Mouth of the Architect – Dawning
Mouth Of The Architect have always been a very enjoyable band to listen to. From their debut LP on their music has continually evolved and transformed into what it is today, and Dawning is no exception. From the start this six song LP manages to pack as many layers and ambiance into each song as humanly possible, but without sounding the slightest bit gluttonous. Albums highlights like ‘Patterns’ and ‘How This Will End’ showcase the band’s superb musicianship, while also emulating how well they execute even the simplest of melodies. The biggest concern with this record, however, is the snare drum. It sounds like the same drum Lars used to record St. Anger ten years ago, except this time it’s on a post-metal album. Surely they were going for that “raw” sound, but some nice dampening would have helped. Another issue with this record is that the songs, while interesting upon listening, don’t resonate with the listener as well as songs from Quietly did. Overall, however, this is a great album, and you’d be a fool not to pick it up. – SS
A Pale Horse Named Death – Lay My Soul To Waste
If the album title and band name didn’t give it away, A Pale Horse Named Death can be incredibly melancholy in their musical output. Lay My Soul To Waste is very obviously the product of a mind that has spent time in both Type O Negative and Life Of Agony and occupies a space somewhere between the drab wry grin of the former and the dark southern twinge of Alice In Chains. However, their depression is infectious and throughout the duration of Lay My Soul… you’ll progressively feel drawn to it and begin to see the bright sides of wallowing in their deep mire of gloom.
The formula is fairly consistent, as it was on their debut …And Hell Will Follow Me, take tar-thick guitar riffs and overlay them upon patient drumming and the deep and enticing croon of their core member, Sal Abruscato. From the driving and instantly satisfying dirge of ‘Shallow Grave‘ to the more natural and subdued approach of ‘Dead Of Winter‘, the band never falters from their drab outlook on life and provides an album that is worth your time from beginning to end. It never quite reaches the huge anthemic tones of some of the tracks on their debut, such as ‘Die Alone‘ or ‘Heroin Train‘, but it gets so very close and, for that reason alone, A Pale Horse Named Death should take up a huge chunk of your summer playlist. Hopefully, the sun will never shine. – DL
Gaytheist – Hold Me… But Not So Tight
[Good To Die Records]
Gaytheist are metal in the same sense that Torche are metal. Both bands have a distinct knack for combining sludgy riffs and crushing drumming with sugary sweet melodies and songs that are catchy in an almost ‘punk-rock’ sense of the word. Hold Me… But Not So Tight represents the band’s latest attempt at this sound and consists of just about thirty minutes of dangerously infectious tracks filled with deep hooks that act as the anchor for subject matter ranging from an inept but courtesy aging assassin, alienation in the digital age and a damning condemnation of the denizens of Manhatten. It’s fairly obvious from the get-go that the lyrics are a vital component of the record and carry much of the weight through it, but they would be nothing if the tracks below weren’t so expertly crafted too — every chorus is designed to engrave itself into your memory and the riffs that join them are equal parts sleazy punk and sludgy metal.
Through their namesake and the fact that the album contains a track entitled ‘Poocano‘, you’d be forgiven for assuming the band are all joke and no substance, but it only takes a cursory listen to Hold Me… to realise how far off the mark that suggestion is. Gaytheist successfully create what so many other bands fail to by making some of the heaviest and catchiest music you’ll hear all year. – DL