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War From A Harlots Mouth - "MMX" (CD)

War From A Harlots Mouth - "MMX" CD cover image

"MMX" track listing:

1. Insomnia
2. To Age And Obsolete
3. The Increased Sensation Of Dullness
4. Sleep Is The Brother Of Death
5. The Polyglutamine Pact
6. Cancer Man
7. C.G.B. Spender
8. Sugarcoat/Spineless
9. Recluse MMX
10. Inferno III/VI

Reviewed by on October 28, 2010

"'MMX' is a wall of technical sound that incorporates black metal, progressive metal, jazz, and poly-rhythms to craft a sound that is entirely its own."

If there is any question out there that needs immediate attention it would be “why has Germany become such a hot bed for unique, technical, and innovative metal?” Acts like Heaven Shall Burn, Maroon, Grey, Caliban and now War From A Harlots Mouth are leading the charge forth to lay claim to German metal dominance. War From A Harlots Mouth, on its new studio album “MMX,” delivers one of the most stellar and creatively profound technical metal records released in years. It’s unfortunate that anyone would label “MMX” as metalcore, because once you peel back the first layer of a thin ‘core shell, you are treated a myriad of musical subtleties that build into a destructive force. “MMX” is a wall of technical sound that incorporates black metal, progressive metal, jazz, and poly-rhythms to craft a sound that is entirely its own.

The album bursts out of the gate with “Insomnia,” a heavy and thick track that is both fast and rich in black metal undertones. The song finds itself switching back and forth between the blast-beat driven black metal and down-tuned Meshuggah tinged progressive metal. “Insomnia” is a dense track that is a bit lower on the technical side but gets things started off on the right note, building up as the album goes along, and becoming increasingly bizarre with each passing track.

“The Polyglutamine Pact” is a metal firestorm that utilizes off-beat chord patterns and absolutely chaotic drum work, as does much of the album. The vocals switch between the lower end grunt, typical of the metalcore sound, and a higher register raspy screech. “The Polyglutamine Pact” brings to mind acts like Meshuggah and Textures in its approach to song writing. The music is exceptionally complex, yet at the same time maintains a certain level of accessibility. The guitar work is also very flamboyant in its technical expression, often jumping across the fret board to include bone shattering and heavy riffs alongside harmonics that all come together effortlessly.

“Sugercoat/Spineless” offers a look into War From A Harlots Mouth more laid back and jazz oriented style of playing. While eventually incorporating its traditional metal sound it is the jazzy interludes that define this song and help to push the album up over the top when held in comparison to its German counterparts. It’s a shame and damn near criminal that anyone would attempt to label this as simple metalcore. The talent and musical proficiency of each member in the band is on a plateau often not reached by bands in any genre and that talent is put on full display.

War From A Harlots Mouth has delivered an absolute monster of an album that will be extremely hard to top, not only on its future releases but from any others in the German technical metal field. While acts like Heaven Shall Burn and Maroon are equally heavy, War From A Harlots Mouth has crafted an album that is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of musicianship. This may not be the right style for everyone, and the generalized heavy metal fan will find little to enjoy, but anyone who simply writes this band off as another metalcore clone is purely ignorant. You don’t have to like it, but there is no denying that “MMX” is a monumental, bar-raising album.

Highs: Technical metal that maintains a level of complexity without becoming noise.

Lows: Some of the samples that are used feel slightly out of place.

Bottom line: Yet another must-have technical metal export from the country of Germany

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)