The Casualties& Goatwhore

The Casualties

"The Casualties formed in 1990 out of a desire to return to the heyday of punk, an era that hung on into the early '80s and then started to fall by the wayside in favor of the very early grunge movement, as well as hair metal, synth pop, and new wave. But the band's lineup was far from stable in the early days. The initial lineup consisted of singers Jorge Herrera and Colin, drummer Yureesh, guitarist Hank, and bassist Mark. Even this inaugural lineup was shaky, with Colin stepping out for several months to finish his education, and Rivits singer Rachel stepping in to take his place. During this period, the Casualties put together a demo. The following year, the core lineup consisted of Colin, Jorge, Yureesh, and Mark. The band added guitarist Fred when Hank dropped out, and went on to make an appearance on the compilation Benefit for Beer. Soon more changes were in the works, with new guitarist Fred heading off to school. C Squat's Scott temporarily filled Fred's shoes until he returned a short time later. During this period, guitarist Hank came and went a second time. Another guitarist, Steve, also played briefly with the group.

The Casualties stabilized long enough in the fall of 1991 to put together an EP, 40 Ounce Casualty. By the following year, the band was touring frequently and building up a fan base in their hometown of New York City. In 1993, however, more shakeups were in the works. Guitarist Fred and bassist Mark were out, and Jake Kolatis and Mike were in to take their respective places. The following year, the band appeared on another compilation, Pogo Attack, and put together a second EP, Drinking Is Our Way of Life. The four-track EP was never issued but later was incorporated into the band's 1999 release, Early Years: 1990-1995. Stability remained elusive, and drummer Yureesh and singer Colin dropped out. Shawn stepped in to take Yureesh's place. The group put together a third EP, A Fuckin' Way of Life, in 1995, the same year that Rivits drummer Meggers (aka Mark Eggers) took Shawn's place.

More tours of the U.S. and Europe followed in 2000 and 2001, along with the albums Who's in Control?, Stay Out of Order, and Die Hards, the last marking their debut on Side One Dummy. On the Front Line appeared in February 2004; two years later, the Casualties preceded Under Attack's late August release with a main stage slot on the Vans Warped Tour." - Linda Seida, AllMusicGuide

Over the course of nearly 15 years and an incalculable amount of tour miles, New Orleans' own Goatwhore have inadvertently established themselves as one the most diligent and consistently ferocious bands of the 21st century. Forged in fire by ex Acid Bath/Crowbar guitarist Sammy Duet in '97, their storied legacy follows a dramatic —and often traumatic — series of lineup shifts, injuries, haunting
s, natural disasters and an assortment of other mishaps large and small. But, driven by a blood oath to heavy metal and perhaps the powers of Satan himself, Goatwhore forever persevere.

Their journey began with the bestial Serenades To The Tides Of Blood demo and subsequent Eclipse Of Ages Into Black debut full-length unleashed over a decade ago. Then a five-piece comprised of Duet, Soilent Green vocalist Ben Falgoust, guitarist Ben Stout, bassist Patrick Bruders and drummer Zak Nolan, the band's stanch DIY work ethic, rigid tour schedule and the bludgeoning force of songs like "Invert The Virgin" and "Desolate Path To Apocalyptic Ruin" quickly spawned a maniacal cult following. By 2003, Goatwhore had systematically harvested a legion of followers possessed by the band's profound maze of unhallowed lyrics, Celtic Frostian rhythms, and blackened bayou swagger. Catastrophe–brewed sophomore release, Funeral Dirge For The Rotting Sun, bore a slower, broodier brand of apocalyptic menace; onethat trailed a near-fatal van crash that left Falgoust temporarily paralyzed and the future of the band in disarray. Against all medical odds, Falgoust regained use of his legs and the band, now a four-piece with Duet taking on full guitar responsibilities, quickly returned to their rightful place on the road. Seemingly drawn to bouts of misfortune, A Haunting Curse found the revised Goatwhore lineup of Duet, Falgoust, drummer Zack Simmons (ex-Nachtmystium) and bassist Nathan Bergeron, fleeing the debilitating floodsof Hurricane Katrina. Delayed but undeterred, Goatwhore's first Metal Blade offering proved their most volatile yet. Relentless in speed, precision and barefaced animosity, Goatwhore had traveled well-beyond the confines of conventional black metal with a thrashier end product that fully-embraced their long-avowed Hellhammer and Venom devotion without ever plagiarizing it.

