The Detroit heavy music community gathered at Hot Rocks in Warren to celebrate life and flip the middle finger at winter during the Tony B Birthday metal fest.
F**k Winter and Happy Birthday: The Tony B Birthday metal fest
You know you are loved when eight punk, hardcore, and metal bands gather to celebrate your birthday. Mike Montagne from Infused Productions put together the Tony B Birthday metal fest at Hot Rocks in Warren for friends and music fans to celebrate with Tony. An early morning winter storm tried to throw a wrench into the evening, but it was no match for the determined will of the audience to prevail.
Who The Hell is Tony B?
I met Tony Belkowski at Get Into The Pit in 2015. Tony was back in Michigan after being out in California. He was looking to get back into promoting some metal shows and bands. Tony is a gregarious dude and loves to talk about metal music. We chatted on and off during that gig. I introduced Tony to some of the folks I knew at the show and he hit it off with the guys in Hate Unbound. From there Tony kicked off his Misery Metal which promotes local and national acts in the area. Tony is a big fan of the local extreme music scene. When I got his message asking to come out and celebrate his birthday at Hot Rocks with a bunch of local bands, I said hell yes.
The first band up is Some Uncoordinated Bastards (S.U.B.) from Ferndale. The band includes the Bastard brothers from another mother, Mickey, Beej, Matt, and Johnny. S.U.B. unfurl a whopping 12 inches of punk rock fun. Their set is the perfect shot of adrenaline to beat the winter blues out of your system. Asking the audience for favorite foods, S.U.B. whipped up a tune featuring, pickles, pizza, and tacos. Damn, now I’m hungry!
Life of Suppression
If you remember the band Cell Block Earth, then you may recognize Larry Gallerani (drums) and Mike Stein (guitars) in their new band Life of Suppression. Joining them on bass is Sam Kemerko and Ed Wright on vocals. Together, these guys throw down a serious hardcore metal beating. Bruising riffs with plenty of pummeling drums and bass. Ed’s vocals radiate with rage. In a shattering world, Life of Suppression is the soundtrack.
Thank the Google god and the band Ignis Aeterna for helping me learn a bit of Latin. The band’s name is Latin for eternal fire. This moniker fits well as Ignis Aeterna lit it up at the Tony B Birthday metal fest. The band is relatively new featuring Gregory Graham (guitar) Nick Ryan (bass), Marty Synder (drums), and Mike Davis-Banks (vocals). Ignis Aeterna plays an intriguing mix of metal that felt at times like 10 Years and others like Kill Switch Engage. They earn bonus points by breaking out the key-tar during their final song. Keep an eye out for the eternal flame.
If you somehow have a deluded notion that metal doesn’t spark the youth of today, then get out there and check out Apocalipse. I’m pretty sure that Thomas Thompson (bass, vocals), Carter Bradley (drums), Dino Vario (guitar), and Cameron Seaman (guitar) weren’t born when Metallica started blasting “Motorbreath”. Yet, these guys are channeling a new wave of old school thrash. Brilliant comes to mind. They unleash an iron fist of metal that had a rowdy crew moshing it up in the pit. No quarter was given, and none was asked. Watch out as the future will be brought to you by Apocalipse.
As their name implies, Ante Up is not afraid to put everything they have on the table. From the first note, these guys are swinging with all their might for the fences. The earth-shattering bass and drums from John and Justin combined with menacing guitar riffs of Matt and Rich get the pit roiling. Critter stalks the stage like a caged animal. Using his voice as a weapon, he slashed and tore with disgust at a world gone mad. Ante Up put on a magnificent performance at the Tony B Birthday Metal fest. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of their new album called “T.I.M.E.”
It has been a minute since I’ve seen the heavy groove thrashing hardcore mayhem of M-102. In case you are not familiar with them, the band is William Billistik Hoerauf (vocals), Adam Lemon (drums), Gary Bargy (bass), and Jeremy Brooks (guitar – aka Squirm Diggler). M-102 shot out of the gate like a rocket. Guitars, bass, and drums blasting as William’s vocals seared the stage. Jeremy could not contain himself from jumping and running around the stage. The power of metal is strong with M-102.
It wouldn’t be a Detroit metal fest without the supernova crushing intensity of Hate Unbound. Guitarists Daryl Mitchell and William Cundiff feed off the relentless rhythmic onslaught provided by Franklin Hannah (drums) and Deanna Kaczala (bass). Vocalist Art Giammara’s roaring vocals bring the power of the old gods to bear with terrifying ferocity. Evidently creating a pulverizing sonic wave on stage is a lot of fun as the members of Hate Unbound look to be having a ball. Rumor has it that Hate Unbound is close to releasing a new album. The year 2020 is looking to be very metal indeed.
Closing out the Tony B Birthday Metal Fest is Psychomancer from Michigan City, Indiana. Chainsaw guitars, face-smashing drums and bass, yeah man, this is some death metal to put the cherry on top of a great night of heavy music. The band includes Andrew Mote (guitar), Bradley Heidorn (guitars), Dustin Bullard (bass), and Corey Blackstad (drums). They were quick to push the envelope with riffs that bludgeon the senses. As part of their set, they included a Game of Thrones based song called the “Unsullied” that conjured savagery. They also blasted out a Motorhead cover. However, they took it to a deeper, darker, more violent level.
The Tony B Birthday Metal fest burned a hole in this long winter’s night with Michigan made heavy music played to the hilt. I saw nothing but happy faces which means that the music did the trick to blow away any winter blues. Happy Birthday Tony and thanks for inviting me out to the Tony B Birthday metal fest at Hot Rocks.
We have a few more pictures from the Tony B Birthday Metal fest. Enjoy the images. Contact us regarding any use.
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