It's hard to classify Germany's War From a Harlots Mouth into a single genre. Sputnik has them as grind, while Wikipedia classifies them as metalcore and mathcore, and RateYourMusic says deathcore. In a way, I guess all of these would be correct - but not exactly. War From a Harlots Mouth (the band spells it without an apostrophe) have been around since 2005, and have released various EPs, splits, and a full-length Transmetropolitan in 2007. The band's latest release on Lifeforce Records is a decidedly genre-hopping affair which touches on grind, post-metal, jazz, deathcore, and hardcore, while maintaing an undercurrent of sludgy metalcore. Intrigued?
Upon first listen, one is immediately struck by the band's technical proficiency. The songs cover multiple genres, time signatures, and tempos, while retaining complexity and innovation, creating an enjoyable experience. Drums are a highlight, as the drummer is the most talented musician of the group and keeps the songs interesting if the guitarists are riffing mindlessly or chugging away.
Songs such as "They Come in Shoals", "No High Five for Coward" and the minute-long "Copyriot" contrast in-your-face riffing and blast beats with groove and (decent) breakdowns, while songs such as "Appropriate Tools..." and "What Happens in the District..." feature the band's trademark metalcore juxtaposed roughly with clean, melodic jazz sections. When I say "roughly", I mean in the most direct sense of the word, too. Take "Appropriate Tools", for example. The song progresses from a deathcore-esque intro, into a dissonant breakdown... and then without warning straight into the band's own brand of jazz. The melodic chords and slow bass riffing provide a calm backing for the intricate drumming, and the band again turns the distortion back on and shreds their way into technical deathcore. "What Happens in the District..." follows this similar pattern, and instrumental "Justice From the Lips of the Highest Bidder" is straight jazz for its entire duration. Delving further into the songs, one will find even more influences; post-metal makes an appearance in "The Certain Nothing," the 8-minute closer "Scully," and hardcore breathes on "Crooks At Your Door" and "...Stays in the District".
Despite all the genre-hopping and whatnot, In Shoals is a decent album that offers a fun listen, even with its few flaws (breakdowns, and "Scully"). It keeps the listener's attention throughout and stays away from indulgent song lengths for the most part, clocking in at around 36 minutes. The production is pretty good, as it maintains a dry, natural sound but gives life to all the instruments, helping them sound clear the whole time. Listeners might be turned off by the proximity of many styles of music in a condensed whole, but will find definitely something to like in the long run.
Good production. The drums boom, the bass has presence and good tone, and the guitars are heavier than John Goodman.
Good instrumentation. The players definitely know what they're doing, and it's a contributing factor to the success of the album.
Breakdowns are used. While they are by no means bad, they're used a bit too often, and aren't interesting enough to be redeemed.
The band's genre-hopping is used well, and while the transitions from harsh to clean are jarring, it creates an interesting (and for me, fun) effect.
The song "Scully" probably could have been shortened by three minutes, as it's basically just a sludgy breakdown-fest with some post-metal riffing.
The highlight of the album for me is definitely the drumming. Paul knows how to move around the kit, and creates interesting fills with complex handiwork and bass patterns.
You should be able to make those points throughout the context of the review or just have the list. Obviously, most would not consider a list a review, just as people wouldn't consider an outline a book. So omit it. It's redundant and makes you look lazy.
I know this is your 4th review and all, and it's a very good 4th review at that, standby for a pos' but you really want to nip all your errors in the butt pronto, right?
In Shoals, the band's latest release on Lifeforce Records, is a decidedly genre-hopping affair, covering grind, post-metal, jazz, deathcore, and hardcore, while retaining an undercurrent of sludgy metalcore.
Omit In (it should be on either way).
Covers (although touches on sounds better)
You should be.
Avoid generalities like: "you should be" "always" or "never" etc.
Find some other word(s) than this phrase because it becomes redundant.
Drums are a highlight, as the drummer is the most talented musician of the group and keeps the songs interesting if the guitarists are shredding or chugging away.
Are you implying that shredding is bad? I'm not sure what you're saying here, tbqh.
feature the band's trademark metalcore hybrid juxtaposed roughly with clean, melodic jazz sections.
Delving further into the songs, one will find even more influences; post-metal makes an appearance in "The Certain Nothing" and the 8-minute closer "Scully", and hardcore breathes on "Crooks At Your Door" and "...Stays in the District".
The only and should be the last and.
Punctuation goes inside quotation marks no matter what. song titles included.