It's been a couple of years since I've had the opportunity to see Goatwhore, they have been a personal of favorite of mine for a few years now, their's being the only band hoodie I currently own. I was pretty stoked for this gig since Blood for the Master just came out a couple of weeks ago (a fantastic album).
I went in tonight knowing almost exclusively Goatwhore from the bands playing; my primary computer has been under repair for a while so I had little chance to check out everyone else. That isn't such a bad thing though, I like being introduced to a band live.
I got to the venue around a quarter to nine to catch the final bit of Deathmocracy (a local act I particularly enjoy). Afterwards there were two bands until Hate Eternal whose material I had not yet heard at all, Theories and Fallujah. Both were goods acts but I don't really have a whole lot to say about them. If you're a fan of either and haven't seen them, don't worry, they played well and sounded precise.
Hate Eternal was a lot more entertaining than I was originally holding out for. I hadn't been particularly interested in what little I had gotten a chance to hear but their set spiked my interest greatly. I always enjoy bands that like to make a point of inviting people to climb up on stage, I'd like to think it shows a lot of respect for their fans. Their music style is what I consider to be little more than standard Florida-scene death metal but I suppose that isn't really a bad thing. Ultimately I'm not a huge fan but at the same time am glad I got to check them out for such a long set.
Goatwhore was about as good as I remembered them, if not a little better. They are a band of few theatrics and refreshingly dearth of gimmick. Their set started with no opening track, dimmed lights, or other lead-in; One moment there was silence, the next there was Collapse In Eternal Worth. The majority of the songs played came off either Blood for the Master (In Deathless Tradition and Judgement of the Bleeding Crown among them) or 2009's Carving Out the Eyes of God; some older fan favorites were in there at different points as well. It really wouldn't be a Goatwhore show without Alchemy of the Black Sun Cult.
Everything about Louis' vocals and Sammy's guitar was spot on and powerful. I was very pleased that James' bass could be audibly distinguished after being worried that either their or mix or the acoustics might drown him out. I spent most of my time in the front row, breaking away only to go grab a copy of their new album about halfway through. It is entirely possible that the music drove me to do it, I wouldn't put it past Goatwhore to be masters of some ancient occult hypnosis.
After the show I managed to score myself another Goatwhore set list (I've got another from 2009), though not signed it's always nice to get some more memorabilia. A pretty special reminder of a great experience. Goatwhore's live energy and precision execution make any of their shows worth seeing, certainly not to be missed and that's especially the case with this tour's lineup.