Vile Records Open Air Festival
August 16, 2014
Review and Photos by InfamousButcher
Sometimes the location of a great metal scene takes you by surprise. When you think of metal, everyone thinks of big cities like Los Angeles and New York City. We death metallers know that the Death Metal capital of the US is Tampa, Florida. What I learned this weekend is that Buffalo, NY, nestled up there near Canada, is a city with a rich metal history and a thriving scene. 30 years ago, bands like Tirant Sin, Leviathan, Baphomet, Cannibal Corpse, and Malevolent Creation arose from the harsh climate to put Buffalo on the map as a force in extreme metal. Today, current and former members of these classic bands still reside in Buffalo and many hell raising new bands are making their mark. Come, my fellow metalheads and I’ll tell my tale of what I experienced!
The venue for today’s fest is none other than Ryan Fiorita’s backyard! It is every young musician’s dream to have a concert at their own home, and Hellcannon’s singer / guitarist was able to pull this off with his bandmate Jim Nickles. Jim is a Buffalo metal veteran, having been an original member of the legendary Malevolent Creation as well as playing lead guitar for Vile Vindiction and now Hellcannon. Jim is also an entrepreneur as he is the owner of Vile Records, the label putting on the fest, Shredly Studios, and Shredly Guitars. A large tent was raised in the backyard to cover the stage in case the Buffalo weather kicked in, which it did a bit with some wind and rain (fucking cold for August!). Jim knows his stuff: the sound system and lighting was top notch, sound quality was better than some indoor venues I’ve been to. Jim also had a professional crew recording the video and audio for a live DVD, how awesome is that?!? Turnout was between 50 and 100 people and the vibe was cool, us metaheads always get along great.
ONE WAY TERROR
The first band up at 3PM sharp was local punk / thrash crossover band One Way Terror. Their furious assault woke everyone the fuck up as they tore into songs like “Too Broke To Care” and “My Contribution”. Their blistering set was good raw, angry stuff reminiscent of early Megadeth. The 4 piece had 2 singers, bassist Dave and guitarist Chris. Their closer was a raucous cover of Motorhead’s “Rock and Roll” which I sang along to with delight! OWT is a great young band with infectious energy, check ‘em out on Facebook!
By the Badge
RLGF (red light gun fight)
Under the Knife
Too Broke To Care
Rock ‘n’ Roll (Motorhead cover)
ANCIENTS OF THE EARTH
Are you ready for a little stoner metal in the vein of Sleep? Big change of pace from OWT, Ancients of the Earth take the mid 70’s Sabbathy path to your brain! Good stuff – It was an enjoyable set of trippiness with a hint of doom! Rather than pick out specific favorites, the set as a whole appealed to me, like listening to a cool album side! I’m digging the fucking variety of the fest already!
Seer of Sage
Dreams in Moss
Valley of the Sun
Two words – THRASH ATTACK! Armageddon is a young, ferocious Buffalo based thrash band formed by two brothers, 16 year old Anthony Potenza on guitar and vocals and 12(!) year old Tim Potenza on drums. Now you might be thinking, if they’re that young, are they any good? You bet your metal ass they are! Sounding like KILL ‘EM ALL era Metallica mixed with a bit of Iron Maiden guitars, Armageddon kicked things off with “Twilight Existence” and “Aftermath” before bludgeoning us with “Relentless War” and then my favorite, “Thrash Attack”. Anthony sported a RUST IN PEACE Dean guitar (how awesome is that?!?) while delivering gruff vocals before switching over to a Shredly (Jim Nickles’ hand manufactured guitars) for most of the set. Bassist Derek Schultz grooved the beginning of “Subsequence” with a great bass line before the song ignited into blistering thrash! Killer set, I think great things are in store for Armageddon. I’m very happy there are several new thrash bands brining that 80’s sound back! Armageddon has released their new EP AGE OF DARKNESS on Vile Records. Pick it up for a dose of ‘80s thrash!
Up next was the heaviest band of the fest, Buffalo’s Darkapathy. Singer Dennis Glinski asked the crowd if we were ready for some DOOM and Nate Gatti’s lead heavy guitar tone filled the air and pummeled our ears! It was one of the lowest, sludgiest, heaviest tones I’ve ever heard, right up there with Grave, Mortician, and Disma. Immediately I loved it and instinctively banged my head in unison with the CHUN CHUN CHUN CHUN grinding! Then, Dennis, sporting a Baphomet shirt (awesome!) started the low growls and the atmosphere became ghoulish and filled with dread! His voice was brutal but understandable and it mixed with the music perfectly. New bass player Jimi Voelker fit right in like he had been there for years. I enjoyed the entire set of doom and gore; my favorites were “Flesh Coated Armor” (cool title!) and “Apocalcryptic”. Damn, there is nothing heavier than New York Death Metal! Dennis is a veteran of the Buffalo extreme metal scene; I met him after the set and learned that back in the day he was the original singer of Tirant Sin, before Chris Barnes (Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under) had the gig. He is also the vocalist for Grave Descent, another Buffalo band. I also met Nate and Jimi, the Darkapathy dudes were all very cool to chat with. Fans of old school Death Metal need to pick up a copy of Darkapathy’s self-titled debut, it’s a fucking crusher!