Released in 2009, the sinistral Carving Out The Eyes Of God hit with titanic urgency. Hailed among the year's most worthy metal albums by fans and critics nationwide, Goatwhore's fourth long-player shattered mainstream conventions. The recordbroke Billboard Top 200 ranking in at #190, debuted on the Billboard Hard Music chart at #33, the Billboard Top New Artist (Heatseekers) Albums chart at #16, and the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart at #34. Decibel magazine declared the production,"the band's tightest, most guitar-driven offering to date. An unholy smorgasbord of rigid tempo shifts, gargantuan hooks, blasting black mass anthems, and Falgoust's soot and venom snarl…," while Outburn compared it to, "a modern day, 'roid-injected sword fight between Celtic Frost and Venom." High traffic web portal Blabbermouth crowned the production "…one of 2009's purest metal albums…nefariously black and sadistically thrashing in a way that is uniquely Goatwhore," while MetalSucks proclaimed Carving Out The Eyes Of God "the catchiest album Goatwhore have ever released." Furtheralbumtriumphs included a spot on the 2010 edition of Ozzfest and two performances at the annual SXSW music conference enabling the horned collective to deliver their sadistic hymns of religious treachery to an even broader sect of listeners.

For the next two years, the band maintained an infamously unyielding tour cycle, leveling cities throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Australia with their universally praised live rituals. Further educating the potentially unversed, "Apocalyptic Havoc" appears on the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 game soundtracks for Splatterhouse and more recently, Saints Row 3, while the video for the song was featured in an episode of Last Call with Carson Daly. And as if to close out a near perfect run of riotous adventures, Goatwhore was named Best Hard Rock/Metal Artist of 2010 at The Big Easy Awards last April, a deserving honor based on performance throughout the year.

In 2012, Goatwhore again raise their cloven hoofs in salutation to Blood For The Master. Now featuring Duet, Falgoust, Simmons and bassist James Harvey, who joined the goaty ranks in 2009 following the departure of Nathan Bergeron, the record finds Louisiana's notorious metal horde at their most unified. Recorded and mixed at Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida with longtime friend/producer Erik Rutan, who worked with Goatwhore on both Carving… and A Haunting Curse, the ten-track, 38-minute Blood For The Master is epic in sound, mind and execution.

Released through Decibel Magazine's flexi series, and later posted online for the masses to absorb, a cover of Motöhead's "(Don't Need) Religion" was presented as an album teaser in October. An appropriately infernal rendition of an often neglected classic, the song served as the perfect precursor to an album prevalent in its hailstorm of fist-pumping, heathen anthems and rhythmic devastation.

Exhibiting a labyrinth of moods and meticulous tempo shifts, Blood For The Master is streamlined without ever rendering itself predictable. As memorable as it is menacing, the band's fifth full-length quite literally writhes under the weight of its own deviant heaviness. Led by the traditionally iconoclastic sermons of the leather-throated Falgoust, and made whole by its mammoth guitar tone, unconditional drum/bass battery and Duet's intermittent snarls of wrath, the record again challenges god's legitimacy/authority while further exploring the ritual of death. Conveyed with a poetic, near occultish grace, songs like violent opener "Collapse In Eternal Worth," "Embodiment Of This Bitter Chaos," and "In Deathless Tradition" finds Falgoust, dubbed "one of the best live and recorded singers in metal history," by notable Canadian website Hellbound, in full domination mode. "I always have a lot of words," he elaborates. "I don't like repeating things but I've started doing more chorus-verse-chorus stuff. I started letting the music breath more."

"It's not like the new songs are a drastic change," Duet noted in an early interview with Decibel Magazine. "It's like an experimentation on how much more metal we can get – I mean actual metal; the roots of heavy metal. But not in a way that it sounds like power metal or anything like that. It's like an extremely metal version of us."

"I thought this was a lot harder to write just because we didn't want to repeat ourselves," he further notes. "I mean, we could have easily gone and written another Carving Out The Eyes Of God but we didn't want to do that. There are still elements on the new album that we wouldn't normally do, but it definitely still sounds like us."

"It's definitely harder at this point," Falgoust agrees of the writing process, "because you start to get to the point where you're a little older and more conscious about your ideas and everything; you become more anal about things. I'm still getting used to it, but I really like it. I like the flow. When we write, we try to think of it in a live approach. A lot of people write records but they never really focus on playing it live but that's so important. We can do all of these songs live, which is something we did with Carving… as well."

