On one of the hottest days of the year where it was anticipated that one of the worst thunder storms would come our way, The Chronicles of Israfel happened to be playing their first show together. I was in a grumpy mood from the heat, and wasn’t feeling 100%, but I pushed myself to get to the venue and check out the show. Piranha Bar is known to not be one of my favourite venues, so I was nervous it wouldn’t give the band justice.
As I approached the venue, I saw Bucketlist writer and vocalist extraordinaire, Jason Greenberg of Camalus (Outlive The Dead), standing outside with Eric. The outside of Piranha was swarming with familiar faces, all gathered, anxious and excited, for this performance. The Chronicles of Israfel were the only band set to play for a graceful hour. The amount of people who came out for this event was impressive and showed how much these guys are appreciated in the scene. I even bumped into some Italian paisans who are friends with the band. Small world.
The show began around 11pm. People gathered inside the hot, stuffy venue, Jason Greenberg and Joseph Espinosa of Fayne included. Could there be a vocal trio planned? Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” played while the band slowly walked on stage. Already I loved the hilarious intro, and it brought so much more excitement to the crowd. But then things got serious…
The band began with “Goddamned”, a ridiculously heavy musical intro that included heavy guitar riffs and Justin Piedimonte’s powerful drum kicks. The size of his drum kit was being questioned by certain people in the crowd – it also took up half the stage. The bigger the kit the better in my books. I usually have issues with hearing vocalists at Piranha Bar, but Dom delivered well. He had somewhat of a Geddy Lee sound to his vocals with a totally original twist that made it his own.
“Its fuckin hot, huh?” Dom said before they introduced “Violet Empress”. This song is featured as one of Bucketlists videos for September, and seeing it performed live made me get goosebumps. Four guest vocalists joined in; seeing Joseph of Fayne jumping up and down, looking like he was psyching himself up for this performance made it obvious he was about to join in. He and Jason were all over the crowd screaming their hearts out while Eric Savanis of The Occult and Faiz Khan from Crosstitution sang along as well. Hearing four strong vocalists at once help sing along to the chorus was indeed a magically overwhelming moment.
At this point, I was so blown away. Could it get better? Was it even possible? It was… After the burst of crazy vocals, we were calmed down a little with a lovely instrumental by Andrew Wieczorek. His key playing was breathtaking. Dom joined in with a solo that took the waves of earth and shook them in my brain. Looking around the jam packed venue, I did not see one person on their cell phone or distracted by conversation. The entire crowd was totally focused on the stage. That’s a rare occurrence. It was then I realized…this band is going to make it.
The Chronicles of Israfel ended the night with a drum solo intro to “Kill Division”. Carlo De luliis of Fayne, Maxx Zinno of Pulse Ultra, Rick Dessi of NonHuman Era, and Sid Michailidis took the stage to join Justin and played a marching band style which was completely well coordinated and planned out. It was one big party and the crowd still remained totally focused on them.
Overall, this was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while at Piranha, bringing in ranges of prog rock, metal, and great vocals between Dom and Andrew. I’m sad the performance was only an hour, I could have taken more. There were moments I literally put my hands in the air screaming, “Oh my fucking God!” for how amazing they sounded.
I had a chance to talk briefly with Dom about the future plans and the story behind Chronicles:
What are your future plans are for Chronicles?
My future plans for TCOI are basically just focusing 100% on getting the band on the road, and making as many wicked albums and videos as humanly possible until I die.
I understand you were inspired by Japanese Anime with the band name. When I looked up the character Israfel, he reps “the angelic trumpeter of Islamic Core”.
The name is definitely not Islamic influenced. I got it from looking into angelic mythology, and also from the Edgar Allan Poe poem, “Israfel”.
What are the reasons you chose who you chose to back you up in the band (great choices btw)? What’s the story?
My band came together in a weird way. I moved back to Montreal summer of 2013. In January, Justin came back into the fold, and he brought Nick in, because he asked if he could try out. I wasn’t supposed to have a rhythm guitarist, but I loved his vibe and dedication so it was easy to scoop him up.
I’ve known Andrew our keyboard player for so long. He used to sing in a band back in the day that we were friends with. He answered a message on Facebook that I put up, looking for someone to do piano, keys and backing vocals. When he answered I freaked ’cause I knew he was an incredible singer and performer, but I had no idea he was such a great piano player. So I asked him to join and we started recording his parts on the album right away.
Marc Durkee, the bassist, is from Nova Scotia. I found him on YouTube doing a cover version of a song from the first Chronicles album. He was singing and playing acoustic. It was awesome. So we became friends, and a couple years later, I asked if he wanted to join and he said yup. He already knew all the songs since he was a fan, so he flies out for the shows whenever we need him. We don’t need to rehearse with him because he’s a mental case and he comes in ready 100% every time..
I run this band military style. Everyone helps in a different way, helping me to get things done. From production set building, to organizing show logistics, to promo, etc. Everyone is a badass in more than just being a star performer. We’re pretty tight like brothers too and we like hanging and laughing a lot.
When do you expect your next video to be out and for what single? Who directs your videos?
The next video should be out on September 23rd for “Hatred In My Heart”. Michael Jacobs directs all our videos. He’s a super talented young director.