4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2014
Seeing how this is the third album in a row that frontman Ben Falgoust has recorded with Goatwhore, it seems like a pretty safe assumption to think that the dude has put Soilent Green on the far back burner for the foreseeable future in favor of this group, even if it is one that initially began as merely a side-project. And the almighty Goat remain as true to their roots as they possibly can get on their sixth full-length, 2014's "Constricting Rage Of The Merciless," in that they deliver another set of explosive, brutally pummeling, and certainly very ripping and rag-tag set of blackened death metal anthems streaked with strong elements of hardcore, grind, speed and thrash metal. "Constricting..."also picks up right where 2012's "Blood Of The Master" left off in that completely and quite simply forsakes Goatwhore's patented doom metal-derived breakdowns (which were found in just about every song on their first four albums) in favor of speed, speed, and, ah yes, more speed.
Wasting absolutely no time getting right down into the thick of things, "Poisonous Existence In Reawakening" is a ferocious barn-burning opener that anchors blistering chainsaw riffage with pounding thrash beats. This track is also of note from a vocal front, as it utilizes some excellent vocal variation, offsetting Ben's typically high-pitched screaming with some brutally low, Dying Fetus-esque growling. And the ripping "Unraveling Paradise" brings back some more of those same vocals, and augments them with more solid lead work and cymbal-heavy blasting. "Barin g Teeth For Revolt," then, is a more groove-centric thrasher with steady, chugging riffs; but it is mostly of note for the way it steadily gains momentum and builds off of itself, generating heaviness and energy and eventually climaxing with blazing guitar leads and a ripping, wah-tinged solo.
Two later tracks, "FBS" and the closing "Externalize This Hidden Savagery," both flirt with surprisingly melodic soloing, an unexpected surprise especially when considering how the latter of the two songs mostly plays like a piece of full-on grind. (With that said, though, the former of these two is a much more restrained venture that adheres to positively catchy and headbangable lurches and grooves.) But the track that immediately precedes it, "Cold Earth Consumed In Dying Flesh," deals the listener an even bigger curveball in that it has an intro that, laden with clean, echoing-out guitar strums to create a stellar bit of infectious ambiance, is positively startling. This is before, however, "Cold Earth..." adopts some ominous, pounding chug and churn riffs and roaring vocals. (Ben's vocals -- or, rather, vo-kills -- are of the grindcore-esque variety, here, in that they at times nearly verge on the goregrind-esque pig squeal-style. And needless to say, they lead the way, here, even when the number picks up speed and launches into scalding, earth-scorched territory.)
Found in another place, "Heaven's Crumbling Walls Of Pity" has pummeling, stop-start death-grind blasts and subtle, fast tempo changes to go along with its memorable, blowtorch riffing in order to make for one other whopper of a standout song. And rounding out the set is "Nocturnal Conjuration Of The Accursed," which, boasting catchy, crunching riffs, chugging grooves, and a catchy vocal hook (early on), produces one positively hooky, contagious, and headbangable anthem, and one that compensates for the fairly lackluster (and thoroughly unremarkable) piece that comes next, "Schadenfreude."
True, "Constricting Rage Of The Merciless" does not break any new ground whatsoever for Goatwhore. But that little drawback does nothing to prevent it from becoming a tremendously enjoyable listen, and a pure, unbridled success. "Constricting..." is a nastily savage and grotesque album, but it sure makes for a satisfying listen; and even though it might be almost perversely harsh and dissonant, it will surely make for one heckuva pleasurable sound to all extreme metallists' eardrums.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2014
You wouldn't think that there would be be room for exploration with blackened death metal. For Goatwhore, they don't like to be confined to just one sound. Mixing in thrash metal was the right move. After three albums with Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, Cannibal Corpse, Tombs), they've gone the analog route with Erik again as producer, which makes this the fourth Goatwhore album he's produced and the third analog recording he's done (Soilent Green's Confrontation and Hate Eternal's I, Monarch were the first two). What does all this mean? Not that Pro-Tools was used for everything and that they cheated, but with analog everything was recorded to tape, so no copy & paste was used. It's the darkest, most devastating and uncompromising album they've done, and I'm sure the band wouldn't have it any other way.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2014
Goatwhore: even the name screams metal! The terrible foursome that comprise this blackened death/thrash squad know metal like Mike Tyson knows punching, or Michael Jordan knows basketball, or Kim Kardashian knows being a vapid dingbat, and they carry the responsibility with a care that many don't bother with. It's very meat and potatoes Death metal sounding but the tracks are so different from each other, they represent the best cross section of metal Goatwhore can accomplish. These tracks are tight and heavy with minimal showmanship and less pomp and circumstance. They start, smash your nose in and then bash you repeatedly around the face and neck until you beg to know how they hit you so hard so many times so quickly! The fight is over before you even realize what hit you. The last two records have stretched their sound out a little to incorporate a slower trudging dirge, but this brings back some of the Haunting Curse's bliztkreig style full frontal assault. The production job is impeccable and gives every track fire and weight. This may be Goatwhore's greatest release yet, and in a cannon of work including Carving Out the eyes of God and Blood For the Master, that's definitely saying something!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2014
I have liked all of the albums that these guys have done with Erik Rutan a lot. In fact B4TM is in the top five from the past decade for me. Sammy writes a lot of riffs for his songs, but on this album he has fewer, but because they are less in number he wrote them to be more catchy...and they are. I like every track off this album. It's short and like Reign in Blood once it starts over from the beginning I just let it keep playing through. I didn't buy my copy off this site, I got the limited tour edition when they did metal alliance this year, so I received it last Friday and had the opportunity to listen to this a lot, and it gets better with more listening. Other than it's punk catchiness the other main distinction between this and the other ones are that Ben goes really deep on two tracks, like brutal death metal low. Very good stuff here. Probably has the best sound of their albums and the drums are mixed in a way that they stand out more than the past two albums, but aren't overbearing. I'm not sure where they go from here, but they've been consistent with delivering great albums the past decade so I', excited to see where they will take us next.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2014
Fast-paced, catchy, and aggressive. I've known about Goatwhore for many years, even got to see them on the 2007 Sounds of the Underground Tour festival. Unfortunately, I haven't kept up with them as much as I've wanted to, but thankfully, this album has caught the attention of metalheads everywhere in recent months.
I had originally planned to purchase them album directly from the band when they had a meet & greet at the Grill 'Em All restaurant in Alhambra, CA. However, the event had ended so I was unable to do so. After listening to the album on Spotify for a couple of weeks, I saw it on sale for $5.99 on Amazon MP3 and jumped on the opportunity. I haven't regretted the purchase at all since then because of how great this album is.