Phases & Stages


Constricting Rage of the Merciless (Metal Blade)

A side of New Orleans not getting much play on Treme, Goatwhore channels every evil impulse of its blackened death thrash into Constricting Rage of the Merciless, sixth LP of ill intent. "We have come to smash your idols!" roars Ben Falgoust in the neck-snapping "Baring Teeth for the Revolt," and that's the kindest he gets. Sammy Duet's disemboweling slash fuels said frontbeast's bottomless hatred for spiritual virtue: rampaging "Nocturnal Conjuration of the Accursed," slam-dancing "Heaven's Crumbling Walls of Pity," and concrete-crushing "Poisonous Existence in Reawakening." Meanwhile, "Externalize This Hidden Savagery" isn't merely a call to arms, but rather vicious proof that Goatwhore practices what it preaches. Louis Armstrong doubtlessly rolls over in horror from the quartet's maliciously corrupt vibes despite the swampy melody flowing through "Schadenfreude." Second-line funeral marches miss Goatwhore only because they're already at the graveyard, prepping the left-hand path straight down. ***.5

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