Album Review: Ache // MTXS

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MTXS are a band whose name has cropped up many times since they were formed 18 months ago. They have played shows with their friends Loathe and Lotus Eater, resulting in Loathe’s guitarist Erik Bickerstaffe producing their second album, Ache. The album influences include the new wave of hardcore, a nu-metal bounce, and groove metal. But MTXS have a sound of their own and the production helps bring out both the heavy and melodic parts.

The album opens with ‘Mould’, and some barking vocals. It is a call to open the pit up, the dissonant guitars leave a ferocious mark. ‘Strain’ is a modern hardcore banger, the tight musicianship leading up to a brutal beatdown. The guitar riffs pack a huge punch, while the crushing unsettling riff on ‘Bad Blood’ will melt your face.

There is a slam influence on this album, and the pace does not let up. This happens to a point where it feels repetitive, with the majority of the tracks sounding similar to each other. That is until you get to the title track. With layers of slow, pummelling drums, its minimalism is very refreshing. The sparse chords allow the music to become atmospheric and bigger.

Despite the repetitiveness, the production is solid. There are brutal elements of the band’s sound that have been fleshed out. The riffs are perfect for the moshpit. If MTXS can combine the simplicity of the title track with the bruising riffs, then they will be a big force in years to come.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

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