Abyss of Black Filth
Time is Now to Slaughter
Flesh Coated Armor
Ok time for some face ripping death thrash! Fronted by guitarist / singer Ryan Fiorita, Hellcannon has been around for 5 years, releasing an EP RAIDERS OF THE WASTE and a full length album INFECTED WITH VIOLENCE. Last year, Jim Nickles joined the band and took over the lead guitar duties. Since then, the band has released their SOOTHSAYER EP and the single “Lost Cause” and is working on a full length album. As a live act, these guys are fucking great! Reminiscent of early Malevolent Creation or early Pestilence, Ryan, Jim, drummer Bryant Morrison and bassist Kevin Peace began by tearing into us with “Resinous Infection.” They were very tight, together, and intense. Jim’s guitar playing was fluid, natural, the man was born to fucking shred! Ryan’s voice is perfect for death thrash, angry rasp with a bit of guttural, I dug it. The whole set was awesome, my favorites included “Lost Cause”, “Rock City” (which Ryan introduced by saying they were going to play some fucking rock and roll), and “Soothsayer”. I could listen to these guys all night! Incredible set, Hellcannon is poised to make their mark, in October they will be touring Europe with Sodomizer, catch them when they come to town!
Raiders Of The Waste
Act Of Violence
How about some Black Metal? Buffalo’s Theatre Nocturne was up next, a blend of black and death metal that is a bit like Goatwhore. The band was fast, heavy, and together. Vocalist Justin Foley was very animated, all over the stage, interacting with the crowd as he delivered growls and shrieks. Good set, best songs were “Indiscernible Will” and “Throne”.
Immortal Savage Nature
Above the Mist Themes of Sorrow Whisper
The Sordid Reflection
LOW ROAD REVIVAL
It’s hard to describe Low Road Revival as they are very unique, a bit like Motorhead meets Crowbar with an Irish rock element. Singer Bob Bieber does a bit of Celtic dancing onstage while singing, it’s a little crazy but really cool at the same time. Their set was a lot of fun, in addition to standouts like “Riding the Gluehorse” and “Two Bits” we also got killer covers of SOD’s “United Forces” and Faith No More’s “Surprise You’re Dead”. Low Road Revival’s EP PERFECT SCARS is available through Vile Records, check it out for a cool metal / rock crossover.
Sit With Kings
Unnamed New Song
Riding the Gluehorse
United Forces (SOD cover)
Dead in the Water
Give Up the Lie
Surprise You’re Dead (Faith No More cover)
Low Road Revival
The last band of the night was New Jersey’s Condition Critical, a hungry, up and coming, vicious thrash band. The energy level shot up at they shredded us with their opener “Random Acts of Killing”. As precise as a surgeon with a scalpel, the band was tight, together, and fucking lethal! Some moshing broke out in response to the onstage mayhem, lucky we didn’t bring the fucking tent down! Singer Alonso Manguino’s vox were harsh thrash (think Kreator or Sepultura) and fit the music perfectly. Highlights of the set included “Parasitic Torment”, “Bred to Kill”, “Gravitational Dismemberment” and Demolition Hammer cover “.44 Caliber Brain Surgery”. Overall a great set of aggressive thrash. Condition Critical’s debut album OPERATIONAL HAZARD is available on Burned by God Records; check it out for your thrash fix!
Random Acts of Killing
Bred to Kill
SMR Surgical Malpractice
.44 Caliber Brain Surgery (Demolition Hammer Cover)
Time Wave Zero
The Vile Records Open Air Fest was my introduction to the Buffalo metal scene, and it blew my fucking doors off! What a great mixture of bands and musical styles! Sound quality was great. Unlike most fests I’ve been to, everything ran on time like clockwork, 15 minutes in between bands. Fellow metalheads are always cool with each other and Buffalo was just like home to me. Everyone was very friendly and I made some contacts. I want to express a big thank you to Jim Nickles for inviting me out to the fest; I am all the richer for it. Jim will be recording and mixing the new Malevolent Creation album at his Shredly Studios, so be on the lookout for that one my fellow metalheads! Looking forward to the 2nd Vile Records Open Air Fest next year!