This or the Apocalypse 1This or the Apocalypse, a five man metal band hailing from Lancaster, PA, threw down at the backstage of the Championship Bar and Grill when they played a set on Friday night, October 4, 2013. This or the Apocalypse is the second national metal act from Lancaster to play at Champs year.

Currently touring as openers for Kansas City metal/electronica group The Browning, This or the Apocalypse has played at Champs many times.

“It’s a bit of a gem, really,” Rick Armellino, the band’s singer, told The VOICE in a recent interview, adding:  “A filthy little gem. It’s definitely one of the cooler small venues. They run it like a real venue and they really know what they’re doing.”

The band formed in 2005, and has since released one album on their own, as well as three other full length albums through three different record labels.

Last fall This is the Apocalypse headlined a tour in support of their album Dead Years. They have since played several other tours supporting bands like Bleeding Through and Alesana.

It’s not uncommon for bands to constantly want to play bigger and better venues on increasingly more prominent tours, but the members of This or the Apocalypse say they are happy with where they are right now.

“I think right now we’re at a place where we’re all content doing what we do, and it’s brought the most growth on that we’ve ever had. I just try to be happy doing this,” Armellino told The VOICE.

When it was almost time for This or The Apocalypse to take the stage the grotto-like backstage room was very still. Most of the crowd stood tentatively along the walls, leaving a gaping hole in the center of the floor. The lights were dimmed in the already gloomy hall and a few minutes later the band took to the stage to cheers and applause from their fans.

The moment guitarists Jack Esbenshade and Rodney Phillips shredded through the opening riffs to Hell Praiser, the hole in the middle of the room was overtaken by dancing fans, flailing their arms and legs wildly, colliding with everything in their path.

Much of the crowd collectively took a step towards the back of the room so to not to become collateral damage, but Armellino quickly objected.This or the Apocalypse 2

“What the fuck are you doing in the back?!” he yelled, before unleashing the song’s opening roar. Armellino got right in the middle of the crowd. With his mic in hand he weaved through the fans to herd them closer to the stage.

When Bassist Cody Canavaugh wasn’t leaping back and forth across the stage he was perched on a box overlooking the crowd, beckoning them to clap along with the beat.

One highlight was watching Armellino launch himself into the crowd only to have his fans hold him up as he finished singing the lyrics to A Damn Moment. “I know what it’s like/I know what it’s like/I know what it’s like/To give up.” Armellino beckoned while the hands of his audience suspended him above the room.

When the band began playing the final song of their set, Charmer, the opening track of their 2010 album, Haunt What’s Left, the energy in the room escalated to a new level.

As fans threw themselves at each other to the song’s furious guitar riffs, they managed to pull Armellino off the stage completely. He still managed to finish the song, and the set, a feat that was met with the thunderous approval from the crowd.

Ben Knudson, third year accounting major at Rowan University who attended the Champs gig said, “I’d never listened to This or the Apocalypse before the show and I was blown away by how energetic and tight their performance was.”

“They absolutely tore the house down, literally and figuratively as shown by the chunks of ceiling that fell to the floor,” said Nick Bonsanto, drummer for the South Jersey thrash metal band, Thrashole, who also attended. He added: “They truly represent the hardcore scene in what a band could and should be: solid, refreshing, intense and passionate.”

This or the Apocalypse has better musicianship than the average metal outfit. The wailing guitar leads can be heard cleanly over the punishing drum beats delivered by drummer, Aaron Ovecka. Each band member plays with great purpose creating a very full sound.

“I don’t go to Champs too often because I barely listen to metal these days, and I’m getting a little old to enjoy getting punched in the face by angsty high schoolers,” said Knudson, “But I had a lot of fun at the show.”

“I view what I do as entertainment. I try to keep a really good attitude about it.”  said Armellino. “As long as you’re doing your job well and are showing consistency and are gradually improving over time then you’re doing a good job.”

This or the Apocalypse puts on an impressive and impassioned performance. They make the crowd feel as though they are part of the show and don’t hesitate to get a little crazy. One of the most important things is that it’s easy to tell that the guys in the band are having a great time while they are playing, which makes the show all that much more enjoyable for the audience.

This or the Apocalypse continues their current tour until the middle of November and are currently working on a new record.

Correction: The bass player pictured is Cody Canavaugh, and not Matthew Marcellus. Canavaugh is a touring musician that is filling in for Marcellus while he is on a leave on absence. This has been changed in the body of the article.

Print Friendly
Share this:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumbler Email

Tags: , , , , ,


One Response to “Metal band This or the Apocalypse roars through Champs in Trenton” Subscribe

  1. Pittsburgh Musis Scene November 8, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    Great article, however you got the name of the base player wrong. For this tour, the talented musician Cody Canavaugh from PIttsburgh is playing base for TOTA. Cody is pictured in the article, but you inadvertently listed TOTA’s previous bass player’s name who is on a leave of absence. Could you possibly make the correction so that Cody can get the deserved credit please? Thank you.

Paul McCartney plays Prudential Center in Newark: An intimate night with 18,000 fans

Paul McCartney, one fourth of the legendary rock band The Beatles, filled the 18,000 seat, Prudential Center in Newark, New […]

Who’s next? Dr. David Edwards leaves, paving the way for 5th Mercer VP in five years

Mercer’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. David Edwards, will be leaving his position to assume the same role at […]

Where do we stand on taking a knee?

In the past few weeks the country has been discussing professional athletes kneeling during the National Anthem, an act originally […]

EDITORIAL: Why are we so burnt out? Hint: It’s not because we are lazy, millennial snowflakes

In the last month three of The VOICE’s five editors quit, and it wasn’t because they wanted more time to […]

55 locals shave their locks to support St. Baldricks cancer research

St. Baldrick’s Foundation hosted a their fifth annual head shaving and auction event to support funding for childhood cancer research […]

Donut miss this local artisan doughnut shop just minutes from campus!

Donuts Time Cafe is seven minutes from Mercer’s West Windsor campus–on Rt. 33 in Hamilton–and it is the perfect destination […]

Music professors teach body awareness tools to help prevent injury

Music professors teach body awareness tools to help prevent injury Joshua Wilson, a Piano Instructor at Mercer County Community College […]

Jersey’s Italian American heritage celebrated at annual festival

The annual Mercer County Italian American Festival ran from Sept. 22-24 and featured entertainment, food, games and amusement rides. The […]

DAY OUT: Grounds for Sculpture

Ten minutes down Edinburg Road is a park called Grounds For Sculpture. There are 42 acres filled with sculptures of […]

Where to go for bagels? We have the answer.

Our of all the bagel places in Mercer County there’s one place that stands: Caesars Bagels & Deli on Flock […]

Jammin’ Crêpes: A culinary classic reinvented with farm to table flare

Until recently, if you had asked me what a crêpe was, my honest answer would have been a flat pancake […]

President Trump’s DACA stance leaves Mercer community shaken and students fearful

Bumba Bat is a recent Rutgers graduate who lives in Ewing Township. His family brought him to the United States […]

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.
Social links powered by Ecreative Internet Marketing