Mouth for War – Life Cast in Glass (1126 Records)

Wednesday, 12th May 2021
Rating: 8/10

The best of metallic hardcore takes the sheer energy, immediacy, and adrenaline from the hardcore scene and drenches it in more metallic and bone-crunching heaviness. With a previous EP (An Ear Kept to the Ground) in their back pocket, the band explores a very personal theme of grief with Life Cast in Glass. One centered around vocalist Trae Roberts’ younger sister being killed last year, and the anger and grief is palpable in Mouth for War’s sound.

Short, explosive cuts that get straight to the point, Mouth for War churns up an impressive amount of battery. Fast tempos collide with some groovier moments as well as some devastating breakdowns as each track rips through as much as it can in a 2-3 minute runtime. Roberts vocals are seething and quite high in the mix, but it in this case it works quite well and adds an even more intimidating presence to the band’s arsenal. Occasional melodic forays with solos (see “Take My Place”) gives the band some added hooks to go along with the groovy riffs (“WYGT”) and keep things interesting. Such an affair could easily become one-note afterall, and its these little additions that make all the difference. To take the track “Slave to Your Ghost,” it barrels ahead with a galloping metallic opening, slows down into groovy territory and some agonized shouts, and then tips a hat towards more hardcore tempos and vibes as the track does some serious steamrolling.

Never at a lack for energy or emotion, Life Cast in Glass is a visceral and intense attack that will make you catch your breath. Mouth for War snuggly nestle into that blurry metal and hardcore line that manages to take the best of both worlds and craft an experience that is both memorable and completely destructive.

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