North Jersey Notes: Metal Gate Mafia, Apathy, D.R.I. And More!


I recently had a guy come to my house to fix my hardwood floors. When I told him that I wrote for The Aquarian, he told me that his nephew was in a band and that I should give them a listen. So, I did give them a listen and—holy crap—they blew my ears away! I haven’t heard a metal band this good in quite some time, and I feel that they really could use some press. The name of the band is Metal Gate Mafia out of Medford, NJ. Singer Rick McCormick, who is our floor guy’s nephew, emailed me a few songs off of the band’s latest CD, Patriot, which was released this past January. I got to hear brutal yet progressive songs like “Army of None,” “Crimerica,” “Harmony in Violence” and the more melodic “Conditioned for Failure.” These songs will blow you away, especially if you love bands like In Flames, All That Remains and Lamb of God.

Five guys with diverse musical backgrounds formed metal Gate Mafia in late 2005. Their musical influences ranged from classic composers like Agustín Barrios, Francisco Tárrega and Beethoven to the modern heaviness of bands like At the Gates, Children of Bodom and All That Remains. This crazy combo of influences created the sound that is now known as Metal Gate Mafia. The band uses a brutal attack with high-energy riffs complimented with some complex two to three-part harmonies and aggressive vocals to keep fans wanting more. Joining singer Rick McCormick in Metal Gate Mafia is lead guitarist Giancarlo De Cristofaro, rhythm guitarist Kurt Orfe, bassist Wayne Shannon, keyboardist Nick D’Orazio and a drummer named Art.

Their latest EP, Patriot, can be purchased on iTunes or According to Rick, these guys hope to promote Patriot up in the North Jersey/New York City area during and beyond this summer. Give them a listen at or


My boys from Apathy were recently added to a great show at the Gramercy Theatre in NYC. They’ll be opening for the legendary hardcore heroes D.R.I. this Friday night, May 13. According to Apathy’s head honcho, Pete Wells, Apathy will be performing songs off of their upcoming sophomore CD, Hell Is All We Have, including the title track. For more info on Apathy or if you need tickets to this show, log onto

Dave Incognito from Incognito Theory contacted me again recently… Shocker! He’s apparently really excited about his new acoustic project with guitarist Jason DePalma. The project is being called Incognito And DePalma. Seems simple enough, right? Well, Romulus X Records, who signed Dave Incognito’s band, Incognito Theory, a few months ago, was so enthused with the dynamic duo that they signed this project as well. The duo’s first single is called “As Greys Turn Blue” and can be heard via an impromptu live performance on YouTube, filmed by my bud Brian Rademacher from Dave also said that the duo will be releasing their debut CD sometime this month. For more info on Incognito And DePalma, log onto

And finally, I chatted with my bro, Kevin Frick, formerly of the band Split Vision, a couple of weeks ago, and he told me about his new project, A Lesson in Violence. However, this project isn’t really that new. In fact, Kevin along with fellow Split Vision guitarist, Tim Allen, started the project a couple of years ago with former Dead Letter Box singer Dave Alexander. The band currently consists of Kev, Big Tim, Dave, former bassist from The Reckoning Lance VanNess and, for now, former Dead Letter Box drummer Tony Ortiz. Kevin said that they’re trying to finally line up some shows for this summer, but we’ll see. If you want to hear what A Lesson in Violence sounds like, log onto to hear songs like the revamped “Chaos Consumes,” “Burn Your Bridges,” “Decimate” and “Laid To Rest.” Just a warning: These songs are brutal!

That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140 Little Falls, NJ 07424, or you can email me at, where you can also let me know where you’re performing next!

Just remember: We’re all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts!

Tim Louie is the author of S**t Happens.

NJN Concert Calendar:

5/11—The Dirty Pearls—The Studio at Webster Hall, NYC

5/12—The Dirty Stayouts—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

5/13—King Hell!—Tammany Hall, NYC

5/13—Apathy/D.R.I.—Gramercy Theatre, NYC

5/14—The Plot Thickens—The Clash Bar, Clifton, NJ

5/20—Charetta—Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

5/20—Incognito Theory/Incognito and DePalma—The Cup Complex, Linden, NJ

5/21—(Damn) This Desert Air—Jack and Bill’s, Seaside Heights, NJ

5/21—James Arlowe And The Ruffian Circus—Jimbo’s Bar and Grill, Seaside Heights, NJ

5/21—Ghosts of Eden—Seaside Music Festival, Seaside Heights, NJ

5/21—Judge Drain—The Cup Complex, Linden, NJ

5/21—Filter Effect/The Plot Thickens/Enemy of Everyone—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