It has been just five months since Goatwhore entertained fans in Dallas with their blasphemous blend of blackened death metal. On Friday night, the unholy four-piece returned to Gas Monkey Live for the Metal Alliance Tour. The stacked tour package also included punk-rockers, The Casualties, Black Tusk, Great American Ghost, and Morthereon. After throwing local openers Bad Blood and Steel Bearing Hand into the mix, there were enough artist to call this a small festival. Cramming seven bands on a bill and starting the show at 5:30pm on a weeknight should be a crime, damn it. Having a band play to the bar staff and two other people in the “crowd” is absurd and a waste of the artists’ and staffs’ time. But alas, the show must go on.
Regardless of the fact that five people were watching, local openers Steel Bearing Hand and Bad Blood poured their hearts out on stage, the way it should be. Regardless of the crowd size, the locals stayed true to the reputation that a lot of metal bands carry of always going balls to the wall, no matter what. Unfortunately for Morthereon and Great American Ghost, the trend continued as only a handful of fans trickled in. By the time Black Tusk took the stage, a small, but respectable crowd had gathered up front. A small mosh pit ensued and got the crowd’s blood flowing just in time for The Casualties.
Formed in 1990, New York punk-rockers, The Casualties are touring in support of their 11th studio album, Written In Blood. The album was released on October 26th via Cleopatra Records. By now the crowd was filled with mohawks and patched jackets. Fans, both young and old, stomped around the circle pit that consumed a majority of the floor as soon as the set started. Unfortunately, after the second song, a fan was on the ground, right in front of the stage, not moving. Vocalist David Rodriguez noticed the incident and stopped the set immediately. The fan was conscious, but it was obvious that medical treatment was needed. Paramedics were contacted by fans and showed up a few minutes later. The crowd talked and discussed that the fan either slipped or possibly had a seizure. Regardless, paramedics took the injured fan out of the building to a round of applause by the rest of the venue who showed its respect.
As The Casualties kicked back into the set, Rodriguez brought young kids on stage who he noticed near the front barricade. The kids, aging from maybe 6 to 10 years old, sported mohawks and punk t-shirts. They were allowed on stage for the remainder of the band’s set. The kids pumped their fists in the air alongside Rodriguez, as the band played through songs spanning the majority of their discography. Guitarist Jake Kolatis kept the kids entertained by jumping around on stage in true punk-rock fashion. Rodriguez, who took over the band’s vocal duties in 2017, took to the floor and joined the fans in the circle pit for a few songs. This is the way a punk rock set should be, full of energy and chaotic from start to finish.
Just after 10pm, the stage was set for Goatwhore. Banners with sigils of blasphemy stood tall and the band’s logo was displayed across the backdrop behind them. The New Orleans natives started the set off with the track “An End to Nothing,” from their 2012 release Blood for the Master. Vocalist Ben Falgoust charged on staged and sounded just as intense as ever. His trademark leather gloves, and in-your-face stage presence sent the crowd into a frenzy. The not-so-packed house provided plenty of room for diehard fans to slam into each other and stumble around in the pit. Following in the footsteps of The Casualties, Ben brought a kid on stage with the band as well. However, instead of getting an education in old-school punk, this child was informed of Goatwhore’s love of Lucifer. Ben talked with the kid and had him repeat some quotes. One of which was “I love Satan.” Instead of a direct translation, the kid repeated by saying “I like Satan.” After a laugh from the crowd, and the rest of the band, Ben quipped that the kid just wasn’t old enough to love yet. The child then sat on the drum riser next to Zach Simmons for the remainder of the set. In true heavy-metal fashion, the kid threw up devil horns the entire time.
All jokes aside, Goatwhore never seems to have an off night. This was one of the heaviest sets I’ve seen from them. Guitarist Sammy Duet never ceases to impress with his ability to cover rhythm and leads without the help of a second guitarist. “Blood Guilt Eucharist” from the band’s 2003 release, Funeral Dirge for the Rotting Sun, had old-school fans screaming along and thrashing around. “Carving Out the Eyes of God” sounded as if you were listening to it on album. Goatwhore’s masterful execution during live sets is a testament to the band’s relentless touring and hard work over the years. The drums and bass were well mixed, and the guitar solos screamed. The set ended with the crowd favorites “Apocalyptic Havok” and “FBS.” I’ll try and catch Goatwhore any chance I get. If you haven’t experienced their live wrath, you’re missing out.
– Corey Smith
– click to enlarge photos –