With their next release, they made the jump to Relapse Records, releasing the mini-CD A String of Lies in 1998. Their second full-length, Sewn Mouth Secrets, followed on Relapse that same year and, even more than the CD A String of Lies, marked a mature step forward for the band, with Falgoust's vocals in particular sounding much more convincing in their delivery. Around this time, a Rolling Stone magazine article named them among the "ten most important hard and heavy bands right now." After touring for Sewn Mouth Secrets, Patton returned to work with Eyehategod, while Falgoust recorded an album with the black metal band Goatwhore.
In 1999, guitarist Punch unexpectedly announced his decision to retire from music, and Ben Stout, one of Falgoust's bandmates in Goatwhore, was recruited to fill in his slot. With this new lineup intact, the follow-up to Sewn Mouth, entitled A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down, was recorded in 2000 and scheduled for release in the summer of 2001. ~ William York, Rovi