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'Constricting Rage Of The Merciless'
(Metal Blade Records)

jools green

Jools Green


Formed sixteen years ago in the swamplands of New Orleans, Louisiana, Goatwhore were spawned by former Acid Bath/Crowbar guitarist Sammy Duet but I didn't cross paths with their music until their 2009 release 'Carving Out The Eyes Of God' and was blown away by the tight, guitar led content and the intense and captivating blend of black and thrash.

'Constricting Rage Of The Merciless' is hot on the heels of 2012s superb offering 'Blood For The Master', described as a collection of diseased hymns and recorded once again at Mana Recording Studios in St Petersburg, Florida with Erik Rutan, who has been in charge of their production since 2006s 'A Haunting Curse'.

But the difference with this release is that it is the band's first studio effort to be tracked to two-inch tape, something that is beginning to regain popularity with a lot of bands looking for an organic performance quality to their work over a digitally tooled endeavour.

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As a result this ten-track, thirty seven minute offering strongly reflects the tone and energy of their live performance, an added bonus for anyone, like myself who appreciated the energy and vibrancy that emanates from their live shows.

This release encompasses a broad range of moods and emotions from sadness to anger and has more of an urgent, intense vibe than previous releases, if that is at all possible, with a dark edge, darker than 'Blood For The Master', endeavouring to portray the total evil of the soul.

As always, Duet and Falgoust's vocals work superbly together, a brutal sinister and rasping combination. Add to that the chunky riffs and the fast dense rhythms, the relentlessly pounding drum work and you have a winning combination.


The idea behind the title, 'Constricting Rage Of The Merciless', is that of someone being pushed so far into a corner that vengeance is born, as well as representing the failing mercy behind organized religion.

All ten tracks make a great listen, beginning with the intense battery that is 'Poisonous Existence In Reawakening' followed by 'Unravelling Paradise' with its dark atmosphere with black Metal melodies and brutally intense drum assault. 'Reanimated Sacrifice' has an intense hypnotic quality to the "in your face" nature of the riffs. 'Heaven's Crumbling Walls Of Pity' is slower in tempo to open building to a blackened intensity as it progresses.

On 'FBS' (Fucked By Satan) you get fast thrashy tempo with a punk edge and some great guitars in the latter part while 'Nocturnal Conjuration Of The Accursed' and 'Externalize This Hidden Savagery' both open on riffs that simply epitomise the Goatwhore sound.


The standout tracks for me are 'Baring Teeth For Revolt', with the opening line: "We are coming to smash your idols!" from Falgoust, a fast, thrashy, track with an excellent latter part solo and direction change, the longer and slower very deliberating 'Cold Earth Consumed In Dying Flesh' whose haunting opener expands into the a dark ominous offering with some superbly deep vocal growls, a hugely powerful track that ramps up several gears towards the latter part whilst maintaining that dark ominous quality and 'Schadenfreude' (the title literally meaning the pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others) has a superb blackened edge, a great guitar segment just before midway and sinister two tier vocals from Duet and Falgoust.

'Constricting Rage Of The Merciless' is another great release from Goatwhore and if you enjoyed their previous releases you should be equally as stoked with this. I am!

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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