Down Photo Gallery, Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2022

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Down website, http://down-nola.com/

Blue Ridge Rock Festival, https://blueridgerockfest.com/

FFMB article on Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2022, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2022/10/06/blue-ridge-rock-festival-alton-virginia-september-8-11-2022/

Ryze-Up Magazine feature, https://www.ryze-up.com/ryze-up-magazine-current-issue/ryze-up-magazine-october-2022/

© Wayne Edwards

Down Photo Gallery, Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2022

Goatwhore, Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven (Metal Blade 2022)

New Orleans metal band Goatwhore reach a new plane on their eighth album, Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven.

Goatwhore came to life in New Orleans a couple of years before the turn of the last century. After a demo and a split, the first full-length album they released was the raw The Eclipse of Ages into Black (2000). A few years later came Funeral Dirge for the Rotting Sun (2003) and then, the first one I heard when it came out, A Haunting Curse (2006). The next couple of albums were break-outs for the band in many ways. My favorite of them all, looking back, has become Constricting Rage of the Merciless (2014), but the new album has given it a run for its money. It is the intensity combined with the relentlessness that gets to me when I listen to Goatwhore. The band is Louis B. Falgoust II (vocals), Sammy Duet (guitar, vocals), Zack Simmons (drums), and Robert “TA” Coleman (bass).

After the eerie invocation there are eleven blazing tracks on Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven, beginning with the bestial “Born Of Satan’s Flesh.” It is a rampage of savage metal. Speed and wickedness are the guiding principles, and they are executed to the extreme. The growling and howling vocals are an active threat; the guitars an attack. The lead guitar break is surprisingly lyrical, luring your attention away before a counterattack. “The Bestowal Of Abomination” follows and falls in line. Here the guitars soar at the beginning and the opening percussion is even more in your face. And, here too, the lead guitar at first gives a look that stands in contrast to what is happening around you. When it returns, however, it is a craven menace.

The title track, “Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven,” comes third. It is dark and dramatic. The opening bars set up a story from which you cannot turn away. A superior depth is plumbed here. The odyssey you are on with the album comes into sharp focus, as the does the realization of the magnitude of the band’s achievement. I am impressed with every song, and I have a special attachment to the sequence of “Voracious Blood Fixation” and “The Devil’s Warlords.” In both, and for different reasons, the guitars are especially vivid to me.

The set ends with “And I Was Delivered From The Wound Of Perdition.” This last piece has its own set-up and culminates in a voracious consumption of doom. It is my favorite track on the album for the way it brings together and connects all the thriving elements employed in Goatwhore’s music into an overwhelming compelling amalgamation. This record will live on in your mind and will haunt you for as long as time exists. Highly recommended.

Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven is out on Friday, October 7th through Metal Blade Records in all kinds of vinyl and the usual other formats.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Goatwhore website, http://www.goatwhore.net/

Bandcamp, https://goatwhore.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/thegoat666

Metal Blade Records, https://www.metalblade.com/us/

© Wayne Edwards

Goatwhore, Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven (Metal Blade 2022)

Goatwhore at Higher Ground, Burlington, Vermont, June 15th 2022

Goatwhore is on tour with Gwar right now – I caught up with them in Burlington, Vermont.

Goatwhore is a New Orleans death/black/thrash metal band that has been roaming the earth for twenty-five years. I have listened to them for much of that time, but I didn’t get a chance to see them live until Psycho Las Vegas in 2019. I was completely blown away. They played their set in the House of Blues and that place absolutely melted down. Ever since then, I have been on a quest to see them again and maybe get a couple of photos.

I saw Gwar at the very first stop on their current tour, but Goatwhore wasn’t at the show because they were playing somewhere else. Damn and blast. I tracked them to the North Country and found them at Higher Ground, one of my favorite music venues in all the world. Here are a few photos from that show. Go see them on their co-headlining tour in August with Incantation – and any other time you can.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Goatwhore, http://www.goatwhore.net/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/thegoat666

Higher Ground, https://highergroundmusic.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Goatwhore at Higher Ground, Burlington, Vermont, June 15th 2022

Crowbar, Zero and Below (MNRK Heavy 2022)

The twelfth studio album from Crowbar is yet another monumental earth-shaker: Zero and Below.

