Astorian Stigmata
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"Rock the End of the World With Astorian Stigmata"

Rock the end of the world with Astorian Stigmata

SARA POKORNY spokorny@timesleader.com

So the world will end tomorrow?

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Astorian Stigmata – from left: Amanda Malia, Dennis Condusta, Sean Carey, Al Martino and DJ Laury – invites you to celebrate the end of the world tomorrow.

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Chris Concert, founder of ‘In The Woodshed,’ a website that caters to the local country scene, joins Iron Cowboy on stage. Concert has had a working relationship with Iron Cowboy since he started his site.

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If you go

What: Astorian Stigmata

When: 5 p.m. tomorrow

Where: Gallery of Sound, 24 South Main St., Wilkes-Barre

Admission: Free
APOCALYPSE NOW?

Planning your own end-of-the-world party? You might need a new playlist. TL features staffers have a few suggestions:

• “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It,” R.E.M. (Duh.)

• “Dust In The Wind,” Kansas. (Kansas, didn’t Dorothy get carried out of there?)

• “Heads Will Roll ,” the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. (Take heed.)

• “Take Me Home Tonight,” Eddie Money . (You might have to beg for mercy, after all, on Judgment Day.)

• “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” Garth Brooks . (Gotta give a nod to country.)

• “Heaven Isn’t Too Far Away,” Warrant. (No matter what your friends might say … )

• “Ring of Fire,” Johnny Cash . (Handy to have on your iPod if you happen to be one of those left behind.)

So say Harold Camping and other biblical numerologists.

If any band will pay this no mind and play right through, it’s Astorian Stigmata, which has planned an “End of the World Party” for 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Gallery of Sound in Wilkes-Barre.

The five-piece unit from Wilkes-Barre plays dark rock laced with passion and lyrics that make sure you’re never left wondering what any of them are thinking.

The group – Dennis Condusta and Sean Carey on guitar, Al Martino on drums, Amanda Malia on keyboards and DJ Laury on bass – not only demonstrates a stunning enthusiasm for the art of music but has strong views on the industry and the world today.

“I’m not personally a very angry person, but when it comes to music and the whole industry I get very frustrated because it’s all about who you know or how sexy you act,” Condusta said. “Most bands are just spewing dishonest music, and it goes over just fine because most people in music ‘scenes’ are dishonest with themselves also. No one calls out music for being dishonest because so are they. It’s all masses of people trying to fool each other, and I feel like I can’t breathe.”

“Pretty much, I can’t stand how society revolves around ‘who has the most money’ and everything is based on that and that only,” Malia said. “The truth is, we’re not even sesame seeds compared to the universe, and nothing actually matters.”

“Life in general is about doing what you want to do, not being cookie cutter, realizing what’s going on around you, and surrounding yourself with good people,” Laury added.

The band’s philosophy is reflected in its lyrics, and Condusta, who writes them, believes the song that sends the strongest message is “The Seventh Chemical,” which is about young people retreating to drugs.

Astorian Stigmata has a seven-song, self-titled album for sale on its website that includes the tracks “Anarchist in Exile” and “Romanticized Suicide.”

So what can you expect at a live show?

“An honest show,” Condusta said. “And one of us will probably burn money.” - Sarah Pokorny- The times leader


"A night out with Astorian Stigmata"

Last week, up-and-coming alternative rock band Astorian Stigmata came out to Arlene's Grocery on the city's Lower East Side for a late night show. With their bass player Mike Stallone absent, sound issues and a minimal crowd, front man David Condusta and his band mates made due. In spite of the obstacles they faced, they managed to engage their audience and give them a decent show.

Musically, Astorian Stigmata really came through. The live performance enhanced the band's sound and brought their lyrics to life. "Romanticized Suicide," one of their most popular songs, was the song of the night. The already addictive melody was magnified by Condusta's passion as he whipped his hair through the air.

A notable aspect of the Wednesday night performance was Condusta's candid attitude with the audience. In addition to playing his guitar and singing his lyrics with conviction, he also continued to thank the audience for showing up, as well as let them know that he was having a good time on stage. He kept a very amicable tone, as he seemed to play three roles: lead singer, "Master of Ceremonies" and friend. - Iyana Robertson - The Ticker


"Astorian Stigmata @ Arlenes Grocery"

Astorian Stigmata @ Arlene’s Grocery

>got a chance to shoot Astorian Stigmata through an assignment from my school newspaper. the show didn’t start until 11pm, so my good friend lester and i decided to watch another concert at the nearby Bowery Ballroom (pictures from that show will be up in another post).

we arrived at Arlene’s Grocery at around 10:50pm.

at the door:
“does this say you’re 21?”
“yea”
“i don’t know how to read this stuff.”

we got to meet with dennis, the lead singer of the band to help us get on the guest-list. at first, there were some issues, and he was actually going to pay for me to get in. i never toured in a band before, but i know from other touring friends that they barely have enough to support themselves, let alone pay for others, so it was cool that he did what he did. as we were inside, dennis cleared it up with the ticket guy and i was able to get my money back.

