Initially starting out life as a collaboration between Cave In’s Stephen Brodsky and Converge’s Ben Koller, Mutoid Man have since, well, mutated into something much more permanent and, musically, more frantic. Bigger in terms of ideas, better – in places – than their 2015 debut album, Bleeder, and boasting a host of new, fretboard-bashing riffs, War Moans is a thrillride, and one of the most entertaining records of the year so far. Taking pinches of power metal, thrash, jazz and NWOBHM to create a bewitching brew, the bombastic Date With The Devil and the manic Micro Aggression impress, as does the title track, which features fellow shredhead Marty Friedman doing what he does best. Rather than resting on their laurels, Mutoid Man also take a few risks and a guesting Chelsea Wolfe gives Wreck And Survive a welcome dose of gloom and discordant noise, while Bandages trades the fast-paced, face-melting riffs for a more delicate approach and sees the trio successfully try their hand at a Winds Of Change-esque power ballad.
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