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4 out of 5 skulls
December 31, 2014 | ,

Goatwhore Constricting Rage of the Merciless

It’s always a struggle to corral the mighty Goatwhore into a single musical genre. The band has always done their own thing, despite what critics and fans may cry from afar. Black metal? Check. Death metal? Yup. Thrash? Without a doubt. But all of those sub-genres combined still do not fully explain the 10 blasphemous tracks found on the group’s latest full-length, Constricting Rage of the Merciless. There’s just so much more here on offer than words can describe.

If you thought the band had peaked with their last pair of releases — the stellar Carving Out the Eyes of God and the bestial Blood of the Master — one listen to album opener, “Poisonous Existence in Reawakening,” should be enough to smooth over those worries. With a booted, cloven foot firmly planted on your windpipe, the band unleashes Hell right from the start as massively pile-driving drums erupt from the speakers with driving riffs and Falgoust’s scathing (and guttural change-up) delivery. This is a huge track and one that is sure to have many necks suffering long after it’s run its course.

“Unravelling Paradise” sounds just like its name would suggest. Even more violent drum work from Zack Simmons are joined by swirling, frigid riffing from guitarist Sammy Duet. The combination sounds like a thousand Africanized bees swarming your skull with sledgehammers. So far Constricting Rage of the Merciless is spot on for what’s expected of these New Orleans natives — blasphemy and vitriol delivered at a high rate of speed. “Baring Teeth for Revolt” is thrash-infused with one hell of a swagger to its infectious guitar work and rock-steady beat. It’s catchy as fuck and will have you ready to tear down the nearest church in no time. I mean, with memorable lyrics like, “We are coming to taste their blood, We are coming defile their gods, Destroying this disease of faith,” how can you not get a little enthused for some solid anti-religious destruction.

The band returns to the burn and churn formula with the raucous “Reanimated Sacrifice.” Its swampy groove is addictive. “Heaven’s Crumbling Walls of Pity” carries a twinge of distant Slayer in the opening guitar work before the band settles into a pedal-to-the-metal blast of fury. Strings and keyboards open up “Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh.” They don’t last too long once the guys get down to unholy business about 50 second in with big guitars and building, chugging momentum. Falgoust goes low and feral with his growls throughout the bestial song. “FBS” is one hell of a thrash inferno of a song. Man, I love this song.

When all is said and done, Constricting Rage of the Merciless is nothing new under the sun for fans of the band. Goatwhore have done what they’ve always done — sling riotous blasphemy about the world with directed precision. The band’s themes are consistent, the musicianship top notch. What the hell more do you need?

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