One of the biggest sounds to emerge from the New Orleans heavy music scene, Crowbar are pioneers of sludge metal. Kirk Windstein (vocals, guitar), Matt Brunson (guitar), Shane Wesley (bass), and Tommy Buckley (drums) deliver not merely a new album, but a vitally important one. There is no half in their game – it is a full-on assault from beginning to end.

Sludge metal is a lethal amalgam for doom and aggression. Windstein’s vocals blast power and energy that combine with the titanic riffs and percussion to forge an instantly recognizable and unforgettable sound. While Crowbar has been a clear influence on many successful bands, they have never rested on their success and, for more than thirty years, they have held the throttle wide open.

There are ten killer songs on Zero And Below. The opening track hits you at speed, “The Fear That Binds You,” and turns you right around. The guitar riff is like an advancing legion. “Her Evil Is Sacred” animates the wicked into a reckoning. “Confess To Nothing” leans into the doom realm heavily to great effect, then the pace pounds on with “Chemical Godz.” The music keeps you moving this way and that.

There is all manner of pace and shift in this set. “Denial of the Truth” imbibes a kind of “Planet Caravan” vibe, but it is much heavier than that classic. “Crush Negativity” pushes steamroller weight while “Reanimating A Lie” is more nimble in the clip and every bit as heavy in the narrative. “Bleeding From Every Hole” is a show-stopper, and I would put the title track high up on the list, too, with its surrounding, melancholy ever-presence. This record wreaks havoc from every angle. Highly recommended.

Zero and Below is out now through MNRK Heavy – vinyl, cassette, longbox, digital … whatever you want. Grab them while you can. And see Crowbar on the road – they are out now with Sepultura and Sacred Reich on tour, and they will be doing dates with Gwar, Nekrogoblikon, and The Native Howl later in the spring and summer.

Band photo by Justin Reich.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://crowbar.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/crowbarmusic

MNRK Heavy Records, https://mnrkheavy.com/

Crowbar, Zero and Below (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Eyehategod, A History Of Nomadic Behavior (Century Media 2021)

The first full-length album in seven years from New Orleans legends Eyehategod is a mindbender and an earsmasher.

The last time I saw Eyehategod was at the Earthrocker Festival in 2018. What a lineup. It was Eyehategod, Corrosion of Conformity, and Black Label Society all setting the stage for Clutch in the steaming West Virginia sun at Shiley Acres. This was several years after their self-titled album and I hadn’t seen them since the Take As Needed For Pain era. It was a roar, and no mistake. I have been aching for new music from then since then in a bad way, and now here it is.

The band is Jimmy Bower (guitar), Gary Mader (bass), Mike Williams (vocals), and Aaron Hill (drums). The album is on the sludgy side, and that is a good thing. There are elements and instances of chaos that are sharp stabs, as well as grinding doom lodestone passages pointing you in the right direction.

“High Risk Trigger,” “The Outer Banks,” and “Every Thing, Every Day” are the show stoppers for me, but I can see how any of the tracks could be a favorite. If you are a fan you have probably already heard this album because, at this writing, it has already been out for two days. If you are new to Eyehategod, ideally you would see them live first. The world as it is today, though, you are going to want to grab this new album and start there. Then work your way backwards and listen to it all. You’ll be ready for the real thing that way when the live comes back. Highly recommended.

A History Of Nomadic Behavior is out now. Gather up the vinyl, CD, or digital at the links below.

Links.

Website, https://eyehategod.ee/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/OfficialEyeHateGod

Century Media, https://www.centurymedia.com/artist.aspx?IdArtist=188

Eyehategod, A History Of Nomadic Behavior (Century Media 2021)