Review by Jason Guest
Release date: 8 July 2014
Consistency isn’t always a beneficial trait for bands past their fifteen-year mark. But then again, neither is experimentation. Where the former can lead to stagnation, the latter can lead to a rapid decline in quality and the loss of the very identity that made them what they are. For Goatwhore, these factors are of little concern. Since their beginnings in 1997, their releases have been of the highest order. And with album number six, Constricting Rage Of The Merciless, this isn’t about to change.
From opener ‘Poisonous Existence in Reawakening’, the finely-tuned beast that is Goatwhore go for the throat, tightening their grip as the album proceeds until finally casting your twitching carcass to the ground, your oesophagus protruding from what was once your neck and a look of terror permanently etched into your flattened phizog. The Motorhead influence is still present – in ‘Baring Teeth for Revolt’ in particular – and with it comes a distinct punk feel imbuing the album’s immediacy with a healthy dose of attitude. With only the intro to ‘Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh’ offering up some respite in an atmospheric daze, the otherwise relentlessly ominous and oppressive nature of the album is augmented by dark melodies and a number of impressive lead breaks (check out ‘FBS’ for a prime example), each tempered to the needs of the track and the album as a whole, and fired by the fuel of Goatwhore’s unremitting intensity.
From the first to the finish, this is a rabid and frenzied assault. As with all of their works, none of the tracks here are “delivered”; they are executed. To listen to this is to be punished, to be victim to a brutal blackened battery that does not desist. With Erik Rutan returning again for production duties, Constricting Rage Of The Merciless is more of the same furious and sadistically uncompromising black/death metal that the band are renowned for, and then some. Over fifteen years in, Goatwhore are showing no signs of letting up. Or letting down for that matter.
8 out of 10
- Read our interview with drummer Zack Simmons here
- Goatwhore Website
- Goatwhore on Facebook
- Goatwhore on YouTube
- Poisonous Existence in Reawakening
- Unraveling Paradise
- Baring Teeth for Revolt
- Reanimated Sacrifice
- Heaven’s Crumbling Walls of Pity
- Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh
- Nocturnal Conjuration of the Accursed
- Externalize This Hidden Savagery