here are some of my favorite shots of the night. - Brices Blog


"Astorian Stigmata Existential Suicide"

In Western Astoria (Pennsylvania), there's a house, where a band rehearses rock. Rock with intelligence, extrovert-introvert lyrics, and guitars like we all missed them. Yes, finally a band which plays guitars as instruments, and not just as soundmachines without a soul. But, who's that band? And why haven’t we heard more of them during the last few years? Why they were hidden, we will never know. The only thing that counts is that; Now they are with us! They're called Astorian Stigmata, their mission is handmade rock, using common sense, and love. Yes, its all for love, in music. True. But Astorian Stigmata celebrate a kind of blooded music, of melodies and atmosphere, it’s hard to describe with words. Their Album "Existential Suicide" includes 10 songs between soul-ache and insanity. The lyrics are always intelligent, meaningful, and critical (to their self, imaginary people and our time). For example "Tragic Magic", the opener. It’s about modern times, when fun kills all feelings. Quote; "When They Pump Pump Pump Your Stomach Clean, The Souls On Fire The Minds Asleep". It’s a powerful song. You lick blood, and want more! "More", is a good word, to describe the whole album. More awesome guitar sound, more lyrics want to make you shiver, more atmosphere of a band which is alone with itself, and opened up to the world. A really hot tip on "Existential Suicide" are "Chemical Everything", with a well known introducing, but a Astorian Stigmata-style that will settle in your ears, and "Romanticised Suicide". The last mentioned reminds with its choirs a bit of My Uncle The Wolf's "A Sirens Chorus", but that’s not a shortfall, because the mind of AS is so independent, that its just a poor comparison. The really, really must-haves of "Existential Suicide" are "The Virgin Of Verona" and "The Seven Hills Over Vandalia". Masterpieces of a young, very promising band (keep an eye of them!). "The Virgin Of Verona" is conditioned by a wonderful acoustic guitar, and thoughtful lyrics. Maybe a bit more pop as the other songs, but who cares? This song swings you low, and makes you high in the same time. Unbelievable, but Astorian Stigmata can outgo this piece of their magic. "The Seven Hills Over Vandalia" is definitely THE song of the album! It starts silent, with a audience in the background, and a female voice, talking to someone. And then, a guitar. Yes, all of the guitars of Astorian Stigmata are absolutely done very well, but this one will make you silent and a bit sad. (without fail) Goosebumbs! The bottom line: "Existential Suicide" is a debut with a rare quality and energy. Not many bands can focus themselves and their listeners like this. The guitar of "The Seven Hills..." is it worth to keep an eye on Astorian Stigmata. The band from Pennsylvania celebrates the six strings! An awesome soundscape! Also, I just can advice you to visit their myspace and read the lyrics in the blog, and take too a look at YouTube. "Existential Suicide" is a existential piece of rock. Respect!
(Ana Van Helsing:6)Ana Van Helsing. - Ana Van Helsing -Side Line Music Magazine


"Astorian Stigmata"

Astorian Stigmata - The Seventh Chemical/Sexual Incision

Hear The Track Here
It's no good looking at me like that, I am as puzzled by the bandname as you are. Mind you, there's me thinking I was in for a dose of turgid space schlock - given the name like - and what I get is something of an entirely different order. Astorian Stigmata are a full four-piece live and gigging band and their material shows the tightness you would expect from such an experience. Certainly the music holds up to scrutiny although - to be honest - it's a bit too shoegazey for my own liking. Still, why should they care? Judging by the lists of gigs up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States, they don't seem to be doing to badly in the real world and I guess that counts more than this electronica fools paradise...

The Seventh Chemical and Sexual Incision are from a seven track Death and Exile EP from the band's website and if these tracks are any indication and you like shoegaze rock, then prepare to lose some time to Astorian Stigmata. Damn, that's a lot of if's, don't get me started on the buts... The Seventh Chemical is the more dreamy of the two tracks I got to hear, in that slow epic rock way much beloved of such bands. As such, it's a very good job indeed and in pretty much all counts too. The song is more than decent, intricate enough to keep your attention from wandering and the sound (and the band) are rocking. Bastard child of prog-rock?? Who knows?

Sexual Incision (ouch, gonna need ice on that) is much more a recognisable rock animal, especially if you appreciate the subtleties of American rock music. Don't know about you guys, but in this track I hear a million ghosts of the past, from Television to Talking Heads, New York Dolls - the list is endless. This track, for my money, is the more noteworthy although both tracks have a very high standard of songwriting and performance going for them. What it shows me is that this might even be an EP worth shelling out a few glass beads for, especially if what I have said has interested you.

Excellent American Indie rock. Highly Recommended (and a keeper for me). - Steve Gilmore Rebel Riffs


"Astorian Stigmata"

When talking with Dennis Condusta, the lead vocalist in the band Astorian Stigmata, a few things become clear:

1. He and the band are very passionate about music.

2. He dislikes posers.

3. He’s very self-honest, which seems to guide the musical direction of the group.

Astorian Stigmata, based in Wilkes-Barre, was formed in 2008. The band originally began as a three-piece unit but in recent months has changed to a five-piece. Its four-song EP “Dissension from Exile,” was recorded at Condusta’s home studio. Tracks include “The Seventh Chemical,” “Anarchist in Exile,” “Elementary Cemetery” and “Romanticized Suicide.”

