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Mouth of the Architect - The Ties That Blind CD (album) cover

THE TIES THAT BLIND

Mouth of the Architect

Experimental/Post Metal


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GoldenSpiral
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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Mouth of the Architect is a typical example of the modern post-metal movement. That is to say, they are a fairly new band that is heavily derivative of the scene pioneered by Neurosis and Isis, and mastered in recent years by bands like Cult of Luna and Callisto. 'Ties that Blind' is the most recent full-length effort from MotA, and it is a truly powerful record that should strike a chord with anyone who is a fan of progressive atmospheric sludge metal bands, like those listed above. On this record, MotA do not tread on any new territory that wasn't previously explored by their predecessors, yet they manage to make a record of uncanny power. The tracks are undeniably epic, each reaching over 7 minutes, the longest of which ('No One Wished to Settle Here') sprawls well over the 15 minute mark. Like other bands that mix sludge metal with post-rock style layering, MotA's songs flow evenly through several sections each, usually alternating between light, beautiful layers that might remind the listener of Explosions in the Sky, and full-on sludge metal onslaught with guitars and vocals so dirty you might need to take a shower after listening. There are no unworthy tracks, and it makes for a pleasant listen from start to finish. One could say that MotA has progressed a good deal since their previous full-length, as they've thickened their musical layering and taken a more dynamic approach to songwriting. This is a very good record, though I think this style has been done better by other bands. If you are new to post-metal or progressive sludge, start with Isis or Pelican, but certainly find your way to Mouth of the Architect eventually. They've made a truly powerful record with 'Ties that Blind'.

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Send comments to GoldenSpiral (BETA) | Report this review (#107065)
Posted Wednesday, January 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars As a Dayton area native myself, I have a good deal of connection with this band (I met them at a show in a city park in July 2006 before this album "broke them"), but that doesn't bias my opinion of them or of this album. I feel that MOTA are not just the typical "Neur- Isis" metal band, playing straight-up hero worship of Scott Kelly and Aaron Turner. These guys have something new to offer the scene.

MOTA have more in common with classic prog like King Crimson and Yes than any of their contemporaries, and proudly say so in interviews. Passages like the lengthy interlude of "No One Wished to Settle Here" directly recall SELLING ENGLAND-era Genesis and the like, and the band's epic approach to songcraft has classic prog written all over it.

Sure, the drone-y yelled vocals and syrupy riffs might distract someone that isn't a very big fan of metal, but if overlooked (and even if not overlooked), the music on this album makes for some of the most depressing and powerful throwback prog recorded in recent history.

If more people had the chance to hear THE TIES THAT BLIND, the world would undoubtedly be a better place.

Addendum: Brent Hinds from Mastodon has a guest vocal part on "At Arms Length" that will make you smile, guaranteed!

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Send comments to DethMaiden (BETA) | Report this review (#120917)
Posted Sunday, May 06, 2007 | Review Permalink
aapatsos
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Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars While my acquaintance with MotA continues, this is my third attempt to familiarise myself with their music and obtain some knowledge over the so-called post-sludge metal movement. After a promising debut and a fairly indifferent split with Kenoma, The Ties that Blind would be the critical one for me to decide if it is worth investing further in the band and the genre.

The album contains just 6 compositions of average duration of 11 mins (!). Contrary to previous work, the overall feeling is not that of a typical post metal album. The sound has evolved to much more progressive patterns, including more changes in tempos - mainly from slow to medium speeds - and a few odd-time signatures. In addition, the range of influences here is more spread out - one could observe riffs that resemble to Tool (closing track) and mostly to Mastodon passages.

Especially in the two first tracks, there is an abundance of heavy melodic riffs that take the style to a different level. This is probably the first time that actual ''progressive metal'' can be heard in MotA compositions. Someone could go as far and observe some riffs that bring Dream Theater and Sieges Even (!) in mind (see No One Wished to Settle Here). The vocals continue to be at the usual brutal-scream level and match the music. However, this might put the non-familiar (to extreme sounds) listeners off. A good balance of solid doom-sludge riffs and clean-guitar passages is maintained throughout the whole album, with the former being more obvious compared to previous works.

Summarising, this is a much more mature release than anything they have produced up to 2006. In this album, apart from the typical slow sludge metal, there is a great amount of experimentation with different sounds and more melodic riffs. The experts of the genre might think differently, but it might be that MotA have escaped the ISIS-NEUROSIS ''clone'' tag with this release. A very good album that deserves at least 3.5 stars and can be appreciated by post/extreme metal fans.

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Send comments to aapatsos (BETA) | Report this review (#283063)
Posted Saturday, May 22, 2010 | Review Permalink

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