War From A Harlots Mouth

In Shoals

Written by: BL on 08/04/2009 11:23:41

Having been passed rumors that this band was one of the most promising new deathcore acts I was curious to check them out, considering myself fairly entrenched in the world of pig squeals, massively down-tuned breakdowns, and general br00tality. War From A Harlots Mouth are a German band formed between late 2005 to early 2006. A brief scout on their last.fm page indicate they like to incorporate jazz as one of their elements, which is very original to say the least for a supposed deathcore band. But deathcore this is not, since there are virtually no pig squeals or the death growls, only a fair few breakdowns here and there (and all very uninspiring to say the least), and a wealth of clean sections. They incorporate more of a mathcore and grindcore influence than anything else, with the odd spastic fretboard run broken up with fast dissonant riffing.

My initial impression was with the vocalist Nico, who is one of the newer additions to the lineup. His range is fairly stuck in the mid, having neither the pitched screams nor the low end growls and grunts to compare to other vocalists, and no pig squeals which is both a good and a bad thing, since while it can be effective it is nowadays overused. His voice comes off more as a more generic half scream half shout that is more at home with a straight up hardcore band than anything else. Then there's the rather peculiar mixing, which to me sounded rather bare and lacking the solidarity that you'd expect of a band in the extreme part of the metal spectrum; end result hurting the distorted guitars more than anything since they sounded quite muddy at times. Though I later discovered the band wanted to achieve a more natural sound by having no drum triggers or direct signals from the other instruments. While many argue that a raw sound often is better than overproduction, I think a bit more production would have gone a long way to help what is the best thing about their sound.

Which brings me to what made me curious about them in the first place, the jazz influences. I'm no expert on jazz but I liked a lot of the clean parts they threw in. Granted it all felt a bit random since they would cut in sometimes without warning, or maybe I just don't get the song structures like I should, but they are for the most part very enjoyable and give a stark contrast to the harsh part of the sound. Most of the heavy parts in the record in fact did not really keep my interest at all save for the more deathcore sounding "Appropriate Tools Required To Interpret...". Indeed the jazz sections are what held my attention most of the time. Just listen to "Justice From The Lips ..." which feature good interplay between the guitars and the bass, their prowess for tasty melodies starting to show through. The only complaint about this I have, is that the lack of production gives the drums far too strong a sound in the clean sections. A more spaced out sound maybe with a hint of reverb would have really sent the listener deeper into the soundscapes they try and build. Sometimes I'm almost reminded of Yakuza, just a heavier version and a less spaced out sound.

To conclude I wasn't hugely blown away by this record, in fact I was fairly underwhelmed for the most part. The actual metal parts weren't memorable to me and the songs tended to lack a clear focus and spent too much time meandering about like a child lost in a big shopping mall. The one saving grace were the jazz aspects which would be my only reason for you to check these guys out at all.

Download: Justice From The Lips Of the Highest Bidder, The Certain Nothing, Appropriate Tools Required To Intercept And Obstruct Errorism
For the fans of: Yakuza, Pig Destroyer, Despised Icon
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.04.2009
Lifeforce Records

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