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Mouth Of The Architect The Ties That Blind

Mouth Of The Architect - The Ties That Blind
01. Baobab
02. No One Wished to Settle Here
03. Carry On
04. Harboring an Apparition
05. At Arms Length MP3
06. Wake Me When It's Over
2006 Translation Loss Records

Reviewed by: Nick   //   Published: 10/18/2006

Well it looks like the guys over at Translation Loss are developing into quite a nice little label. With recent stellar releases from Rosetta, American Heritage, and now Mouth Of The Architect, I am now an ardent supporter of Translation Loss and will continue to be as long as they keep pumping out the quality jams. And if you're unfamiliar with the label, consider MOTA's The Ties That Blind to be the perfect first date in what will likely become a long lasting listener-label relationship.

While I could attempt to recklessly ramble off obscure ambient/prog/sludge/metal comparisons to describe MOTA's style, I'll just stick to the well beaten path and liken these guys to Neurosis and Isis. Combining slow, heavy riffs with keyboard atmospherics and dark melodic interludes, The Ties That Blind is a pristine example of what the prog-metal genre has to offer. Though long winded in length at a hair over 66 minutes, this record is not in the least bit boring or pretentious. Many "progressive" artists often get lost in their world of experimentalism and find it necessary to include long periods of random noises and avante-gardisms to round out their records (I'm looking at you Kayo Dot), and although I tend to enjoy bands in this category, I will be the first to admit that a lot of that excess experimentalism often detracts from an album. From the opening chord of "Baobab" to the closing notes of "Wake Me When It's Over," The Ties That Blind is a perfectly structured, fully-developed work of progressive music devoid of all of the aforementioned unnecessary noise.

As the shortest song on the disc is over seven minutes long, the length of each track leaves plenty of room for MOTA to effortlessly move from slow paced drone-metal inspired riffs accompanied by layered screams to catchier mid-tempo metal sections to near-epic walls of sounds. The musical scope of each track is carefully planned, as riffs are often reused at points 6-8 minutes apart in a song, successfully tying the individual song parts together. While each track could easily be a standout track, "Harboring An Apparition" sticks out as my favorite, as it steadily builds from an intro that would feel right at home on Explosions In The Sky's Those Who Tell... into layered guitar riffs complemented by melodic keyboards before ultimately reaching massive sonic proportions when the sparsely used, but powerful vocals make an appearance around the five minute mark. The album in its entirety also possesses excellent flow as each track leads naturally into the next.

The production on The Ties That Blind is really a top notch job, allowing MOTA to capture their wide variety of dynamics and styles. All of the instruments are easily identifiable, making it effortless to appreciate all of the skilled instrumentation on this disc.

Bottom Line: The Ties That Blind is definitely one of my favorite releases of 2006 and is an absolute must-have for fans of this genre, as well as a great place to start for those new to it. If you pass this up simply because you already have a bunch of Neurosis and Isis albums you will be fucking up. Hard.

LieKPosTMetAlDeWd_   posted 4/14/2008 2:52:07 PM
SARSmaster is a boner. This album is beyond any rating scale. By far the only band who can contend with Neurosis. This shits all over the new ISIS which just plain sucked. This album can stand right alongside Oceanic. Siiiiiiiiick dewd.
SARSmaster_   posted 2/22/2007 9:45:35 PM
I honestly do not understand why 90% of LG is on this band's nutsack. They are dull, unoriginal and completely INDISTINGUISHABLE from all of the other Neurosis/Isis clones(Minsk, Callisto, Rosetta, etc.) There is nothing unique or enjoyable about this album. This band sucks hard
Nick_   posted 10/29/2006 9:25:36 AM
It's just you. Of the 20ish reviews I've written (including ones pending posting), I've only given two 9/10's and it was just a coincidence that they were posted right after one another.
Matt_   posted 10/29/2006 12:04:26 AM
is it just me or has nick given everything a 9/10.
but as for the album, its pretty good. but not 9/10,
7 or 8
American Heritage_   posted 10/27/2006 3:59:47 PM
Agreed. I've been listening to this album alot.... but it wasn't til i saw them live for the first time last week that it totally knocked me on my ass. These guys destroy live. Can't wait for CMJ.

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