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The Red Chord Fed Through the Teeth Machine

The Red Chord - Fed Through the Teeth Machine
01. Demoralizer
02. Hour of Rats
03. Hymns and Crippled Anthems
04. Embarrassment Legacy
05. Tales of Martyrs and Disappearing Acts
06. Floating Through the Vein
07. Ingest the Ash
08. One Robot to Another
09. Mouthful of Precious Stones
10. The Ugliest Truth
11. Face Area Solution
12. Sleepless Nights in the Compound
2009 Metal Blade Records

Reviewed by: Rob Parker   //   Published: 12/28/2009

I've spent an unreasonable amount of time re-listening to Fed Through the Teeth Machine. 2009 was a pretty stellar year for music. My desk is piled high with a stupid amount of CDs and I probably spent more time than was healthful extolling the virtues of Napalm Death's Time Waits for No Slave or Burnt By The Sun's Heart of Darkness to whomever will listen. And now I'm just wondering if maybe we didn't deserve this year. Like maybe it's unfair to look at The Red Chord's newest album in the context of the past year's offerings.

I'll be honest; I listened the shit out of Fused Together in Revolving Doors, even before it was re-released with all that bonus content. I still think it's a well-executed, vicious little slab of misanthropy. Clients was pretty solid, but couldn't meet my (admittedly absurdly high) expectations. After that, though, I lost track of The Red Chord. Not that I'd started to hate them in that cooler-than-thou indie snob way. They just slipped my mind, really. And in the interceding 4 years, The Red Chord have been tagged with the perplexing title, if wikipedia can be trusted, of "a pioneering band of the deathcore genre." -- I couldn't disagree more. For example, "Gunface" can actually play his instrument, whereas the creative process for most deathcore albums can be effectively replicated by flinging rancid hotdogs at downtuned guitars. Which is to say: the guys in The Red Chord are damn solid songwriters, and after spending a bit of time with Prey for Eyes and Clients while writing this review, I'd say they're getting better at pulling off this mix with every album. That said, it does seem that a large portion of the band's audience is breathlessly awaiting the album that will put Fused Between Revolving Doors to shame.

If anyone nodded quietly to themselves at that last sentence, they need to slam their head in a desk drawer until the stupid comes out their ears. It's utterly irrelevant whether The Red Chord can "top" Fused Between Revolving Doors. The album came out nearly 10 years ago and they're barely the same band, and certainly not the same people. Get over it. What makes Fed Through the Teeth Machine worth the price of admission is the obvious care that was put into it. This isn't the work of trendy newcomers, looking to make a quick buck and get out. It's the work of bitter, seasoned veterans who know what works and know when to shitcan what doesn't.

So, what does it sound like, then Well, an awful lot like their previous stuff, only slightly more refined. Guy Kozowyk's lyrics are just as cryptic (Fed Through the Teeth Machine doesn't have a unifying theme, but is allegedly preoccupied with "hygienic obsession, delusional compound-dwellers and Maniac Mansion") and his death/grind styled delivery is as vicious as it is engaging. Gunface's guitar work is every bit as dynamic as before, using all the tricks we've come to expect from The Red Chord: fast and gritty grind, punchy death-styled chugging and subdued and atmospheric noodling.

The rhythm section is more than up to the task of providing a solid backbone for this sort of mania, and even managed to fulfill this without seeming to rely on drum triggers and studio trickery to do it. Fine, those things are more or less staples of heavy music these days: doesn't mean I have to like it. But I'll admit, it's mostly a personal quibble.

So, is it perhaps unfair to compare Fed Through the Teeth Machine to the rest of 2009 Not terribly. They're not reinventing the wheel on this one, but in spite of consistent shifts in the lineup, they're still delivering elements of what caught my attention in the first place, while still trying to hone their attack. And that's pretty hard to look down upon.

Bottom Line: The Red Chord have made it clear that they're not interested in returning to what they did on Fused Together in Revolving Doors - and that's perfectly fine. They're still delivering some consistently vicious and well-written albums, with little sign of kowtowing to what's trendy. Yeah, I'd like to see them push a little further beyond their comfort zone, but whatever. It may not be finishing 2009 (for me) with a bang, but that doesn't change the fact that it's still a fine effort.

anonymous   posted 5/8/2011 11:23:39 PM
wow this album is awful. Every song sounds the same. band needs to quit while they still have a memorable couple albums. Ouch.
awakener_   posted 1/25/2011 7:45:11 PM
f*ck the haters! The Red Chord is one of the best metal bands around right now. I love their shit. It's heavy as f*ck and is obviously very tightly woven, yet it still sounds chaotic as f*ck. Awesome.
DickDouche_   posted 2/28/2010 8:11:08 PM
Kinda blows they put this out right before the old drummer comes back. Wonder how it wouldve sounded with him instead. I probably wouldve jammed it alot more.
anonymous   posted 1/23/2010 1:55:25 AM
To give this album a 7 out of 10 is borderline retarded. 9.5/10
juaninatrillion_   posted 1/17/2010 3:57:39 PM
save me some cottage cheese

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