Confronted by an increasingly sterile metal world, Goatwhore are remorseless rule- breakers. Vocalist Ben Falgoust tells about giving convention the middle finger salute.
B“I don’t expect everyone to like us.”
want to sit here and make laws and rules, but then preach no laws and rules. Enjoy what you enjoy. If the dude next to you doesn’t like it, then just move forward with what you’re into. That’s the basis behind everything we do, the element that we’re trying to move forward. We’re not this band trying to preach some kind of new world order or anything; we’re out there to have a good time.”
Devotees will too upon uncovering their blasphemous sixth LP, Constricting Rage Of The Merciless, which was captured with regular collaborator Erik Rutan at the helm. “It’s the idea that if you’re pushed into a corner so far, only two elements are going to come out of that,” Falgoust explains. “You’re either going to crawl up in a ball and just give up, or you’re going to lash out. So the idea behind all that is the lashing out, the coming forth. It’s like a rage that finally pummels out, that is just so constricting it’s merciless, and it tears through. No matter what’s in your path, you’re going to go straight through it.”
Thus, lyrics like “We are coming to smash your idols” possess greater resonance. “That’s what metal’s about; oasting such a moniker and scathing melange of black, thrash and death metal, New Orleans outlaws Goatwhore are aware they’re an acquired taste. “I don’t expect everyone to like us,” grunter Ben Falgoust understates. “Even in the extreme metal scene, it’s so unique because of the various formats. All the elements are unique, and they make up each individual.
“I don’t believe that people should shun people because of the certain sub- categories they listen to within metal. I think it’s funny that people in metal it’s about no rules, no laws, none of that. It’s about being free, and the idea being behind that. That’s the structure within even Satanism in a sense, because the symbolic idea behind Satan is being yourself, and doing what you want on your own terms.”
Further thumbing collective noses at the norm, Constricting… is their first effort tracked to two- inch tape. Rutan’s tape machine also has more than its share of nostalgia surrounding it. “He originally bought it from Morrisound in Florida, the old legendary studio from all the legendary death metal records. Old Morbid Angel, Suffocation, all those records were done there. That machine was used on a lot of those occasions.
“After you do it, you take the whole tape process and drop it into Pro Tools to go on further from there. But it’s the sound you get on the tape that they haven’t really perfected within the digital format yet. I guess at some point we are dicks about stuff; ‘ Fuck the way things are done, fuck Kempers, fuck amp effects’… The thing about tape too is it captures human error. We’re only human when we play music, we’re not perfect.”
If Falgoust has his way, renewed enthusiasm for vinyl will also translate to wider embracement of analogue recording techniques among metal’s upstarts. “It’s like, why doesn’t everyone start going back to tape as well? ‘ Cause it kinda goes hand- in- hand in that sense. You want to go retro, go full retro. You have a lot of younger bands out there who might not ever get to record on tape. But if you bring that knowledge out to people more, maybe it’ll bring a younger audience that are involved in bands, in the extreme scene, and want to bring that back, bring vinyl back and things like that.”
ConstriCting rage of the MerCiless is out now on Metal Blade.