Monday night metal shows are always a gamble in every city for touring bands, but, with the mighty GOATWHORE gracing The Pawn Shop with a troop of blackened thrashers, one can expect a stellar turnout. At GOATWHORE’S side, brigading Edmonton with a thirst for beer and audible annihilation, BLACK BREATH, RINGWORM, THEORIES, and WAKE held a steady build up to what was possibly the grimiest show of the year.
Only on board for two shows of this tour, Calgary’s own WAKE was a suitable local opener for this gig. Immediately kicking off the show with a well-received, passionate and aggressive vibe, followed by the grindy and in-your-face presence of Seattle’s death metal masters, THEORIES. Concert goers warmed up to our openers with the horns held high, and drinks in hand. Thundering and smashing their way through their stage time with energy to spare, THEORIES and WAKE were pleasantly impressive, and delivered just the right amount of adrenaline to get the party started.
There was a buzz in the room among the audience members as they patiently awaited for RINGWORM to hit the stage in Edmonton for the first time. Fans were chatting amongst themselves, expressing excitement and eagerly awaiting the Cleveland, Ohio hardcore-thrashers to storm the stage. Booming into a hefty 16-song set, starting off with “The Sickness” from 2001’s album Birth is Pain, RINGWORM had their audience thrashing about in a whirlwind of circle pits. Continuing on with their chaotic performance consisting of teeth-chattering bass rumbles and gut-wrenching vocals, the band rolled through various songs such as “Bleed”, “Dawn of Decay”, and the title track off of their newly released album Hammer of the Witch, and closing with a bang by force-feeding Edmonton the title track off of 2005’s Justice Replaced By Revenge. Leaving The Pawn Shop with their audience in a frenzy and hungry for more, RINGWORM made one hell of a first impression on Edmonton.
Stealing the show, and also hitting Edmonton for the first time, BLACK BREATH opened up a can of pure whoop-ass on the club. Hailing from Seattle with a hunger for nothing but satisfaction, they blasted off with an unfamiliar track from their soon-to-be-released album, sending the place into a spiraling frenzy of headbanging and moshing. Aggressively pleasing their audience with tracks off of 2012’s album Heavy Breathing such as “Black Sin”, “Escape From Death” and “Eat the Witch”, BLACK BREATH furiously smashed and bashed all expectations I had of their performance with an impressive amount of face melting riffs and raw energy, all compiled into one incredibly hairy (and beardy) band that wanted nothing but to rip Edmonton a new one as they conquered The Pawn Shop for the first time. Boy, did they ever!
Sounding heavier than ever before, GOATWHORE blazed through a carefully articulated 13-song set, displaying an array of songs spanning their entire discography. Storming Edmonton with a new jam from 2014’s Constricting Rage of the Merciless the band immediately grabbed their audience’s attention with “Poisonous Existence in Reawakening” – a perfect opening track for this gig. Rolling on through their set, guitarist Sammy Duet spoke up into his microphone, “I would like to dedicate the next song to all of the beautiful women of Edmonton” he said with a cheeky smile. And none other than the joyous melodies of “FBS” (Fucked By Satan) was the song that he was referring to. With the mosh pits erupting into small war-zones, GOATWHORE slaughtered the remainder of their set, playing favorites such as “Sky Inferno”, “Graveyards and Dead Angels”, and “Apocalyptic Havoc”; all devastatingly awesome songs played to perfection by drummer Zack Simmons and live bassist Robert Coleman (aka Trans Am), and delightfully pulled together by the devilish grunts and growls of frontman, Ben Falgoust, of course with Ben’s signature air-guitar stage moves as the highlight of GOATWHORE’S venomous performance!
LIVE WORDS AND PHOTOS: DANA ZUK PHOTOGRAPHY