who were touring mates. I didn’t care for either of those bands, though Crazy Dan liked Without A Martyr.
Lyon: Diverse representation of sound has its advantages at a show sometimes, which I’m positive we will both mention again later.
Birdman: And it was great chance to see Dirk drum for Soilwork before he found his life’s calling.
Anthony: Dude’s in Megadeth now. Great job on his part.
Lyon: Fear Factory is, at this point, I would argue iconic in metal.
Birdman: Yeah, seeing them live put me on a Fear Factory kick.
Lyon: They were one of the first really heavy bands I got into.
Birdman: Also made Demanufacture a must for my vinyl collection. Their drummer was kind of boring though. Wish they had Hoglan for this tour.
Anthony: Every band should have Hoglan for every tour.
Birdman: Bring out the cloning device.
Lyon: Yeah, if they made that stupid fucking sheep they can make Hoglan.
Lyon’s #2: Aether Realm, Nekrogoblikon, and Alestorm in NYC
Lyon: I’m a big fan of all three bands. The opener has an exciting new album on the release and the previewed tracks were great. Hilariously, Evan and I hung with Nekro during the show and did shots with them. Scorpion, their singer, actually took and listened to our demo, sending us constructive and positive criticism. It was a real fuckin’ nice and cool thing. Also, their set was amazing and I slayed bodies in the pit
(“murder” always makes pits better). Lastly, Alestorm definitely still has it. It was my first time seeing them since their second album. The new songs are a lot better live than on record. There were a lot of magical moments, and it definitely made up for the last time they came around and were down a guitarist and at a much shittier venue.
Summer Slaughter, the biggest extreme metal tour in the U.S. is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary with a lineup that’s much better than most years (though it still contains too much deathcore). A big surprise came when it was booked at the Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY as this venue always skips out on big shows. I was able to get free tickets through Cannibal Corpse’s PR and thanks to Nuclear Blast I was able to schedule an interview with Terreance Hobbs of Suffocation. At around 2:15 p.m. I got to the venue and interviewed him fifteen minutes later. After a great time chatting with the living legend I got some dinner at Nutty’s and walked in, ran into many of my good friends and watched the first band set up.
The first band I caught was the slam group Ingested. While some of my friends were REALLY hyped up for these guys I never gave two shits about them. Every song they played had the same chugging riffs and were full of slams over and over. They didn’t impress me or my friend Jay at all though several people seemed to really love them.
Slaughter to Prevail
Next up was generic deathcore from Slaughter to Prevail. They played songs that were extremely typical of that genre and since I don’t like deathcore I did not like Slaughter to Prevail. Moving onto something better, the next act set up.
These Brazilian death metallers were my first highlight of the day (wanted to check out my buddies in Lung Puncture but the interview time made that impossible). I had caught Krisiun once in 2013 with Funerus and Abnormality and they put on a stellar performance. Here they were no different as they totally killed and made up for how bad the previous bands were. I was watching from the balcony and the view was great (The Chance should have the balcony open for all shows). There’s nothing more brutal than watching Krisiun’s drummer Max Kolesne during their whole set.
Tech thrashers, Revocation were on next. Another band I caught in 2013 on a bill with 3 Inches of Blood, Goatwhore and Ramming Speed. Revocation again reminded me how you can have tons of technicality and still be energetic.
After skipping Carnifex by hanging with friends as they got dinner, I went back to the Chance to watch Suffocation. Due to vocalist Frank Mullenno no longer touring with the band due to his work schedule, they had Ricky Myers from the classic brutal death band Disgorge. With this said they did well and Myers sounded great.
After the Burial
Since their is nothing interesting about this deathcore band, I just sat in the loft area and charged my phone. I could still sort of hear them and they did indeed sound awful.
Me and a bunch of my buddies worried about many songs Nile could play since they only had a 40 minute set and their songs tend to be long. The band was able to make due with this short set as they sounded great and played many classics like “Black Seeds of Vengance.”
Last but not least was Cannibal Corpse. I didn’t stay for their whole set as I’ve seen them four times before this and their set was very similar to the last one. That said, what I watched was excellent and sounded great like always.