Review – War From A Harlots Mouth – Voyeur

wfham

Veteran 5-piece German outfit War From A Harlots mouth can be relied on for two things – unpredictability and aggression. Their latest LP is no exception.

Voyeur is a furious, loud and refined record containing just about all the traits we love WFAHM for. Perhaps the only omission here is  the brief jazzy interludes they are known for, however this is not necessarily a bad thing. Rather than injecting these strange little infusions amidst the walls of riffs and distortion, listeners can now find a handful of chilling string sections scattered about the record  instead. This works to great effect and makes the album sound a little more mature and focused, and most especially – darker. I was quite a fan of the jazzier breaks found on previous recordings but they are certainly not missed here on Voyeur.

From the very beginning, “Vertigo” launches into a furious display of inventive riffs and grooves. As usual, WFAHM make it their mission to write riffs with loads of syncopation and a bunch of interesting fills and passages to avoid predictability. Just when you think you’ve figured out the basic pattern to a particular riff, expect a flurry of blast beats or a dramatic tempo change almost immediately. basically every track on Voyeur twists and changes like this to great effect. “Terrifier” is a great example of WFAHMs ability write super-heavy breakdown sections laden with complex double-bass patterns, topped off with some inventive guitar  harmonies creating an intense, almost disorienting experience. The overall tone is on Voyeur is twisted, abrasive and relentless.

Instrumentally, Voyeur is stunning. There is a lot of talent in this band, and a lot of it can be heard here. Drummer Paule Seidel is a machine behind the skins, a solid backbone for a band that explores such dynamic and complex rhythms. Guitar work is also greatly impressive, both dissonance and harmony is applied all over the place providing a particular flavour that WFAHM are known for. The guitar tone is generally saturated in distortion although this is dialed off for at times for some chilling interludes. Riffs are both unconventional and incredible. While the bass guitar is not quite as audible, it counts very much in the heavier sections and refuses to follow the guitar parts note-for-note to great benefit. Guitar players will relish the solo section on “The Black Lodge” in particular, although the musicianship found throughout Voyeur as a whole should be praised outright for providing such a unique soundscape.

Frontman Nico Webers contributes to the band with a spirited vocal delivery comprised mostly of low/middle-pitched screams and yells. His presence on the album compliments overall sound perfectly. “Scopophobia” is a particular standout for Nico, his signature scream switched up only for a cleaner vocal section halfway through the rack to add a little more variety. It fits well, and provides a neat little break from the vocal intensity found on just about every other track.  Lyrically, Voyeur can be described as an insight to the madness and absurdity found in modern life. Themes such as obsession, paranoia, and social disconnect are presented in fittingly brutal fashion.

In summary, Voyeur is quite an incredible record that should not be missed by fans of heavy music in general. WFAHM have built upon their unique sound to create something pretty special. You will not be disappointed!

9/10

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