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Riding The Edge

Ben Falgoust, vocalist with New Orleans-based extreme metal act Goatwhore, recalls when he first heard metal music. “It was like a feeling,” he tells me over the phone. “It was an instant thing. It was like, interest. When you’re young, certain things turn your head. That’s when you start your quest.” 

Falgoust’s quest has led to a career in heavy metal, first with the band Acid Bath and now with dark-metal act Goatwhore.

This summer Goatwhore is set to release their seventh full-length album, Vengeful Ascension, on Metal Blade Records. On their latest release the band worked with a new producer, Jarrett Pritchard, and Falgoust says the change was good for the band. 

“Any individuals who haven’t recorded us before, that’s where you lose your comfort zone,” Falgoust explains. “You’re like, what’s this guy going to bring to the table?”

Nevertheless, the new album still showcases Goatwhore’s eclectic take on the extreme music niche. “We have so many different elements with that metal edge to it,” Falgoust says. “We can’t lock ourselves into one term.” 

Ascension reframes the story of Satan as the triumph of the individual, in true metal fashion finding a positive message amid dark imagery and controversial subject matter.

“A lot of people on the outside looking in, they see imagery, they see the word ‘Satan,’ they label this thing as just not good,” Falgoust says. “I think it’s a little bit of everything. I think it rides the line of both edges.”

And for Falgoust, metal music has been nothing but a gift. “It’s like a community,” he says.

Goatwhore previews Vengeful Ascension alongside Ancilients and Omnihility 8 pm Thursday, June 15, at Old Nick’s; $15, 21-plus.