"Constricting Rage of the Merciless"

(Metal Blade)

01. Poisonous Existence in Reawakening
02. Unraveling Paradise
03. Baring Teeth for Revolt
04. Reanimated Sacrifice
05. Heaven's Crumbling Walls of Pity
06. Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh
07. FBS
08. Nocturnal Conjuration of the Accursed
09. Schadenfreude
10. Externalize This Hidden Savagery

RATING: 9/10

New Orleans black 'n death mongers GOATWHORE are back, and let's give a huge hand to the Big Easy, which sends us new slabs from these guys and CROWBAR within the same speck of time. GOATWHORE's sixth album, "Constricting Rage of the Merciless" and CROWBAR's "Symmetry in Black" are bipolar opposites in tempo, but they comprise the two heaviest joints in American metal so far this summer.

"Constricting Rage of the Merciless" opens on a clouting pace with "Poisonous Existence in Reawakening", whipping through Zack Simmons' chattering beat pattern for half of the ride before throwing a handful of well-done mid-tempo signature switches into the mix. GOATWHORE's merges allow for mosh measures and rhythmic barks from Louis Benjamin Falgoust, II. Next, "Unraveling Paradise" hurls raging sequences of speed set at varying revolutions, settling into a kickass thrust on the verses and thrusting cumulative tornadoes at the tail end of each. As Falgoust switches to puke pitches on the grinding choruses, "Unraveling Paradise" is a wicked twister showing off GOATWHORE's fullest proficiencies.

GOATWHORE throws their listeners a killer curve with the fast and crashing straight rocker, "Baring Teeth for Revolt", which should become an automatic whirlpool starter that'll hit a fever pitch with its spiked thrash segment at the middle section. Letting up not a lick with the unstinting bangs of "Reanimated Sacrifice", once again GOATWHORE shows no fear in mingling some traditional rock lines amidst the song's double hammers, charred riffs and tail-spinning shred.

"Heaven's Crumbling Walls of Pity" employs a few black metal tricks, particularly in the rolling dark tides of the intro and in other flailing segments. Otherwise, the song volleys between insane speed lines and skidding sections of despair, sustained by a blast rhythm from Zack Simmons beneath most of the course.

It takes "Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh" before GOATWHORE pulls the reins back, if only for a few minutes. Louis Falgoust, II vomits all over the song's agonizing plod before an impressive changeover to thrash creates an explosive finale. Both he and the band rise in pitch for the breakneck velocity of "FBS". As with each song on this album, Sammy Duet's guitar solos on "FBS" are just as fast as the main drive, but that's part of GOATWHORE's intelligence as songwriters. The first solo is so quick you nearly miss it, but the second solo hangs a bit longer during a tempo change, just enough to usher the final blazing stanza.

The relentlessness of "Constricting Rage of the Merciless" carries into "Schadenfreude", which never loses an ounce of strength even when slowing things a bit after a crushing intro. At mid-tempo, GOATWHORE is still a juggernaut and "Schadenfreude" is constructed with an effective harmony that's blown asunder thereafter by the ruthless rapidity of "Externalize This Hidden Savagery".

Confidence is well on GOATWHORE's side and there's plenty this band has to teach other death metal acts in their wake now that they're official veterans. They're the real deal, so let those inspired by this style of metal grab a front of the stage whenever these dudes are on. They've always been lethal live, but with each successive album, GOATWHORE proves to rank amongst the best of the best of their ilk. "Constricting Rage of the Merciless" is so crazy fast and so stinking heavy you won't need anything else in your player for at least a week.


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