Goatwhore- Constricting Rage of the Merciless (Metal Blade)

Goatwhore are back to once again lay waste in Satan's name!
Release Date: 
8 Jul 2014 (All day)

Goatwhore is back with a new album, and it happens to sound just like a new Goatwhore album.

That’s my executive summary, and it’s probably enough information for you to know if this album is or isn’t for you. If you’re a part of the latter camp, I’d like to kindly ask you to leave and maybe take a long hard look at your life. For those of you in the former, let’s take a closer look shall we?

Constricting Rage of the Merciless is the sixth album from these Nola bludgeoners and there’s no sign of their patented formula of violence running dry. Their take on blackened thrash has always been consistent, some could even say it’s downright formulaic with some justification; most songs of theirs have three tempos, a fast one, a medium paced one and another fast one, or some deviation on that. Take for example the opening track of the album Poisonous Existence in Reawakening, it has two distinct movements over its three and a half minute length, opening with blasting fury for the first half and then settling firmly into mid-paced moshing territory for the remainder of the song.

However, I’ve always given Goatwhore a pass on this for the simple fact that they are awesome. While their sound hasn’t always been original, it can certainly be distinct. I’d attribute this to much of the band being involved with the Nola sludge scene, with members having worked with bands like Acid Bath, Crowbar and Soilent Green. Rather than the usual frosty high treble guitar sound of many blackened thrash bands, Goatwhore has a far swampier, downtuned sound and nowhere does the band make better use of it than on this album. The song Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh is probably their most diverse offering to date, veering from a delicate intro into pure sludge nastiness, which is an amazingly effective stopgap in the context of the album.

Overall, this album has a much more straight-up thrash vibe than previous offering Blood for the Master had, and while I preferred that album’s more blackened leanings Constricting Rage of the Merciless is far from a disappointment. Goatwhore fans are going to find plenty of things to love about it. Turn it on, turn it up and start breaking things.