Album Review: The Motion Mosaic – Avant-Garbage 9.2 (Mathcore)

Written by Carcassbomb

  • The Motion Mosaic
  • Avant-Garbage
  • Post Hardcore/Mathcore
  • Minnesota, USA
  • February 22, 2020
  • 9.2/10

I’m a huge fan of post hardcore and mathcore, sometimes it even threatens to overcome even my love of metal. This is the second major release from The Motion Mosaic following up their 2016 album Samsara which is well worth a listen but is a very different release, a different part of the bands development. The ideas and experimentation are there but are looser. Now with Avant-Garbage they’ve tightened it up and turned it on it’s head. There’s nothing loose about it, this is a hard hitting yet elegant core album with all the makings of an end of year list candidate.

Artwork by Caleb Butcher

It’s one of those albums where every member of the band feels present, with the whole band chiming in with vocals at the right beat to maximise impact and thickness of a particular moment or lyric. It also gives more levity to the clean vocals when they perform alone and the guitar gain drops in favor of some spacey tones. Just around the corner however lurks the re-emergence of the destructive energy, no moment is safe or pure and yet it all blends. It’s not so math that it’s chaotic nonsense and it’s not so post hardcore that it sounds softened, it’s a great bridge between metal and hardcore subgenres in a similar way to Secret Band.

The vocals are the most prominent part of the record and play out like a series of voices in your head, some representing the desire for total self annihilation and others pleading for your salvation. There’s multiple kinds of screams and growls and even the cleans have a lot of low and high facets, accentuated by effects and post mixing. Lyrically it transcends typical metalcore bravado and histrionics and actually exhibits some introspective and even profound ideals about the human condition. It’s not always society’s fault but I might not last another day being a part of it kinda vibe.


The guitars don’t have a hint of djent or chugginess, they’re actually really nicely toned progressive metal guitars with a great sense of timing that often pauses for dramatic effect and expands for a sense of theatrics. Like I said, this band feels like a unit that compliments each move or new idea with an extra layer that evolves it, it’s the truffle of hardcore albums. The final track “Muad’Dib” is a great example of the vocalist and guitarist working together to create an effective sound by writing around the rhythm – feeling the music. The commercial viability of this album in the mainstream post hardcore scene is immense but it still expresses so much and possesses an authentic zest for making music that often feels lost in the modern DGD clone scene.

The Motion Mosaic: Bandcamp / Spotify / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

The album art by Caleb Butcher is just dripping with aesthetics and begs for interpretation. The band has capitalised on this vibe with a matching pink Bandcamp theme and as a result the merch looks top notch. I like this idea of designing your music page around the art, a customisation that Bandcamp is great for.

The cover really speaks to me of the introspection, fracturing of the mind and a reflection of the album title thesis of Avant-Garbage. The longer one looks at it’s own perceived genius and deconstructs it, the shittier it becomes, that’s my experience with creating anyway. The more I progress through the process of my proclamation the more I find myself entwined in the barbed-wire of existentialism. Overthinking, loss of vision, emotional sinking.

Hey there I go again spouting bullshit that is likely wrong and completely projecting. What do you want? For me to know everything? Just go check out this album. I really like it, it’s a thinker and a face stinker.


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