Heading out to Goatwhore last night I was full of anticipation. The last time I saw these guys they were supporting Job For a Cowboy and Behemoth with The Amenta at the Hi-Fi bar, and I head in expecting the same kind of brutality that they offered Brisbane back then. This time round they were headlining The Beetle Bar – A much more intimate venue than Hi-Fi, with local support acts Mongrels Cross, Ruins (Tasmania) and Impiety (Singapore).

The advantage of the smaller venue for me is that you are right up in the action with your shins banging against the stage and horns raised high. It’s a very different feel to the larger venues where you get cattled in against a fence, and I appreciate venues that still allow you to get close and personal with the band you have come to support. Being able to see the whites in their eyes and occasionally get the flying spit and sweat from the band working hard under the heat of the stage lights really can make a show that much more exciting and memorable, which is exactly what this show was.

As soon as the boys took to the stage, you could tell that they meant business and were ready to pump the crowd into a black metal frenzy. Kicking off with a track from their newest album, “Blood For The Master”, vocalist Ben Falgoust really gave it to the crowd with some amazingly guttural screams. He kept it up throughout the set too, working hard to keep the crowd pumped, and getting involved with the fans – at one stage even pouring water down the gullet of a wanting fan in the front row.

Bassist James Harvey was working hard too – He’s the kind of bass player I really appreciate watching not only because he is continuously head banging as he plays, but that he does not miss a note as he does it. Sammy Duet also offered the crowd some phenomenal screaming licks as well as some amazing vocal texture, often blazing backwards at the hook.

With all that action up front, one could be forgiven for not noticing drummer Zack Simmons skinning along behind the drums, but I assure you it is his powerful work that really adds so much to the Goatwhore sound. What really sells it for me though is that you can tell by the way these guys play that they love what they do, and that they get to play together. It’s that kind of connection that makes these guys so sweet to see live, and why every time they head to Brisbane I will be there.

Highlights for me were In ‘Deathless Tradition’, and the fact that they encored with ‘Apocalyptic Havoc’ which is one of my favourite Goatwhore tracks. I strongly suggest that you head out & see these guys at every opportunity.

Additional : Ruins (Tasmania) & Impiety (Singapore) were awesomely chosen supports for Goatwhore. Ruins were unexpectedly brutal given their look, and they played an amazingly intense set which the crowd really got into. Impiety have a stage presence that cannot be ignored, and spewed forth a set of black metal I would happily hand over my hard earned cash to hear again. These are bands worth checking out & supporting because if their music is anything to go by, they’ll be heading the scene soon.

Opener Mongrels Cross were the only let down here, and for me felt out of place in this line up. The bass was way too weedy and lacked balls, and they really didn’t command any kind of attention from the audience.

Goatwhore – Facebook Page