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Flawed, but generally good post-rock/metal stuff. - 73%

caspian, September 11th, 2007

Mouth of The Architect are one of the many new bands in the increasingly congested post-metal scene. Like many of these new bands, they seem to be aiming for the most epic Isis imitation they can muster, and they definitely succeed here and there. Indeed, calling these guys 'groundbreaking' or even 'remotely original' would be a pretty huge stretch, but these guys still manage to pull off the epic post-metal pretty nicely, at least in some of the songs.

'No One Wished to Settle here' is a good example of MoTA nailing the post-metal song. It's extremely long, has all of those elegant post-rockisms present, but unlike Isis and Cult of Luna, it gets to the the big riffs pretty quickly, and the big riffs are some of the most satisfying riffs I've yet to hear in this genre. There's the usual light and shade, quiet and loud, etc, and while it's a bit cliched it's a great song. One thing MoTA really have going for them are the really nice riffs- the clean parts are nice, sure, but the heavy parts are pretty huge and triumphant, less rooted in the slowed down hardcore plod of bands like Isis and Cult of Luna and more notey, upbeat, and fulfilling. Honestly, sometimes I wonder why these bands don't just release entirely heavy albums, as it could be quite entertaining. Balboa is a good example of this. There is some decent clean parts, but it's the heavy parts that make the song as good as it is, with plenty of big riffs in the front half of the song.

There are plenty of nice moments here, no doubt, but there's also the occasional problem. Carry On is quite dull and sounds *exactly* like Neurosis, from the two pronged vocal attack to the riffs that are ripped straight from Through Silver in Blood. The two shortest songs (still clocking in at seven minutes each) are also somewhat dull, with some big riffs and nice clean parts that sound good on their own but ultimately go nowhere. Indeed, if MoTA cut out maybe 25 minutes of filler and honed the rest a bit more, you'd have a pretty sweet album, but that isn't to be unfortunately.

Still, despite a few dodgy songs, there's some really epic stuff here for fans of this genre to enjoy. I feel that MoTA are a lot less pretentious then most other similar bands, going for big riffs and epic melodies instead of trying to be all smart 'n' arty. This approach is generally quite awarding when MoTA execute it right, particularly on the epic "No One Wished to Settle Here". However, there's lots of filler in this album, so while I'd recommend it, you should also keep the skip button handy.