The Guiding Five: Selections by Trae Roberts of MOUTH FOR WAR

The band's frontman breaks down the set of records that shaped his musical upbringing.

mouth for war
Photograph by Brittany Hagood

Words by Luis (@luis.hoa):


Rooted in the passing of frontman Trae Roberts' younger sister, MOUTH FOR WAR's Life Cast In Glass carries a personal depth that is translated into raw, uncompromising sonics. The album, which arrives on May 14th via their new label home at 1126 Records, marks the band's label debut and positions the Colorado quartet among the standouts in the metallic hardcore realm. From the opening gallops of Shape In The Dark to the razor sharp closing riffs of What's Done Is Done, Life Cast In Glass allows for very little breathing room and pummels you in with conviction. Roberts' heartfelt lyricism is met by a compositional variety that incorporates hints of death metal into the groove, adding a new layer of extremity to an already explosive outing. It's an all out assault and the venue leveling breakdowns provide a glimpse at what's to expected once Life Cast In Glass makes its way to the live stage.


Beyond the music itself, the emotional investment that Roberts placed upon the making of the record is visible on the track titles alone, which include Nails In My Coffin, Take My Place, Manifesting You, Slave To Your Ghost, and I Don't Want To Feel At All. Roberts' grief and recollections of painful dreams make their way onto the composition in more ways than one, making it a record apt for reflection and release.


With just a matter of days until the arrival of Life Cast In Glass, we touched base with Trae Roberts who lists five of the records that guided him throughout his youth and had an inevitable impact on what would eventually make him a respected persona in hardcore:

Alice in Chains - Dirt (1992)


Alice in Chains is easily my favorite band, so of course this had to go first. This album sends me back as far as I can remember and it has such a wide catalog of interesting sounds packed into one record. I can recall times as a child listening to some of these songs with my mom.

Rocky Schenck alice in chains
Cover art by Rocky Schenck

Lamb of God - Ashes Of The Wake (2004)


This record has some of the first complicated metal riffs I ever learned on guitar as a teen. This is easily one of my biggest influences on our new album as well. Some of the greatest breakdowns ever written are packed into this album.

lamb of god k3n adams
Cover art by K3n Adams

The Devil Wears Prada - Plagues (2007)


I saw the music video for "Hey John" at a weird time in my teenage life and it definitely shook me. Completely raw power and anger just packed into a beast of a metalcore record with all of the catchy clean parts wrapped into the seams.

dan mumford the devil wears prada
Cover art by Dan Mumford

Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory (2000)


This is easily one of a few albums that made me want to be a musician from a young age. My aunt Sarah always had the best CDs in her car and we'd upload them to our old dial up computer. I'd stay up all night playing this album on repeat.

linking park hybrid theory
Cover art by Frank Maddocks

Korn - self-titled (1994)


This may be last but definitely not least. When I hear that bell intro, it instantly takes me back to banging on pots and pans like a little rocker. Chunky tones, unique writing, lots of weird sounds never before heard. Instant classic.

Stephen Stickler korn
Cover photograph by Stephen Stickler

Life Cast In Glass arrives on May 14th via 1126 Records. Pre-order your copy HERE.