Mouth of the Architect - Quietly
Translation Loss Records
Atmospheric Sludge
8 songs (55'41")
Release year: 2008
Mouth of the Architect, Translation Loss Records
Reviewed by Alex

If an imaginary (and perhaps lame) discussion of what each country was able to add to the overall development of metal genre were ever to occur, I am volunteering atmospheric sludge as one of American better contributions. The moody heaviness of two touchstones like Neurosis and Isis was able to rub off on many a band, both on these shores and places remote and far away. Dayton-based (hooray to my fellow Ohioans) Mouth of the Architect continue to create within the confines of this style, Quietly being their third long-player.

Without deviating much from the mold of the abovementioned benchmark bands, or their own approach espoused earlier, Mouth of the Architect continues breaking continuous waves of slow and warm melodies onto heavy jagged riff corners with vocals coming in the form of anguished and distinctly, yet again, American hardcore tradition. The two primary examples of this thickly layered mire are two epic tracks of the album, the opening title track and Generation of Ghosts. Both start out slowly, the latter with Julie Christmas (Made out of Babies) guesting in a calming lullaby fashion, yet both ratchet up the pressure exponentially, Quietly going bonkers with rolling cascades towards the end and Generation of Ghosts bringing out the most melodic rocking instrumental section on the album.

Even though the production of Quietly delivers Mouth of the Architect instruments a lot cleaner than on The Ties That Blind, there is still enough of sickly sweet jangly-tuned guitar haze billowing over Hate and Heartache. The guitar fabric of the band is often a suffocating bubble through which percussion and vocals, the latter pushed a bit back into the mix, are trying to break from. Seeking calmness amidst these rough toothed riffs and distressed vocals is not easy, but Mouth of the Architect has some warmness on Rocking Chairs and Shotguns, similar to Across Tundras and Souvenir’s Young America, with respite coming mostly in the form of psychedelic (Pine Boxes) and piano-driven (Medicine) short interludes.

Compared to The Ties That Blind, the band does not revel in soothiness much on Quietly, despite the album’s title. The tone of the album seems to be quite a bit edgier and more alarmist, guitars even taking on a sinister tone at the beginning of Guilt and the Like, before rolling on with some tribal drumming and acoustic end. I honestly missed the shoegazing post-rock moments of The Ties That Blind, where they were very organically incorporated. Isolating them, as interludes, on Quietly breaks the album flow, and not in the best way, really adding little to the overall atmosphere. In that light, the closer A Beautiful Corpse totally missed the mark with me, the song being a lot more brutal and horrific than anything Mouth of the Architect delivered before, making for a bewildering finale.

The fans of the band’s previous effort would certainly take pleasure in this evolutionary step in Mouth of the Architect development, and atmospheric heavy music lovers will find a lot to like on Quietly as well, but I personally enjoyed their previous effort more.

Killing Songs :
Quietly, Generation of Ghosts
Alex quoted 73 / 100
Other albums by Mouth of the Architect that we have reviewed:
Mouth of the Architect - Dawning reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Mouth of the Architect - The Violence Beneath reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Mouth of the Architect - The Ties that Blind reviewed by Adam and quoted 88 / 100
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