Mouth of the Architect – The Violence Beneath
As the closing moments of Rosetta‘s A Determinism of Morality relayed off of the satellite and approached the ears of its anxiously awaiting astronaut fanbase, the signal narrowly avoided a head-on collision with the newly launched Mouth of the Architect-operated shuttle entitled The Violence Beneath. Unlike Rosetta’s mission to leave the atmosphere, look back on the Earth, and report what they had seen, MOTA’s mission was to cover the entire vessel in a grimy, unknown space substance and crash itself into an eternally-widening black hole.
I, like many spacey sludge metal fans, was so enthralled with Rosetta’s early 2010 release that Mouth of the Architect’s EP that came out shortly after flew completely under my radar (waiting to decide if pun is intended) and I was surprised when I saw it sitting at a local record store, untouched. Not knowing what to expect, I decided to buy it. As soon as I had wiped the filthy, noxious, grease-like substance off of the disc and put it in my player, I realized that the same substance was stuck to the guitars like asphalt. After 2008′s Quietly made itself known as the Mouth of the Architect album where they tried to be too cute and its name could be interpreted directly, I was stunned to hear that they had stripped away all of the pink frilly stuff that made it a chore for me to listen to, to release something that never overstayed its welcome. There is still some unique layering here, and the songs are far from simple, but enough of the low, abrasive charm of their early work has returned for the better. At times, tremolo-picking is combined with delay to create a spacey effect similar to Rosetta, but at other times it is more comparable to Godspeed You! Black Emperor The guitars are thick and bellowing in their echoey nature, but the layers stay clear and complimentary. The production is harder-hitting and less muddy than it’s prettier counterpart, and it makes for a much darker spacey feel. Although this may not be the better record, it is distinct enough in its sound that the two can co-exist. Even though this is an EP, being an epic post-metal EP, its run time isn’t much shorter than an average record and if you’re one of those who are unaccustomed to shorter recordings, I don’t think it will be an issue.
The only complaint that I have about The Violence Beneath is its shallow sounding kick drum. It’s not clicky to the extent of some blasty metal albums, but it isn’t powerful either. The last track of the album is a slowed-down Peter Gabriel cover, and it’s an instance where two unlike things come together seamlessly, to the point where this track may become some peoples favorite off of the CD.