Hardcore Punk/Thrash Crossover With A Cerebral Approach
Mutoid Man launch War Moans with the upbeat and incredibly catchy “Melt Your Mind” as a sign of things to come. The whole track has a punk feel similar to that of Punk in Drublic-era NOFX; it’s lighthearted on the instrumental side, while cerebral lyrics run amok. The bass and drums offer a steadfast consistency, which gives the guitar and vocals room to take liberties. This pace is carried on into the second track, “Bone Chain,” which confirms the band’s apparent approach to songwriting: play fast and play loud. The entire album clocks in at 39 minutes and consists of 12 songs, further proving the case for their gratuitous use of speed throughout.
Though punk influence is most prominent on Mutoid Man’s latest release, several artists were credited throughout and lent their own styles to the album’s sound. These artists include Adam McGrath of Cave In and Kurt Ballou of Converge. However, none leave a lasting impression quite like Marty Friedman, the former Megadeth lead guitar phenom, imprinting his indelible mark on the title track. The track begins with a trademark thrash opening sequence full of heavy guitar, choked cymbals and diminished runs that lead into the meat of the song flawlessly. Steve Brodsky’s vocals on the chorus accompanied by blast beat drums and a trademark, shredderific Marty Friedman guitar solo will make this number a staple in the band’s eventual greatest hits album.
If “Melt Your Mind” is the sign of things to come and “War Moans” is the pinnacle of the album, “Open Flame” is the explosive, in-your-face climax. The song starts off quickly and makes excellent use of blast beat drumming and unapologetic vocals before trailing off into “Bandages,” which lets the listener down lightly after the powerful show of force that is War Moans.