Illustrator: Joshua Andrew Belanger.
On their third full-length release, War from a Harlots Mouth have moved from the arty grindcore of 2009's In Shoals to a more metalcore/deathcore sound, with some detuned Meshuggah-style riffs thrown in, while retaining the occasional interjections of raw dissonance and, even more jarringly, gentle jazz chords and brushed drums that make this German band's music unique. As ever, the song titles demonstrate a dark wit ("The Increased Sensation of Dullness,""Cancer Man") rooted in an overall negativity and fatalism. "I'm not afraid to die," singer Milo bellows over and over again on the second track, "To Age and Obsolete." Behind him, the band surges and roars in a style that will make fans of American acts like Job for a Cowboy, Whitechapel, and Oceano very happy, though again, the jazz guitar may come as something of a surprise. This is complex music ("Spineless" finds the band moving through what feels like about five distinct movements in four minutes) with few if any "hooks" to lure in the casual listener, but it rewards focused attention. ~ Phil Freeman