Review Summary: An explosive fusion of sludge, hardcore and progressive metal.
Crawling out of Boston's underground scene, on their second album "The Beast Becomes The Servant" Motherboar continue to explore the progressive variety of sludge metal popularized by such acts as Mastodon and Baroness. Being more straightforward than the former and way heavier than the latter, Motherboar tend to combine these sludge influences with hardcore elements which are chiefly prominent in the guttural screams of Kenny Irwin, the band's formidable singer.
While not showcasing anything particularly groundbreaking, "The Beast Becomes The Servant" marks a major improvement for the band expanding on their previously established style and adding new exciting textures to the table. The album can be defined by its frequently manic pace, frenzied tempo changes as well as specific magnitude in arrangement. The quintet steers clear of using the traditional verse-chorus song structure in order to make room for diverse passages that encompass both supremely heavy sludge riffs and prog-inspired, intricate soloing. This might be best demonstrated in the unconventional, yet supremely executed musical trilogy of "Inhale," "Amphibious" and the title track.
What differentiates Motherboar from the bunch of similar acts is the precisely designed rhythm section which consists of dense, polirhythmic snare drumming being accompanied by heavy as hell, constantly pulsating bass lines reminiscent of noise rock. The mighty drums and bass based interludes within songs serve as an effective addition to the band's bag of tricks which cause this album to stand out. Despite a wide range of musical motifs ingrained in every single composition, Motherboar keep the rage level high throughout the disc presenting a massively heavy, though experimental approach that never derails into psychedelia.
With "The Beast Becomes The Servant," Motherboar offer an aggressive 30-minute ride that abounds with bombastic surprises. An aptly conceived, if not entirely original formula supported by top-notch technical musicianship results in an engrossing sludge metal album with a crossover appeal.