New Orleans swampy, blackened death sludge masters Goatwhore have been unleashing their extreme sounds since the late '90s, with endless tours and a string of solid albums under their belt, making them a household name amongst fans of heavy music but never quite helping them achieve star status. Constricting Rage of the Merciless is their latest release for Metal Blade, and it's another solid effort from the band, though once again, will it be enough to break them out of beloved cult status? The short answer is probably not, though if you've long been a fan of their groove laden, crusty, raunchy style, no doubt this platter of filthy Southern styled black metal will get plenty of mileage in your CD player or iPod. Goatwhore have long been a band that is kind of hard to categorize, as they combine some of the early sounds of Celtic Frost, Venom, and Motorhead with Norwegian black metal, sludge, punk, and death metal. "Baring Teeth for Revolt" is one of the more fun tracks here, a relentless speed brigade with tumultuous riffs, breakneck drumming, and Louis B. Falgoust III's gravelly vocals. Plenty of manic blasting on the raging "Haven's Crumbling Walls of Pity", while "Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh" slows things down to a crawl with doomy, sludge ridden riffs and Falgoust III's deep, death metal growls. "FBS" is like a trip back in time to classic, old school early '80s metal, and "Nocturnal Conjuration of the Accursed" contains some of the best riffs on the album to go along with galloping rhythms...a real crankin', fun tune.
More of the same from Goatwhore? Sure, you can say that, but there's no denying that this is another enjoyable platter of mayhem from the Louisiana horde. It might not open them up to a new audience, but those already into the band no doubt will lap this one up. Solid again, as always.
1) Poisonous Existence in Reawakening
2) Unraveling Paradise
3) Baring Teeth for Revolt
4) Reanimated Sacrifice
5) Heaven's Crumbing Walls of Pity
6) Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh
8) Nocturnal Conjuration of the Accursed
10) Externalize This Hidden Savagery