Constricting Rage of the Merciless
Metal Blade Records
The sixth studio album from our local blackened death metallers Goatwhore is yet another example of how this band can transform; each album is a departure from the last. Before even hearing Constricting Rage…you’ll notice the cover which is a cryptic cross-etched illustration featuring a seven-headed monster, each with a crown on its horns, snarling and drooling threateningly. It’s just a hint of the ferociousness of the music within. “Baring Teeth for Revolt” definitely has some classic metal influence especially noticeable in the guitar riffs by Sammy Duet. “Schadenfreude,” which means receiving pleasure from another’s displeasure in German, is laden with lyrics of creating fear for someone, i.e. being their worst nightmare. Vocalist Ben Falgoust growls, “I will sever the spirit of your pride,” sending chills down your spine. This album does have a few tricks up its black sleeves. In “Heaven’s Crumbling Walls of Pity,” there are unsettling occasions of distorted, nearly imperceptible vocals meant to make you wonder if it’s all in your head; a creepy trick. “Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh” starts abnormally with a forlorn and melancholy introduction that could be from a 1960s horror film, a little feedback leads into a dramatic, depressing, and slow song. Falgoust roars deeply here and harkens back to his Paralysis days with a few higher shrills. No album that this band has released sounds like the last, which has allowed the band to reach out to a growing audience. With the release of Constricting Rage…even more souls shall be condemned to fandom.