‘Twas the night of April 23rd of 2023 in St. Paul, Minnesota, a city about fifteen minutes East of Minneapolis. The air outside the Turf Club was cool with a very slight chill as the Sun began to set the energy for the sold out evening of EYEHATEGOD, GOATWHORE, and WITCHDEN.
Everyone who entered before the doors officially opened, were sent downstairs to The Clown Lounge, a basement bar filled with demented clown Art lining the walls, hanging lights with clown lampshades, some even stained-glass style, and a TV screen playing dark, psychedelic animations. A mix of Heavy Metal blasted through the speakers while the opening band, WITCHDEN, were sound checking upstairs, complete with loud “bleghs”!
Talking to the patrons inside, you grasped a vibe of WITCHDEN. They are local Minneapolis band with a dedicated following, who deem themselves as “Blackened Sludge Metal”. The doors opened and fans headed into the Turf Club. Merch lines became long, and people began planting their spots for the rest of the night.
WITCHDEN made their way upon the stage dressed in leather gauntlets and shrouds obscuring their corpsepainted faces. Smoke billowed by the amps as the lights were lit a dimmed green. The band performed a collection of songs with high intensity Black Metal style moments. There were elements of Groove that fueled the moshpits going on even more, all met with homages to Doom and Sludge.
GOATWHORE materialized up on stage as shrieks and roars echoed throughout the crowd in anticipation of what was to come. A vortex of a circle pit commenced almost instantly. As violent as the pits seemed from the outside, the atmosphere on the inside was very friendly. Full of high fives, fist bumps, hugs, and of course pushing and shoving. There was even a Human barrier lining the pit to keep others safe.
The band played several songs off their new album that released in October of 2022 through Metal Blade Records. They performed the title track, Angels Hung From the Arches of Heaven, Born of Satan’s Flesh, Death From Above, and Nihil. Midway through their set, the crowd erupted into screaming, “WHO NEEDS A GOD WHEN YOU’VE GOT SATAN!” during Apocalyptic Havoc from GOATWHORE’s 2009 album, Carving Out The Eyes of God. They ended the set with Fucked By Satan, off their 2014 album, Constricting Rage of the Merciless.
During the set changeover, the venue resonated a warm & thick humid scent in the air. There was a sense of a loud silence as your ears rang from GOATWHORE eviscerating all vibration patterns experiencied prior to the show. You’d hear bits and pieces of chatter emerge from every direction of people already reminiscing about GOATWHORE’s performance, and how charged everyone is for EYEHATEGOD.
EYEHATEGOD have been around for over thirty-four years, celebrating their thirtieth anniversary to the Take As Needed For Pain album that released in September of 1993 through Century Media Records. The anticipation ran high and the band stepped on the stage…
People shouted out “EYEHATEGOD!!” underneath a staticky guitar feedback noise that engulfed the Turf Club for a moment. As bassist Gary Mader, guitarist Jimmy Bower, and drummer Aaron Hill kicked the Music in full gear, Mike IX Williams grabbed the mic stand, swinging it back and forth in a trance-like motion. The moshpits opened up and crowdsurfers propelled atop the crowd all throughout the evening. EYEHATEGOD played a mix of songs including Everything, Everyday from A History of Nomadic Behavior, released in 2021 through Century Media Records. They also played Medicine Noose from their 2014 self-titled album through Housecore Records.
Article & Photography by Jenna Williams ‘The Scream Queen’