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Goatwhore - Constricting Rage Of The Merciless Award winner

Constricting Rage of the Merciless
by Andrew Sifari at 08 July 2014, 4:09 AM

Without getting into a big rant about the subject, I think it is safe to say that genre labelling has become problematic in Metal. Some bands fit nicely into established categories; OVERKILL are unmistakably Thrash Metal, DEICIDE are Death Metal through and through. And so on. However, truly good music has the ability to transcend labels and appeal to listeners of multiple, and sometimes conflicting, genres. The sixth album from New Orleans’ GOATWHORE, “Constricting Rage of the Merciless”, is an excellent follow-up to 2012’s “Blood for the Master” that draws influence from all across the Metal spectrum while still sounding unmistakably like a GOATWHORE album.

“Poisoned Existence in Reawakening” bursts out of the gate at blistering speeds, propelled by Zack Simmons’ jackhammer drums and Sammy Duet’s sinister, dexterous riffs. “Unrelenting Paradise” is probably my favorite track off the album, a dark, Black Metal-tinged assault that doesn’t let up from start to finish. “Baring Teeth for Revolt” is one of the catchiest songs on the album, opening with up-tempo, somewhat traditional Heavy Metal riffs up until its Thrashy midsection, which reminds me a little bit of CELTIC FROST. “Heaven’s Crumbling Walls of Pity” and “Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh” are one hell of a crushingly heavy one-two combo, the latter works at a crawling, doomy pace behind Ben Falgoust’s monstrous roars before erupting into chaos. Falgoust’s vocals are both vicious and somewhat-decipherable throughout the album, which is just as much a credit to him as it is to Erik Rutan for his great production on the album. All of the instruments sound loud, clear and easily distinguishable, and don’t have that cookie-cutter feel that a lot of Metal albums in the era of Pro Tools do. Leads are at a premium here, but when they appear they are often used to great effect, as with “Nocturnal Conjuration of the Accursed”. “Schadenfreude” is another ripper that neatly sums up each of the varied elements of the album in one track, changing speeds seamlessly and with tons of intensity.

“Merciless” is indeed a great way to sum up GOATWHORE’s approach on “Constricting Rage of the Merciless”. The band deftly mixes elements of Thrash, Death, Black, and classic Heavy Metal for a result that is pummeling heavy without feeling suffocating. Duet’s guitar playing is up there with the heavyweights of Metal, and the rest of the band are in rare form as well. The band’s songwriting is still as strong as ever, resulting in a complete lack of filler and a host of memorable moments. “Constricting” should be a welcome addition to their discography for fans of the band. It’s a great way to get into the band if you weren’t already and is an awesome listen for anyone who likes aggressive, heavy Extreme Metal. Don’t sleep on this one, folks.

4 Star Rating

1. Poisonous Existence in Reawakening
2. Unraveling Paradise
3. Baring Teeth for Revolt
4. Reanimated Sacrifice
5. Heaven’s Crumbling Walls of Pity
6. Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh
7. FBS
8. Nocturnal Conjuration of the Accursed
9.  Schadenfreude
10. Externalize This Hidden Savagery
Ben Falgoust - Vocals
Sammy Duet – Guitars, Vocals
Zack Simmons - Drums
James Harvey - Bass
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 06 February 2023

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