02. To Age And Obsolete
03. The Increased Sensation Of Dullness
04. Sleep Is The Brother Of Death
05. The Polyglutamine Pact
06. Cancer Man
07. C.B.G. Splender
10. Recluse MMX
11. Inferno Iiiiv
2010 Lifeforce Records
When a band has a name like "War From A Harlots Mouth," no one will be shocked to learn that said band sounds pretty damn trendy. In fact, I don't even know if I can name an album that sounds trendier than War From A Harlots Mouth's new album, MMX. Over the course of this spastic, half-hour album, the band manages to pay their dues to recent fads like deathcore and jazzy metalcore, as well as more contemporary hipster-pleasers like djent and atmospheric metal. That's not to say that the album doesn't surprise at all though; on the contrary, the surprise is that the album is actually rather enjoyable.
MMX, when stripped down to its core, owes the most to Meshuggah, not unlike increasingly popular bands like Periphery and Tesseract. This fact becomes very apparent within the first few minutes of the opening track; after blazing through an aggressive blastbeat intro, the familiar tones and odd time signatures of Meshuggah take charge. Thankfully, the vocals also follow Meshuggah's lead, instead of pursuing the post-hardcore styles of Periphery and Tesseract. This is all to say that, if you can't get behind the idea of djent with distorted, bellowed vocals, you might want to pass over this record.
However, while this style is dominant enough to deter certain people, those who do give MMX a go will be rewarded by the band's tasteful genre experimentation. The aforementioned blastbeat-driven style pops up a few times throughout the album, and almost calls to mind some of the more industrial or psychedelic black metal being pushed by bands like Nachtmystium (granted, this is mostly due to the production style). Complimenting these more aggressive outbursts are the frequent jazzy (for lack of a better term) interludes which could have been ripped right from Miss Machine. Regardless of the level of original thought involved, the jazzy sections of "To Age And Obsolete," "Sleep Is The Brother Of Death," and "Sugarcoat" are very well developed and provide some breathing room in an otherwise constant, pummelling complexity. By the time the album's sole notable breakdown hits in doomy closer "Inferno Iiiiv," I find myself oddly receptive to its simplicity, perhaps a testament to the nature of the previous ten tracks. Some atmospheric, ringing feedback ends the album perfectly, as cliché as the approach may be.
Bottom Line: MMX is no Calculating Infinity, and some of its content clearly caters to scene kids and hipsters, but I can't help but enjoy the variety of styles presented. It may not shatter any molds nor dazzle with technicality, but it might just satisfy your cravings for some above average metalcore.