War From a Harlot’s Mouth – In Shaols (2009, Lifeforce)

Some of these albums are albums I got when I was doing some music journalism. My notes on this album tell me this is the case with WFAHM – I reviewed them for RockMidgets. I can’t remember what I said at the time, but I kept the album so many I enjoyed it. Am I going to go back on that?

No, part of me enjoys this. It’s a technically impressive slice of modern metalcore – lots of extreme metal in there, gang vocals get a shout (ha!), lots of technical guitaring, very tight drums, lots of downbeats. It’s progressive metalcore, not completely dissimilar to a much-more generic Between the Buried and Me – chop-and-change tech metalcore, perhaps?

However, it’s not very catchy, and while it’s musically impressive, it’s a bit thin on ideas, innovation and real adventure. The guitarist plays some nice jazz-y chords, but that’s all they do – no jazz voice, as it were. Just strummed chords. Musically, it’s from a time when many bands doing this stuff didn’t really believe in chorus’, but used beat down fills and tempo changes to catch people’s attentions, and adventure was chopping and changing between different heaviness and then calming down for a a jazz chord.

The opening to the song ‘Copyriot’ (err) is probably the best part of the album – it’s akin to a good technical grindcore Cephalic Carnage riff. And then the song finishes just as it really gets going, all too short. My ears just picked up on a great riff, then they changed and finished the song after a short tapping riff. A shame.

And there are some other very nice moments, and I’d probably give this a decent review. 3/5 perhaps. By, in the end it’s a bit too ‘scene’ for my tastes, as it’s almost too knowing and everything’s too competent. It’s what I remember thinking of as scenester metal at the time.

Have I enjoyed listening to it? Bits and pieces. Do I have any reason to keep it? Not really. It’s a goer – I’ve got other things that fill this hole better.


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