"I think sometimes we get slighted for stuff" Falgoust continues on where the band now fits within metal's ever expanding pantheon of subgenres. "Whatever terms people decide to lock us into— black metal, death metal, black death metal, everyone's gotta have some kind of little blanket. It's almost like a social standing. To me, it's all just straight heavy metal."

HAVOK evolved over a number of months and was officially formed in Feb. of 2004. Guitarist, David Sanchez had been playing with drummer, Haakon Sjoegren doing covers of all their favorite old school metal songs. People were really enjoying what they did and gave the two musicians accolades and encouraged them to continue to perform. Here the seeds were planted for forming a full band. With not too much actual planning they decided to start taking their play one step further and officially form a band.
Soon after posting "Lead Guitarist Wanted" flyers around town, David got a call from one Shawn Chavez… a trip to Englewood was necessary and they picked up the elusive Shawn. Within minutes of the audition it was settled. This was the guy! He was a natural and so they began…
What to call the band… a few other names were discussed and tossed aside… they went with HAVOK and off they were.
The range of influence of these musicians is expansive!! They never cease to discover new sounds from current and past artists. There is no sound that can't be appreciated in some way.
HAVOK continues to play anywhere they can and are busy writing their own music. They are influenced by a variety of artists and bands, among them: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Led Zepplin, Shadows Fall, Overkill, Pantera…




REVIEWS


In Dave Herrera's Westword article Putting Denver on the Musical Map, he includes "Both Rexway and Rubber (which will play a showcase for label execs at the L.A. Knitting Factory on January 10) are among the most tuneful bands in the current batch. And they could soon have company from some new talent I've stumbled on recently: HAVOK, for instance, a group of high-schoolers who played at the Blue Mule's big mock show not long ago, and were dead-on in terms of channeling Metallica, solos and all!" Performance date: Sept. 2004


Music critic, John La Briola in Denver's Westword newspaper says, "In the world of superheroes, HAVOK is a short-tempered X-Factor mutant with the ability to fire waves of explosive energy from his fingertips. In Denver's own underground death-core realm, the band HAVOK does something similar with guitars and amps, grinding through sheets of metal and double-kick tempos like a buzz saw. Weaned on everything from Metallica to Jimmy Page, this technically accomplished thrash outfit -- vocalist/rhythm guitarist David Sanchez, lead guitarist Shawn Chavez, bassist Marcus Corich and drummer Haakon Sjogren, who hails all the way from Drammen, Norway -- specializes in the kind of sonic doom that put the Vikings on the map before Erik the Red was teething. If a demo that includes songs about Hell and Identity Theft is any indication, HAVOK has an appetite voracious enough to eat emo kids for breakfast" Performance date: Feb. 2005


Also, Derek Rhine, Local Music Reviews writer for The Grateful Web wrote:"The show opened up with Havok. 4 kids 16 to 19 years old. These guys just blew me away! You don't see this type of powerful stage presence from kids this young. They took the stage and dived straight into a fast, tight and powerful set. They wasted no time in getting the crowd into their old school styled metal. These guys remind me of early Exodus and Slayer with a touch of Metallica thrown on top just for kicks. Crunching guitar riffs and screaming lyrics made me want to dive right into the pit, and if I weren't afraid of getting my teeth knocked out like one fan did that night, I might have! (The kid who got his tooth knocked out was happy about it! Said it was an awesome show! He stayed in the pit from Havok on through the end of the show) Havok shows more than a promise, if they keep this type of show up they WILL be signed and they will be big! These kids got all the makings of a great metal band and I would LOVE to see them play again anytime! Hey Havok! You just made a new fan!" Performance date: Oct. 2005

MOTIVE: One of AZ's longest standing new wave of Thrash outfits with roots spanning back over a decade. Walking a fine line between retro and current while introducing their special brand of musical violence to a young new "hip" scene.

Rotten Youth

Rotten Youth has been playing shows in the Phoenix area for years. We have played with such bands as Blitz, Varukers, Misfits, Jello Biafra, The Freeze, The Casualties, Subhumans, Leftover Crack, UK Subs, JFA, Clit 45, Menstrual Tramps, MDC, Vice Squad, Fatskins, Lower Class Brats, Verbal Abuse and the list goes on and on.

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The Casualties& Goatwhore with Havok, Motive, Abiotx, Rotten Youth

Tuesday, April 2 · 6:00 PM at Rocky Point Cantina