A Life Once Lost: Open Your Mouth…

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A Life Once Lost: Open Your Mouth…
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A Life Once Lost: Open Your Mouth for the Speechless
Metalcore
Loudnet, Robotic Empire Records (2004)
May, 2000
Release length: 39:51
Myspace
Website
Open Your Mouth for the Speechless…In Case of Those Appointed to Die marks the debut album for the now Groove based Metalcore act A Life Once Lost, and it is a release that has come under much scrutiny. Aside from being absolutely torn apart review by review, even the band members themselves refuse to play the material off this album at their live shows. But, when you break everything down, is this really that bad a release that the meer mention of it’s name is forbidden? Sadly, yes it is.

If you think about it, Open Your Mouth for the Speechless really is a bit of an ingenius idea. Musically, it seems as if the band were trying to create something new for the time and comes across as a poor mixture of miscalulated Math Metal through annoying as Hell high pitched guitar chords, good drumming, and distorted monotone screaming vocals that are at the point where you can’t understand a single word, which would be fine if everything didn’t come off as poorly orchestrated noise half the time. The instrumental tracks “Prelude” and “Gentle and Elegant” are often the best part of the entire album as the music is rather gloomy and moves at a slow pace and sounds pleasing to the ears.

Aside that, there are some decent tracks on this release that are worth giving it a spin for. “Just Before His Crucifixion” is a rather enjoyable song that doesn’t quite hammer the annoying higher guitar chords that feel so out of synch with the rest of the song like many other songs, and “Why Do You Make Me Bleed?” would have been an alright track if it weren’t for those same guitars, as well as what sounds like a very lame breakdown near the end where the song just completely slows down. “Joan Said Please” winds up starting the album off with some impressive guitar work and honestly isn’t too bad a song, but the song just becomes really boring after a while and the breakdown used sounds absolutely atrocious. Sadly, the boredom issue is a strong one with this issue, as there is nothing all that jaw droppingly spectacular about it after you hit the instrumental “The Introduction”.


The reissue of Open Your Mouth for the Speechless… is a nifty release for collector’s, or just the die hard fans. First of all, this version has different artwork, which looks much nicer and better suits the overall lyrical content of the album. Atop that, you have a bonus disc which contains twenty eight songs from Robotic Empire Records, as well as Metal Blade and Black Market Activities. If you’re someone who enjoys picking up compilations, then the purchase of this reissue is made up for right there with tracks from Black Dahlia Murder, Pig Destroyer, and plenty more. If that’s not enough, there’s also three bonus tracks thrown into the mix. The first two, “Prepare Yourself for What is About to Come” and “The Tide” are both demos from the band’s follow up EP release The Fourth Plague: Flies, and it’s astounding to hear the change in the material once they kick in. For demos, these songs are very professional and show where the band started to evolve into the force they are now, ditching behind much of what made Open Your Mouth for the Speechless such a bad release. The third bonus track is a song called “The Dead Sea” recorded live, which sounds a bit like a b-side track from this release. Unfortunately, this one has a rather low production quality and, like the rest of the album, winds up not being anything too groundbreaking or even worth your time.


Once through this release is enough. Granted there are a few tracks on Open Your Mouth for the Speechless… that actually are worth checking out, but they are very few. The only reason this album was reissued could only be for the collectors who need the whole discography, as there really isn’t much else going for it to warrant a reissue, especially over as short a time span as there was with this one. The first stepping stone for A Life Once Lost was clearly the hardest for them to take, and hopefully they will never make such a dreadful mistake again.

Initial Pressing:
01. Joan Said Please – 4:17
02. This is What She Calls Home – 3:27
03. Prelude – 1:29
04. Almost Perfect But I Failed – 2:43
05. A Fall’s River Fairwell – 3:20
06. Gentle and Elegant – 5:00
07. Everything Becomes Still – 4:18
08. Just Before His Crucifixion – 2:43
09. Why Do You Make Me Bleed? – 3:56

2004 Reissue:
10. Prepare Yourself for What Is About to Come (Demo Version) (Bonus Track) – 3:05
11. The Tide (Demo Version) (Bonus Track) – 2:56
12. The Dead Sea (Live) (Bonus Track) – 2:37

Initial Pressing Score: 2/10

2004 Reissue Score: 3/10


Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.