“I just hope listeners feel that it’s fresh and that it’s something new,” says Condusta. “I want to provide something for the listener where it’s truly about the music and the art itself. Our goal is to write the best music we can and stay true to ourselves and what we believe in.”

Condusta names the indie-rock band Modest Mouse as his biggest influence.

“We get that comparison all the time, which I agree with,” he says. “I have tons of influences, both inspirationally and artistically, but they’re definitely the biggest ones.”

Condusta admits the name of the group, Astorian Stigmata, can be misleading, and that it sounds as if it could be the name of a death metal band. But that’s simply not the case.

“We’re definitely not that,” he says. “A lot of bands are very serious with everything down to the image. I take music and playing very seriously, but as far as the image, I just can’t take that part of it seriously. That’s just how I am. Even when we take a band picture, it’s not like everyone has to wear black. I don’t feel right doing that. Our image is just who we are, personally. It’s not like, ‘We’re going to be a Goth band and make everything all uniform.’ ”

But is he comfortable, musically, being described as Goth?

“Myself? Yes,” he says. “I do the lyric writing and most of the music writing, and there are definitely those elements. But the other band members? No. That’s the thing: we’re not uniform, in that sense. I like to think of us more as a more gothic style indie-rock.”

In addition to singing, Condusta also plays guitar. He is joined in the band by Sean Carey on guitar, Al Martino on drums, Amanda Malia on keyboards and Mike Stallone on bass. Condusta says his songwriting is often inspired by the day’s headlines.

“It could be anything,” he says. “It could be just a moment I had. But mostly, it’s political and social issues that inspire me more than anything. More than love, or any of the more traditional stuff. It’s usually based on society and the news. That’s where I get most of my energy from.”

Condusta says the song “Elementary Cemetery” is based on the “fakeness in alternative culture.” He explains: “There are big bands, like Nickelback, and that’s all fine. But then there’s the subgenres, the smaller bands and the indie bands that kind of pride themselves on being independent and different. But really, they’re all the same, too. They just kind of rip each other off. Underground bands always attack major bands or bands that are on 97.9X, but that’s stupid, too. They’ll go to the Salvation Army and buy old sport coats to try and look like they’re ‘not that,’ but in defying that, you’re still conforming, to me.”

He also explains the track “Romanticize Suicide.”

“It’s about modern technology,” he says. “Like cell phones, and how people always have a phone in their face and aren’t really living.”

Astorian Stigmata does most of its shows outside of NEPA in places such as Philadelphia and New York. Locally, the band has played the River Street Ale House, Eleanor Rigby’s and the former Cafe Metropolis. Its shows feature all original material. The EP is available as a free download on the band’s Facebook page and at shows. A brand new track, “Sexual Incision,” is currently available as a free download on Facebook. Its next performance is on Dec. 18 in Locustdale.

“We get pretty wild when we play live,” says Condusta. “We like to move around, we like to yell and kind of improvise the music. I just hope people just feel the music, get the message, and say, ‘That dude is pissed,’ because I do get very angry when I play live. All of the injustices that I see in society — it just all comes out.” - Alan K. Stout The Weekender


Discography

Existential Suicide (2009)
TRACK LISTING
01 - Tragic Magic
02 - Sixth Street Misery
03 - Chemical Everything
04 - Romanticized Suicide
05 - Gypsy Love
06 - The Virgin Of Verona (Strange Nights)
07 - The Seven Hills Over Vandalia
08 - Vintage Victorian
09 - The Black And White
10 - Mysterious Exterior/Delirious Interior

Death and Exile (2010)
TRACK LISTING
01 - The Seventh Chemical
02 - Sexual Incision
03 - Elementary Cemetery
04 - Swan Song
05 - Anarchist In Exile
06 - Romanticized Suicide
07 - An Untitled Fuck You

Another Night at The End of the World(2011)
TRACK LISTING
01- Suicide Spiders
02- The Beginning of the End
03- The World is on Fire
04- Dead Summer
05- The Stranger
06- Modern Victorians
07- Sometimes in August
08- The Ghost Behind You
09- Riddle for the Wrist Cutter
10- Midnight Lullaby

Photos

Bio

Astorian Stigmata is an American Dark Indie Rock band from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Formed in 2005 as a solo recording project by Dennis Condusta and formed as a full live playing band in 2009. Current members include Sean Carey (guitar) Dennis Condusta (guitar/vocals) Amanda Malia (keyboard/vocals) and D.J Laury. (bass)

Drawing from a wide array of influences, noted dominant influences include indie bands like Modest Mouse and early Gothic rock band The Cure.

Astorian Stigmata writes/finances/produces/mixes/records/designs/prints/burns/promotes all of their current albums completely independently from anyone outside the band. T-shirts and Stickers are also designed and hand printed by band members.