The Mountain Goats leader John Darnielle has always been a vocal and eloquent fan of death metal. I once asked him why he never tried to play it himself, and he answered that he simply could never be a good enough musician, that death metal musicians are the types who will sit around playing classical scales for fun. But Darnielle did write a beautiful and perfect salute to death metal and to the people who love it with his 2002 song “The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton.” And last night, he got a death metal hero to play on it.
Erik Rutan is the longtime frontman of Hate Eternal, one of the world’s finest old-school death metal bands. Rutan has also played in Morbid Angel and Ripping Corpse. And he’s a prolific extreme metal producer. In 2011, Darnielle recruited Rutan to produce a few songs on the Mountain Goats’ album All Eternals Deck. And last weekend, he brought Rutan onstage to do some guest shredding.
On Saturday night, the Mountain Goats played the Orpheum in Ybor City, Florida, just outside the global death metal capital of Tampa. And he looked absolutely delighted to share his stage with Rutan, who added some blazing and triumphant solos to “The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton.” (Darnielle always looks absolutely delighted onstage, but he looked even more so last night.) Here’s a fan-made video:
Rutan also played on the Mountain Goats’ “Autoclave”:
— Orpheum (@TAMPAOrpheum) September 2, 2018
Notice the Ripping Corpse shoutout during the first song. It’s the little things, you know?