Published Jul 04, 2014Over the complex, intensely storied 16 years of their career, New Orleans based black metallers Goatwhore have been in a constant state of transformation. While their black and death metal core has remained intact, they have accrued swamp metal sludginess, hissing acidity and the wild violence of thrash, consistently eschewing genre restrictions. Their consistent push to twist and torque their sound has resulted in a constant refining of their aesthetic, and unusually consistent improvement for a band that has been active as long as they have; their sixth full-length offering, Constricting Rage of the Merciless, is yet another step forward for the already venerable group.
Goatwhore have always had the stench of brimstone about them, and their latest offering is no different, a vein of smouldering hatred for everything pure and good anchoring the record in a kind of ravenous decadence. The punishing, percussive fury of "Unraveling Paradise" assaults the listener like the best kind of beating, and the thrash-y, throat-tearing vulgarity of "Baring Teeth For Revolt" is tailor-made for starting circle pits. It's the vast, lush "Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh" that is the record's highlight, however, a towering piece of doom that trades high energy for ominousness, with the slow but destructive relentlessness of molten tar or magma. (Metal Blade)