Review : War From A Harlots Mouth - MMX
AbsolutepunkThis German Tech/Math metal band has stepped up their game on this release MMX. I have been a fan of theirs since their split with Molotov Solution (former label mates who you should check out). When they were first starting out it seemed like their initial goal was to whip the listener into a sonic frenzy and make them mosh to the coherent heavy parts. Throughout this bands career, member changes and style variations, they have progressed a lot. This new album has a lot to say about their new style.
From the opening seconds of "Insomnia" you will learn that this album isnt the old WFAHM with a lot of filler, this album sounds like a bag full of pissed off cats shot out of a cannon (in the best of ways). The album continues to rage through the following like a bat out of hell, then the album begins to slow down with "Sleep Is The Brother of Death." It is a very down tuned, jazz laden, heavy interlude that gives the listener a chance to recharge their batteries before slamming into the rest of the album.
"The Polyglutamine Pact" sounds like if Oceano mated with War From A Harlots Mouth and had an angry sonic devil. "Cancer Man" brings it back down to a slower pace, but not a chug chug session. The album speeds on with its organized chaos until you get to "Sugarcoat". It is a slow interlude, almost a jazz tune you would hear in a 50's club. "Sugarcoat" is a nice interlude but the songs that come next aren't so ambient and pretty....full text
ApochsWar from a Harlot's Mouth is a German act that focuses on a Metalcore brand of songwriting, but is known from bringing Mathcore, Jazz, even Death Metal into the mix at times. MMX marks the band's third full-length effort, and after just coming off a split EP with Burning Skies, the impression left was quite good for this band, but also showed them shying away from the signature sound that their fans expected from them. MMX, however, finds the band returning to the sound that they have been running with for quite a while, combining many of the aforementioned styles into their brand of Metalcore, and for the most part it's an enjoyable mix, but there are just times where it all just winds up to be a bit too boring.
The music on MMX varies greatly between each song, and for the most part it really helps the album out. On the first song, "Insomnia", you have a Mathcore approach to the mix that sounds like it took a good deal of inspiration from Dillinger Escape Plan, but layered it over a Metalcore foundation. The same happens on the following track, "To Age and Obsolete", but it's not as intense a Mathcore approach, though the song does slow down to a very random and out-of-nowhere Jazz moment that is simply boring and hinders the track due to how abruptly things become interrupted for that little freeform section. This track bleeds ino "The Increased Sensation of Dullness" with a Grindcore influence that continues through the song it bleeds into, giving off a heavy Napalm Death sense of Grindcore meets Death Metal. These three songs, in this order, essentially tell you what to expect on the album, and for the most part, these tracks are great in their own sense, especially "Insomnia" with it's pounding music and technical guitar work, but, sadly, not many other tracks that bring that style into the mix wind up having that same tenacity.
While the album is roughly thirty two minutes long, some of that time is eaten up by instrumentals or interludes that really don't need to be present. "Sleep if the Brother of Death" lasts about a minute and a half, but it doesn't really do anything other then be somewhat technical Jazz influenced electronic-sounding instrumental with repetitive noises going on before the music chimes in, giving it an almost poppy mainstream feel, leaving this song feeling tacked on in the long run, especially since all it does it bleed into the next track with a guitar fade and doesn't even offer anything for the next track. "CBG Spendor" is even shorter, being only thirty seconds of music, almost as if it were some kind of theme song the way the track is set up, though clearly having a Meshuggah-like Groove Metal composition prior to a man walking, something turning on, then a cigarette being lit. While it clearly is meant to set up the following track, "CGB Spender", it winds up just being useless and could have been dropped, or at least been cut down to simply the guy, and maybe expanded on a bit instead of tacking a thirty second repetitive Groove riff that suddenly cuts out for the latter of the song. A Groove influence does appear near the end of "CGB Spender" that reflects that first thirty seconds on "Cancer Man", but it doesn't make up for it's randomly being there. Of course, this track also features a clip from the television show The X-Files that fits in with the lyrics of the song, and is dramatic enough that it fits into the abrupt gap that appears in the music for it to play. Of course, following that is actually a rather enjoyable Jazz instrumental, but it, eventually, will grow a little tiresome.
Really the only boring moments of MMX stem from those instrumentals, but there are other elements to the album that kind of drop the ball. "Spineless" is a good example, as the song jumps around a lot, mostly through Metalcore, some Death Metal/Grindcore moments, and Jazz. There is a moment where the music completely slows down for more of a spoken word section, which doesn't reflect any of the predetermined styles that make their way into the band's music, and just really comes off bland. The breakdown that occurs a little more then half way drags the speed of the song down considerably, includes some Groove in the mix, and while it doesn't sound too bad, it's just not enough to keep the listener attention, feeling simply drawn out after a while and losing it's effect after the first thirty seconds since it doesn't really offer much to the song outside of a feeling that it's there to delay the songg and make it the second longest off the release. War from a Harlot's Mouth is not necessarily a bad album, but it features some bland moments, mostly through the instrumentals that appear and essentially do nothing to aid the album along, as well as some drawn out moments near the end of the song. The band also tries to bring a lot into the short amount of material provided on MMX, causing a real lack of structure in the album at times. MMX establishes itself on the first three tracks, then much of that seems to go up in smoke for a Groove sound that appears constantly against the backdrop of the additional sounds that littered those very first three, which wind up being the most impressive tracks on the album. While the intensity is there, much of it starts to just sound like repetitive chaos, and stem so far from an original sound in favor of the Groove style that man bands in the Metalcore style have been embracing, such as A Life Once Lost and even Lamb of God have over the years. Ultimately, there's nothing all that shining about the album, but it's still got enough potential to last a few spins, but, unless you're a die hard fan, that's probably about all you'll manage to get out of it before you walk away for good....full text
MetalinjectionHas anyone noticed the large amount of so-called “experimental” or “art” style bands in the world of metalcore that draw heavily from their peers? I’ve got a friend who loves bands like THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, and MESHUGGAH, as well as some underground bands like GAZA, and he liked them because they’re weird. In his eyes though, they’re less weird when more bands sound like them. I can’t say it’s very “experimental” when a band is attempting to sound like someone else.
It seems that WAR FROM A HARLOTS MOUTH would like to capture some trends while at the same time have the appearance of an “art” band. They attempt to grab from so many different types of metalcore, although WAR FROM A HARLOTS MOUTH has wisely chosen not to touch melodic metalcore. Surely we can admit that there are actually quite a few original bands in the world of metalcore, and unfortunately so many new bands now treat it like a buffet. Who will get ripped off next? Perhaps the whole portion of directly ripping off only one band. Or maybe the plate will be full of small portions of different metalcore bands.
Here’s a laundry list of what you can expect on “Transmetropolitan”:
- Jagged dissonant metalcore like NORMA JEAN
- Spazzy, mathy core, jazzy interludes and a dub song, like THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
- Pig squeals and smith blasts like JOB FOR A COWBOY (”Doom” EP era)
- Hardcore vocals, gang shouts and hardcore chords between death metal portions, like DESPISED ICON (notice I didn’t make any hardcore comparisons though?)
- Slow pounding heavy metalgaze, like CULT OF LUNA or ISIS
- Some biting, harsh chords like CONVERGE
- Grinding metalcore, like THE RED CHORD
- And of course my favorite, single note breakdowns...full text
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