Goatwhore - Constricting Rage-Of The Merciless 01Dripping savagery and gnashing bared teeth, that can only mean one thing… Goatwhore‘s back! For those not familiar with the piss and vinegar thrashing of Blood for the Master or going back a little further the Satanic ritual of The Eclipse of Ages Into Black, Goatwhore are a stewey blackened death “project” with an all American, New Orleans twist that borrows not only members, but also the subtle influence of metal veterans Crowbar, Acid Bath, Soilent Green and Nachtmystium. Will Goatwhore‘s Constricting Rage of the Merciless unleash hell, fury and damnation as promised? And lifting the bar ever higher, will the album wage war of a variety that we’ve not yet had from Goatwhore?

“Poisonous Existence In Reawakening” opens up the album a little like that unfortunate meeting with a wood chipper in Tucker and Dale vs Evil. Picture chunks of meat, bone and globs of blood-splatter cannoning full force onto your new band shirt and you have an idea of the blasting repetitive fury that’s destined to pound away aggressively at your eardrums. I wish I could say this track is something new and so exciting it’s going to make your toes curl up, but outside of Ben Falgoust’s Soilent Green inspired vocal dexterity, switching between low barking growls and hoarse yells, the track and the large majority that follow are merely what one expects will bolt from the Goatwhore stable.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, Constricting Rage of the Merciless has three highly-charged redeeming qualities that make the album feel necessary. “Baring Teeth for Revolt” and “FBS” both lock their thrashy teeth into you in the same way as “When Steel And Bone Meet” off Blood for the Master. Though the style isn’t new to Goatwhore, it’s a healthy, growing breath of fresh air in all the inky monotonous darkness of the rest of the album and like the neighbours damn cat that keeps turning up in your kitchen at meal times, it’s tough to put them out out of your mind once they’ve broken in.

Goatwhore - Constricting Rage-Of The Merciless 02“Cold Earth Consumed In Dying Flesh” ended up the pièce de résistance on Constricting Rage of the Merciless! The track not only embodies the dark, pessimistic atmosphere of Eudaimony‘s Futile, but with doomed determination adds Crowbar flavoured slow, low-keyed broodiness with Soilent Green growling fuzzy rhythms, aggression to the maximum and occasional fast tempos. The track becomes an addictive, cloying assemblage of everything that Goatwhore are made up of and the experience is only heightened with the natural warm hiss and powerful tone of Erik Rutan’s (Florida based Mana Recording Studios) analogue recording process used on the drums, bass and rhythm guitars.

Much like it’s predecessors A Haunting Curse, Serenades to the Tides of Blood and Blood for the Master, Constricting Rage of the Merciless is packed with top-notch instrumentation and peppered with schizophrenic madness of the Sewn Mouth Shut variety. This is an action packed album that indeed unleashes all kinds of hell, fury and damnation. Bear in mind though it’s neatly wrapped up in last year’s birthday paper, with a well used bow cinching it all together.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Metal Blade Records
Websites: GoatwhoreOfficial | Facebook.com/Goatwhore
Release Dates: Out Worldwide: 07.08.2014

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  • I thought from reading the review that it would be at least a 3.5. Maybe i didnt get what Ma’am meant or because i had higher expectations of this record.Nevertheless i think Constricting Rage of the Merciless is equally good to Blood for the Master after listening to the record for 2-3 times.Or i just want it to be..

    • Madam__X

      Of the 10 tracks 3 are very good and 7 are consistent offerings deliberating over that and averaging it out left me with a 3 on the scoreboard.

      • I study Mathematics so i approve your way of thinking!Maybe in the future my opinion is going to change, but until this moment i think of this album as a 3.5 and something as good as the previous record.I like the variety of the tracks and the different speeds.4 very good tracks, 2-3 fillers and 3-4 consistent Goatwhore trademark tracks for me so it passes my mind-border.

  • Excentric_1307

    I was hoping that the new album would have more staying power than Blood For the Master. With that album I get bored about halfway through and start looking for something else. It’s too bad because the band themselves and the live show is one of the rowdiest things I’ve ever seen, and they’re some of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

    That doesn’t mean they can produce the most interesting albums though.

    • Madam__X

      I’ve experienced the very same thing. While I love their sound as a whole it doesn’t hold my attention across a full album.

  • replica

    I really enjoy the place in the world that Goatwhore occupies. It’s in that “I just want some jams” place that Skeletonwitch is. I’m really enjoying the album, but I have a heavy bias for all these New Orleans-ish bands.

  • I saw a twitter tantrum from their drummer when he read the less than positive review they got on lastrites, so I guess you have something to look forward in your inbox.

    I liked Blood for the Master, it didn’t have the staying power of Carving out the Eyes of God but had some interesting punch on it that made the unoriginality of it more than bearable. But this one has them playing by the tired numbers for the most part and it’s a frustrating listen because you know this guys can do a lot better.

    • Madam__X

      “…this one has them playing by the tired numbers for the most part” great line!

      • Thanks! I think I’m unconsciously practicing for that angry metal application ;P

        • Madam__X

          Be all you can be, join the ranks of the lowly unpaid! ;)

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Fair review
    FBS has a cool video even though the lyrics are pretty cliched and corny
    and is the best song on the record IMO.
    I really like how this record sounds and its sound is its biggest selling point. The drums sound great and generally it has a warm ‘live’ feel that i really dig. I suspect I’d enjoy this material more in the live context. My main issue is the songwriting theres not that much there that demands a repeat listen. These guys are a bit like crowbar to me, good without being that interesting,