What better way to kick off May than a night of extreme heavy metal, and on this night New Orleans veterans Goatwhore bring their brand of Louisiana styled thrashy black metal to the small club called Sounds Asylum along with 3 Inches of Blood, Revocation, and Ramming Speed. Sea of Tranquility Publisher Pete Pardo was on hand and brings this local concert report.
As I arrived to the venue a little later than expected, I unfortunately missed Ramming Speed, but Relapse Records act Revocation had just taken the stage so my arrival was just in time for their precise yet violent set. Never having been to Sounds Asylum before, I was a bit surprised at how small it was, obviously an old store front that has now been turned into a live music venue with just enough room for a stage and floor area for maybe 100-120 people. On this warm evening, the air conditioners also didn't seem to be working, so it was easily 90 degrees or more inside, and with the 75-100 fans in attendance made for a sweaty start to the evening. Revocation however played a blistering set of complex death metal and thrash, with a good amount of songs coming from their most recent Relapse release Chaos of Forms. If you like guitar solos in your extreme metal, these guys delivered the goods, and the sound was surprisingly good as you could hear both guitar players and all the vocals quite well. A punishing set from a vastly underrated band, and the crowd loved every minute of it.
Canada's masters of molten heavy metal, 3 Inches of Blood, were up next. Now down to a four piece, the band have not lost a step and still sound as potent and powerful as ever. Touring in support of their new CD Long Live Heavy Metal, the band played some favorites from that album, like the supercharged "Metal Woman", "My Sword Will Not Sleep", and "Leather Lord", as well as older classics like "Deadly Sinners", "Destroy the Orcs", and "The Goatriders Horde". Their love for Rush was apparent on this evening, as they also tore into a crushing version of "Tom Sawyer" and threw in a snippet from "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" during another song. Though veteran bassist Byron Stroud played on the album, he was not with the band on this night, and I've yet to track down who was in his place on the tour. Lead singer of doom Cam Pipes was in fine form as always, surrounded by the guitar thunder of Justin Hagberg and the pounding drums of Ash Pearson. Though I've seen 3 Inches of Blood more than a few times over the years, this was without a doubt one of their stronger sets.
By the time Goatwhore hit the stage around 10:15, the heat inside the Sounds Asylum was getting quite sweltering, and a good majority of the crowd had already vacated. That didn't stop the mighty New Orleans horde from decimating the audience with their furious onslaught, as vocalist Ben Falgoust rampaged at center stage spewing his hate fueled attack upon the metal faithful. As far as the riffs go, Sammy Duet had a million of 'em, unleashing his metallic fury throughout classic 'Whore tracks "The All-Destroying", "An End to Nothing", "Collapse in Eternal Worth", and "Nocturnal Holocaust" among many others. Mixing black metal, death metal, thrash, and a slight bit of doom, Goatwhore had a little something for everyone, delivered as loud as could possibly be which I'm sure kept some of the neighbors up (ironically, there is a church across the street from the venue!).
Despite the heat, this was a great night of metal at the Sounds Asylum. As another concert sponsored by Steve Keeler and his local heavy metal shop Rock Fantasy, it's been a solid last few months with plenty of established metal acts making their way into the area in hopes of keeping the genre alive in the Hudson Valley.