P.O.D. inspirational at The Paramount Huntington, NY 6-21-15 w/ From Ashes to New

P.O.D. inspirational at The Paramount Huntington, NY 6-21-15 w/ From Ashes to New

Payable On Death, more widely known as P.O.D., began in 1992 in San Diego, California when Guitarist Marcos Curiel and Drummer Wuv Bernardo got together to jam. Calling themselves Eschatos, the duo began to play local parties. Playing only Thrash Metal covers with no vocals, Bernardo reached out to his cousin Sonny Sandoval to sing lead for the band. Bassist Gabe Portillo completed the line-up and Eschatos became Payable On Death, or P.O.D. In 1994, Traa Daniels replaced Portillo on Bass. That same year the band released their debut album called Snuff The Punk on Rescue Records. They would release three more albums before Guitarist Curiel would leave the band due to differences. Jason Truby stepped in on Lead Guitar and appeared on the albums Payable On Death and Testify. Curiel returned to the band in early 2007 and remains a part of the collective today. The nearly intact original line-up made a stop at The Paramount in Huntington, New York on Father’s Day, Sunday June 21st, along the way on their Summer tour that began on June 14th in South Bend, Indiana and will end up in Lancaster, Ohio on July 18th.

Those who got to the show early were treated to the heaviest local band around, Borgo Pass. This veteran Sludge Metal outfit was loud, and heavy, with a stage show that presented the polish of a headliner. Vocalist James Tamarazzo was an imposing figure, with a smooth, raw style that fit perfectly among the sonic wave crashing over the crowd. Guitarist Tommy Crane and Lead Guitarist Paul Rosado combined for sonic singularity while Bassist Thomas Karcher and Drummer Joe Wood provided the foundation and rooted the band deep down. The songs were catchy with a solid groove that did not betray the heavy. Songs like “Quint,” “Burning Breath,” “Dogs Know Better,” “Rotted Chain,” “Wrath,”  and “Ace Down,” drew huge reactions from the crowd while grabbing the attention of others and building their fan base in the process. Be sure to take a closer look at Borgo Pass.

Static Summer was up next. Hailing from New York City, Guitarist Nick Cavagnaro, Vocalist Rene Mata, Drummer Dante Renzi, Guitarist Vin Alfieri, and Bassist CJ were all friends before they decided to make music together. On stage, the five performed as a tight unit and delivered a strong set of catchy Alternative Rock. Having visited The Paramount back on April 28th as support for Papa Roach and We Are Harlot, Static Summer were amped up in their return to the venue. The crowd enjoyed the change of pace as the band performed “Heartback” and “Rollercoaster” along with “Tell Me,” a cover of Nirvana’s “Breed,” and “Automatic.” Mata engaged the audience and drew them closer as the set went on. This is a band on the rise.

Dealers hails from Amityville NY. They combine elements of Hardcore and Doom Metal with some Punk and Thrash Metal sprinkled in. Loud and raw best describes this local four piece made up of Justin on vocals, Beard on Guitar, McGrittz on Bass, and Eric on Drums. Dealers turned heads with their grit, volume, and wild stage show. They performed songs from their releases, Most Hated, Rest In Power, and their most recent Too Rad. Dealers gave the crowd a lot to take in as they moved between genres effortlessly throughout their music. This is a very interesting and prolific band.

On to the national touring bill, From Ashes to New are a band from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Signed to Better Noise Records, they recently released a new EP entitled Downfall while touring with the likes of Hollwood Undead, among others, building a strong following. A mix of many different genres of music, From Ashes to New combined Electronic, Hardcore, and Rap using a two headed attack with vocalists Matt Brandyberry  and Chris Musser singing and rapping over heavy guitars provided by Dan Kecki and Branden “Boo” Kreider. With background Keys programmed by Brandyberry, the band left the task of securing the foundation to Bassist Garrett Russell along with Drummer Tim D’onofrio and they were solid. The band blasted through “My Fight,” “Land of Make Believe,” “Destruction of Myself,” and the new “Downfall,” to the delight of a growing crowd. Brandyberry and Musser traded vocals seamlessly while the other kept the audience on the edge of the stage. From Ashes To New closed the set with their hits “Live Again,” “Lost and Alone,” “I Will Show You,” and “Stay This Way.” From Ashes to New is a great example of totaling one’s influences and putting  together a sound that is new and forward moving. Be sure to look out for their debut full-length album due out later this Summer.

P.O.D. took to the stage following a strong group of opening bands. The positive angle of this band is even apparent when you look at the locals that were put on the bill and how P.O.D. is intent on putting the best bands on before them with no ego to be found anywhere. The band came out with “Murdered Love,” followed by their mega hit “Boom.” The crowd responded with a roar as the band displayed their intensity with heavy Groove Metal. Drummer Wuv Bernardo laid down the funky beats all night along with his partner in rhythm Bassist Traa Daniels. Sonny Sandoval sang without standing in one spot for too long, encouraging the crowd to sing along and trying to get as close to them as possible. Although the stage setup allowed him to get only so close, Sandoval really touched them with his personality. He gave out a great positive energy only to get it back ten times from the crowd. All the while, Guitarist Marcos Curiel was, at times, brutal and heavy; like during “Set It Off,” and other times he was atmospheric and compelling; as in “Beautiful.”

During “Without Jah, Nothin'” the band covered a lot of ground, starting out with a driving Hardcore opening before transitioning to a deep Reggae groove, seaming  equally comfortable at either extreme. Curiel began the intro to “Youth Of The Nation,” and the crowd reacted loudly, Sandoval asked for help singing it. Hands in the air, the people sang along, at times handling the chorus all by themselves. The band continued on with “Revolution,” as Sandoval sang the intro to a sea of fists. “On Fire,” “Satellite,” and “Southtown,” followed before P.O.D. closed the show with their biggest hit to date. “Alive” drew the biggest cheers of the night and by far the most participation from the audience.

The evening was full of diversity in music. With four great opening bands, the vibe was high energy and positive. P.O.D. continue to be a force in Alternative Hard Rock and their latest single “This Goes Out to You” off their forthcoming record The Awakening is proof of such. Be on the lookout for The Awakening due on August 21st, and watch for a whole new set of tour dates to support The Awakening in the very near future.

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Mark Zapata
[email protected]

Mark Zapata is a drummer, author and educator. He has spent the last decade and a half in the east coast metal scene playing drums for Killjoy, Tsul 'Kalu and many others. Mark has shared the stage with such metal icons as Suffocation, Fear Factory, Anvil, Otep and many, many others. Mark brings his unique perspective and onstage experience to Cryptic Rock. He's been on those stages and he's been in those studios. He has and continues to live the life. Mark is currently teaching all styles of drumming to all ages at www.Facebook.com/MZDrums

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