Album review: GOATWHORE – Constricting Rage Of The Merciless

GOATWHORE – Constricting Rage Of The Merciless

Metal Blade – Out Now.

It is a well known and universally accepted fact that people understand and appreciate music in different ways – something that, I am sure you agree, makes this beautiful form of human expression such an important aspect of our daily lives.

I, for one, cannot truly connect with music without fully engaging my imagination in the overall process and that is why a clever band name and an impressive album cover are fairly influential factors in any music-related decision I have to make.

With that in mind, I hope you can appreciate why I strongly resisted reviewing any of the previous five albums released by the New Orleans Blackened Death Metal quartet Goatwhore.

So, how did I end up accepting the assignment for writing the review of the band’s sixth studio album entitled “Constricting Rage Of Merciless”? Partly because, and with a few main/important exceptions, I don’t agree with dismissing anything in life without first trying it but, most importantly, because I was eager to find out why so many people whose music taste I mostly agree with were freaking out over this ten track release.

It literally took one simple spin for me to realise that the massively positive reactions all the people who were urging me to listen to “Constricting Rage Of The Merciless” were totally justified!

Goatwhore’s latest musical offering contains all that I love about extreme Metal; solid head banging riffs, bombastic drumming and a singer in possession of a wide a pretty impressive vocal range.

“Poisonous Existence In Reawakening” may introduce itself through an intense blast beat section but it is not long before a Celtic Frost inspired riff joins this musical feast. Fans of underground Black/Thrash Metal will love the riffs in “Unravelling Paradise” while “Baring Teeth For Revolt” is a Motorhead-inspired Rock ‘n’ Roll tune filled with groovy riffs that Mr. Thomas Gabriel Warrior of Celtic Frost fame will most certainly approve of.

While “Reanimated Sacrifice” is a straight forward Thrash Metal tune, “Heaven’s Crumbling Walls Of Pity” finds the band successfully combine themes from styles of music that, on paper, should not really work well together.

Opening with a hair-raising Death Metal growl and featuring a low-register riff that is guaranteed to bring down the walls of your living room if you’re not careful with your stereo’s volume control button, “Cold Earth Consumed In Dying Flesh” is by far the best song of the album, followed by the old-school anthem “Fbs” and another Celtic Frost influence tune entitled “Nocturnal Conjuration Of The Accursed”.

The album concludes in a fairly intense fashion as “Schadenfreunde” is a Black Metal piece while “Externalize This Hidden Savagery” enables the band to further express its love and appreciation over the mighty Sodom – a band whose work has been clearly influential on this noisy US combo.

I am really happy that I decided to put all my reservations aside and listen to “Constricting Rage Of The Merciless” as it just so happens that it is one of the best extreme Metal albums that I have listen to so far this year.

Is that album strong enough to convert me into a Goatwhore fan? Well, even though it will take much more to get me to wear a t-shirt featuring such a terrible/silly band name I have no qualms whatsoever investing in the band’s tremendous sounding music.

While you sink your teeth into this beauty, let me see what the band’s previous five albums are all about…

John Stefanis

Rating: ****1/2 (4.5/5.0)

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 12 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

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