Mutoid Man, War Moans LP
Mutoid Man - the brainchild of Steve Brodsky (guitar, Cave In), Ben Koller (drums, Converge, All Pigs Must Die), and Nick Cageao (bass) - pushes metal's villainous pageantry to vaudevillian levels. Initially meant to be an exercise in flexing the creative chops outside of the members' other projects, debut EP Helium Head (2013) and critically-acclaimed debut album Bleeder (2015) confirmed that Mutoid Man is an imposing force regardless of their pedigree.
On the band's sophomore LP War Moans, Mutoid Man bask in their love of frantic, ferocious, no-frills metal; no riff deemed too extreme, no drum pattern considered too absurd. From the chugging bass line and guitar trills that kick off album opener "Melt Your Mind," Mutoid Man sets a precedent of divine instrumentation and unholy riffs on War Moans.
Mutoid Man have also recruited friends from all over the musical spectrum to join them here; "Irons in the Fire" finds Cave In compatriot Adam McGrath lending guitar heft to a megalith anthem, "Melt Your Mind" instantly recalls The Big Four, with thrash icon Marty Friedman further cementing the vibe by lending a blazing guitar solo, and grim folk luminary Chelsea Wolfe and her longtime collaborator Ben Chisholm lend vocals and auxiliary instrumentation to the goth-inflected "Wreck and Survive," as well as the album's harrowing closing track, "Bandages."