Being a Sunday this show had really early six thirty doors and I'm sure we didn't show until nine, and my fiance hadn't eaten so grabbing a burger at the front bar took priority over Black Tongue. In some ways the Earl is one of the city's better venues, in other's it's still shitty, at sound for Goatwhore’s set was generally more decent than not. They came onto the stage with a lot of energy with " Poisonous Existence in Reawakening”. This show saw Rob Coleman from Warmaster / Hod on bass and he really gets the black metal side of what they do and brings that a little more to the forefront. The band pulled from everything from their newest album” Constricting Rage of the Merciless” to "Graveyards and Dead Angels" off of their first album "the Eclipse of Ages Into Black" which of course given the time of its release had a noticeable Acid Bath moment
One of the things that became more apparent to me with this show is that fact that when it comes to the use of harsh vocals these guys do it right. All to often growled or screamed vocals come across as an obligatory after thought. With Goatwhore they have differing patterns that work around the riffs and when Sammy chimes in, his voice carries a more evil rasp, that touches on tones Louis voice hits in a different way, giving the band death metal lows and a few different black metal rasps from a more commanding anger to a wretched curdling of the vocal chords from Sammy. The other thing that caught my ear was after having interviewed Louis last year and having him reference Celtic Frost repeatedly, I picked up on some of their more “Morbid Tales” like riffing which became more apparent than on some of the more thrash flavored stuff off say “Blood For the Master”.
This was a much different crowd than the last time I caught Goatwhore for the Summer Slaughter tour last year. The reason being that demographics of the Atlanta metal scene when it comes to taste is pretty split geographically. the city kids thinking they are too cool for school and only being into metal with punk roots, since most started off as punk rockers who got into metal when it started getting bigger in town ten years ago. Where suburban kids who to be more willing to frequent the venue called the Masquerade that will book a wider span of metal from Kamelot to Whitechapel to Cannibal Corpse, thus on the Whitechapel side which...sure might suck, but city kids will also turn their noses up at otherwise good bands like Katatonia who no punk associations and more melody. What can be said of last year’s crowd is they seemed to be more appreciative of the performance, I don't remember him saying anything at the Masquerade show to imply that there were people there for reasons other than the music, which even with a 15 dollar cover could be said of the Earl.
Atlanta metal scene tends to pat itself on the back for nothing it was the last night of their tour so Louis was all about celebrating only to get the typically blase' response, he repeatedly had to remind the crowd the bar wasn't going anywhere and put their hands together for the other bands, the birthday's merch guy who doubles as Exhumed's chainsaw wielding mascot and the drummer from of Black Breath. He took it all in stride for the most part telling some fat kid he was going to bite his finger off if he kept shooting birds and people to be part of put their iPhones away and stop Facebooking or text dick pics and to have fun and became aware it was nothing personal after giving a shout out to the local band Withered, who only got a limp patter of applause, to which Louis asked the member in attendance” What happened you are giving away blow and whiskey? Every band knows that’s the only way to get fans.”
Fun prevailed by the end of the set as members of the road mates for this tour Black Tongue and Theories, came out on stage and danced in Goatwhore panties during the last song, which Louis told the crowd that they were going to leave everything else behind and get the most enjoyment out of the final four minutes, which was accomplished even with the products of today’s ADD society in attendance. Goatwhore proved that they are not only a finely tuned metal machine, but also the best American Black Metal, band despite the other flavors they bring to the table, as all hipster and post- rock pretense is stripped away to have it shoved in your face at the rawest level. They are a band you must check off your metal bucket list if you have not caught them yet.