Mouth Of The Architect
Path of Eight
It takes a lot of guts to try to break the mold when it comes to making a post-metal record. Even the most daring of bands, think Cult of Luna or Neurosis, never really stray too far the norm – even at their most left field moments. Then we have bands like Mouth of the Architect who fashion entire songs out of Krautrock keys and wah-wah fueled guitar solos. The results are hit and miss, but it makes for a varied and fun listen, which can’t always be said of the genre’s standard quiet-loud-quiet-louder histrionics.
If anything, Path of Eight marks Mouth of the Architect’s almost full conversion into an alternative metal band. I know, I know. That descriptor normally brings a shiver down the spine of even the most open minded music fan, but hear me out. Mouth of the Architect’s music has always been a jumble of just about everything in the zeitgeist of modern underground metal, only slowed and stretched until it began to drone in some astoundingly beautiful ways. Now, it’s just a little less slowed down and a little less stretched out, leaving the source influences room to shine through. Katatonia, Aphex Twin, My Dying Bride, Deftones, Radiohead, Baroness; it all coalesces nicely into fun take on atmosphere, though it does devolve into the realm of the cheesy at points. Still, it’s a risk that not many of their contemporaries would even attempt to construct. “Sever The Soul” marks the high point of what this kind of thinking can do, recalling the progressive sludge of The Ocean at their creative peak, but rallying around a monster of a radio friendly chorus and dreamy synths. It’s a testament to both Mouth of the Architect’s creativity and newfound accessibility.
If you’re looking for your standard post-metal affair, Russian Circle’s fabulous Guidance may be a safer bet, but if you’re willing to go out on a limb with your expectations of just what post metal and sludge metal can be, Path of Eight is just about as engaging of a record that you can get. It might leave you scratching your head at moments, but it succeeds in how it always keeps the listener wondering exactly what will happen next.