Teeth – The Curse of Entropy Review

Teeth - The Curse of Entropy 01Chomping, gnawing, biting, gnashing, grinding, tearing. These are all things teeth can do. They are also things Teeth can do. As a proudly unbrutal prog weenie, The Curse of Entropy by the Californian brutal deathgrind band was a decidedly adventurous selection for yours truly. Perhaps this was a mistake. Perhaps I should have left this to others more thoroughly versed in brutality, like Kronos or Ferrous. Perhaps if I had left Teeth where it lay, I would still have my own teeth, rather than having them scattered across the floor. But I believe there is value in a wide variety of perspectives, and though all of you grind-loving bastards out there may not feel represented this instance, other weenies like myself, wishing to have their teeth forcefully evacuated by an absolutely punishing assault against their very natures, may find a kindred spirit in the quivering heap of torn flesh and shattered bones that I have become.

Because make no mistake, The Curse of Entropy is an absolutely punishing, harrowing half-hour, harkening closest to the likes of Ulcerate, but with a face of their own; whereas Ulcerate‘s textures resemble the sophistication of an Escher illustration from the bowels of Hell, Teeth are more akin to the work of H. R. Giger, forcing organic matter onto brutal, alien technology. From the first femtosecond of opener “Enlever,” we are battered with jackhammering drums, guitars that seem to mix several riffs into one, a bass made entirely of madness, and a feral, guttural growl. Teeth are determined to prevent us getting comfortable at any cost. The drummer must be possessed by a demon intent on murdering time itself as it leaps from tight bursts of blasts to whiplash-inducing syncopation and back. The guitars swerve back and forth between harmony and dissonance as they splice several riffs together, and they commonly change tempo and signature along with it.

Any album of such a slavering intensity stands or falls with the skill of its executioners, and Teeth do not disappoint. The rapid time changes and complex riffs are rendered with inhuman precision, and we get the sense that any signs of sloppiness are done on purpose, to increase the unease and unholy biomechanic energy. The drums, in particular, inspire awe with their vitality and accuracy in the face of such technical complexity. Even the bass is intelligently layered, surfacing from the mass of guitars to add its metallic crunch to the brutalizing mixture. The sole point of improvement would be the vocals, which are fairly monotextural by comparison, and although that default state is a quality guttural piece of bestial larynx destruction, it lags behind its environment in terms of constant evolution.

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The mid-paced lumber of “Husk,” the ominous tremolos of “Wither,” the stop-start bursts of fury of “Dread,” the dissonant doom of “Vessels.” Variety is not an easy task while forcing a twisting miasma of otherworldly dread through a funnel, but somehow, Teeth manage. Sparse morsels of melody come and go, and we desperately cling to them as well as the remaining vestiges of our sanity. These footholds guide us through the album as volatile madness explodes around us, and gives us a way to discern between songs and appreciate every facet of the abrasive pandemonium. This includes the production, which takes care to be more than just a wall of noise. The mixing, in particular, is commendable, with the vibrant, thrumming bass one of its strongest assets.

As I said in the opening paragraph, the land of brutality is not my territory. I may never come to fully appreciate every aspect of its hellish, dissonant inhabitants. But that does not mean I can not recognize the quality of its better citizens, and Teeth is among those without a shred of doubt. Technical excellence paired with dizzying complexity and torturous cyclopean textures, The Curse of Entropy will ravage your human form and offer the lacerated remains of your soul to formless gods of unspeakable cruelty, and when it’s over, you’ll want to do it all again.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Translation Loss Records
Websites: teethtl.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/teethofficial
Releases Worldwide: November 29th, 2019

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