War From A Harlot’s Mouth – MMX (Lifeforce Records)Tuesday, 19th March 2013
German metalcore instantly evokes the brutal, but heavily Gothenburg-infused musings of Caliban, Heaven Shall Burn, Maroon, etc. They’re all pretty close cousins, interchangeable and frankly, not at all inventive anymore. In 2004 they might have been, but not now. Whether their countrymen War From A Harlot’s Mouth is en vogue right now is debatable as their mish-mash of metal and deathcore treads a slippery slope on their third full-length, MMX.
MMX often teeters on the brink of going overboard with its trend-humping, not to mention its aping of Meshuggah’s guitar tone from the Nothing album. Seriously, it’s the same goddamn guitar tone. Like, when is “Stengah” going to come bursting out of the speakers during “Cancer Man?” Granted, this does warrant some awfully brutal beatdowns during “Insomnia,” album highlight “To Age and Obsolete,” and “Recluse MMX,” but when the Germans aren’t peddling around this territory, it becomes quite derivative to the point of annoyance. They’re only about the 500th band to rip-off Meshuggah, but maybe the first to steal from the Swede’s Nothing-era.
A spate of technical moments make their way through “The Increased Sensation of Dullness” and the brilliantly-titled “Sleep Is the Brother of Death,” proving that WFAHM isn’t all breakdown and Meshuggah-happy. During the constant wait for clean vocals (they never come, thank sweet Jebus), the band manages to pull a couple of neck-wringing songs from the mire, including the frenzied “The Polyglutamine Pact” and the pummeling “Spineless.”
If there was one thing to hit upon with War From A Harlot’s Mouth, it’s that they sound far removed from their contemporaries. Some may find stock in that sentiment, others may hold it against the band, but MMX, they at least proved one thing: in order to not sound like traditional German metalcore, all you need is Meshuggah’s guitar tone. Quite the simple formula, eh?
(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)