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Mouth Of The Architect - Dawning Award winner

Mouth Of The Architect
by Spyros Stasis at 17 June 2013, 7:02 PM

MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT have been around for quite a while now, reaching their tenth year as a band in 2013. Despite having more than their fair share of difficulties, mainly line up changes; they have always been able to put all that aside and produce excellent albums. From their debut “Time & Withering”, one could sense that this band had the potential to reach much higher. The doubts were put to rest with the release of their sophomore album “The Ties That Bind”, a transcending post metal/atmospheric sludge record, setting the level quite high for any bands in the same genre. Two years later they released the excellent “Quietly”, which was sonically close to “The Ties That Bind”, and five years after that they return with their latest offering, “Dawning”.

Even though MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT have not changed their style drastically, there is certainly a few things that you cannot miss. Firstly the album is much more melodic than the band’s previous releases. Do not worry though, that does not mean that they suddenly threw their sludge identity out of the window, the music is still heavy and big sounding but it has a more straightforward aura to it. And that leads to the second modification that MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT applied to their music: the tracks feel more direct here, not in a bad way, they cannot be described as simple but even taking into consideration their extensive length they do not tire the listener, which in turn is an extra point for the band.

The melodies are haunting; from the very start of the opening song “Lullabye” they are almost overpowering you. The almost cathartic vocal performance, whether the voices are harsh, clean or somewhere in between gives the music the extra push to take it a step further. The following track “It Swarms” starts of with an addictive melody before it crashes everything with its sludge weight, giving way to one of the darkest moments of the album, the impressive “Sharpen Your Axes” which slowly builds and finally erupts on the last three minutes of the song on a sludge burst.

The almost twelve-minute long “How Will This End” is one of the highlights of the album. Acoustic guitars, an enormous bass, heavy sludge riffs and ethereal melodies are all entwined into this track, showing the full range of MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT. On the other hand, “Patterns” is a more laid back track where the band crafts an ambiance for their music, constantly building the sound for about seven minutes before they once again let their sludge sound come forth. The album finally closes with the huge sounding “The Other Son” (which also has a great sound on the keys), once again a very melodic track that gives the perfect end for “Dawning”.

The beauty of “Dawning” is that even while it is quite melodic it does not come across as mellow and it retains its edge, therefore it will not dissatisfy any old fans of the band. It also works great as a first introduction to the band, so it seems that the album will win both sides to its favor. Either way, this is an excellent album.

4 Star Rating

1. Lullabye
2. It Swarms
3. Sharpen Your Axes
4. How Will This End
5. Patterns
6. The Other Son
Dave Mann – Drums
Jason Watkins – Vocals, Keyboards, Samples
Kevin Schindel – Vocals, Guitars
Steve Brooks – Guitars, Vocals
Evan Danielson – Bass
Record Label: Translation Loss Records


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Edited 09 February 2023

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