New Orleans, Louisiana, is producing some of the best releases of 2014 in the metal world. First Down, then Crowbar and Eyehategod, and now Goatwhore.

Although Goatwhore are in an entirely different genre than the aforementioned bands, they are just as important as the others. Their sound, described as blackened death or blackened thrash (which I tend to agree with more) pigeonholes a band that dances a fine line among the silly sub-genre listing this day and age. More definitively, Goatwhore kicks your ass with brutal metal. On Constricting Rage of the Merciless, their 6th studio release, they prove what they do and they do it well.

The album openers, “Poisonous Existence in Reawakening” and “Unraveling Paradise,” continue the merciless beating that Blood For the Master started. They are in fine form, from the dynamics of the vocals between Sammy Duet and Louis B. Falgoust II to the shredding guitar attack. “Baring Teeth for Revolt, “although similar to “When Steel and Bone Meet” from Blood for the Master, shows that Goatwhore can implement a sound with catchy lyrics and vocals, but remain fucking brutal and evil at the same time. Only Skeletonwitch shares this ability.

“Heaven’s Crumbling Walls of Pity” is true Goatwhore, but adds an extra layer of darkness on top. It’s slower at times, but just plain heavy.  “Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh” is the best track here; it’s slower and heavier, like if they had an ugly child with Crowbar. Dark and moody, it really displays their ability. “FBS” is an all out thrash feast, and “Nocturnal Conjuration of the Accursed” melds thrash with a galloping tempo reminiscent of a Bay Area band. “Schadenfreude” highlights the abilities of the rhythm section of bassist James Harvey and drummer Zack Simmons, and “Externalize This Hidden Savagery” closes the album out with an all out thrash attack.

Constricting Rage of the Merciless is Goatwhore at their finest,  they do do NOLA proud.

Constricting Rage of the Merciless is out now on Metal Blade Records.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

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