Thursday, July 24, 2014
Ripple Field Trip - Goatwhore Live In Nashville
Extreme metal veterans Goatwhore paid a visit to Nashville’s Exit/In Tuesday to entertain the masses with their high intensity live show and celebrate the release of their new studio album, Constricting Rage of The Merciless. The new album from Metal Blade Records is available digitally, on compact disc, and also on a lovely green/white split vinyl. The legendary ferocity of Goatwhore’s live act was enough to get me excited, but it was the beauty of the vinyl release that convinced me to meet up with front man Ben Falgoust beforehand and ask a few vinyl-centric questions. Lucky for me, Ben is a generous soul and gave me the opportunity.
Ben frequently traveled from New Orleans to Houston as a young man to partake in the city’s rich metal scene, and he warmly recalled lots of crate digging while road tripping. I was curious as to how being a vinyl fan may have influenced the latest record.
I learned that the new album was recorded almost entirely on analog and mastered for vinyl and that the guys were excited to get a chance to lay down tracks in the retro style that is helping fuel a vinyl renaissance among metal heads and music fans in general. The tone that Goatwhore employs to power their songs has always been full and warm, and an analog release has done nothing but further solidify those qualities.
The guys have been entertaining with their blackened brand of metal for nearly twenty years now and whiskey and determination keep them going strong nightly, battling it out in a genre filled with high energy bands and ferocious, loyal fans.
The local Tennessee whiskey must have been quite amenable, because Goatwhore took the stage and immediately transformed the crowd into moshing maniacs dancing atop a live wire of molten metal. Ben has no trouble working the crowd with piercing, soulful stares while his snarling vocals pound with unyielding force, nearly commanding the sinewy drums and artful guitar into willful submission.
It’s sort of like watching the tall man in Phantasm lead a funeral procession of black, speeding hearses down a steep quarry road into what is certainly an aberrant abyss. Driving, hammering, anvil-pounding, obsidian metal long into the steamy Summer night.
Goatwhore’s vision of viscous blackness gives the mere mortals among us a glimpse into what it's like to actually experience and thrive within the embrace of passionate, dark, biting metal. It gives us a chance to break the shackles of daily grind and become, if only for an hour, a demigod of destruction and mastery. It allows us to rise above ourselves in dauntless triumph and stand atop our feeble brethren.
If only for a night. A short, sweltering, blissful night.
All live photo credits Jim Ribeiro