I have trouble waking up in the mornings sometimes. I just can’t be motivated to move by the annoying alarm I set on my phone, and I need something more forceful and shocking to jar me awake and get me moving on my day.
Perhaps setting my alarm to play something from Baring Teeth would do the trick. This Dallas-based death metal trio creates music that isn’t shocking for any of the normal death metal standards but instead for how they deliver the goods. The music is choppy but atmospheric, violent yet thought-provoking, and it’s impossible to sit still during their records because so damn much is going on. That’s again the case with their second album “Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins,” a platter that’s sure to rip you right out of your bed, leaving you wondering what’s going on and how you should react to such tremendous racket. Their style is mathy, bewildering, intellectually aggressive, and heavy as hell, making them one of the most interesting bands in the sometimes heartless world of technical death.
The band used to go by the name Soviet, but they changed their moniker to the more fitting Baring Teeth and delivered their debut record “Atrophy” in 2011 on Willowtip Records. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Andrew Hawkins, bassist/vocalist Scott Addison, and drummer Jason Roe, these guys make a special kind of noise. It should satisfy those who want things brutal and guttural, as Baring Teeth deliver that in large doses. But it also should find favor with listeners who want something a little more challenging for their brain and ears, similar to what groups such as Gorguts, Gigan, Krallice, and Artificial Brain have to offer. Trust me, these cuts will get your head spinning, and at eight tracks and a slim, trim 38 minutes, it is perfectly paced and just the right serving amount.
“An Illusion of Multiple Voices” would be a weird way to begin a record for any band other than Baring Teeth. The sounds bleed in, making it feel like something out of a fever dream, before machine-like chugging enters the picture and sends everything into disarray for most of its two minutes. “Mountain” spews guitar work all over the place, sending you into a state of controlled madness. The melodies buzz hard, and there’s a futuristic, scientific feel to it all, while the vocals are grisly and forceful. It’s both mind altering and chest bruising. “Visitant” wastes no time blowing down the doors, with thick guitars chugging before everything is sent on a rocket to outer space. This is some strange, compelling fun, with the song taking its time and the sounds boiling in a soup of its own filth, allowing the flavors to intersperse perfectly. Mmm, gross. “The Great Unwashed” has a titanic entrance, with the band going for broke and unloading thick, burly melodies that sound as scary as they do creative. The back end of the song has the band delving into speed and playing that could eat away at the psyches of anyone who regularly falls prey to panic.
“Terra Nullius” unfurls slowly, dripping and lurching, covering the whole thing in a thick, cold fog. This instrumental cut feels formless and scary during most of its run, with guitars stabbing where they must, and the rest of the elements soaking and bubbling. Finally, everything comes together, and the band hits on a loopy assault designed to maim. “Dripping Sun” bounces all over the place from the start, with everything stretching to far-off boundaries and the vocals coming at you as if they’re being transmitted by razor blades. The drums absolutely explode on this one, providing the lion’s share of the punishment, while the dizzying fury that results subsides just in time for the guys to treat you to a precision-emblazoned finale. “The Unwilling” feels chilly and drizzling at first, like being soaked in a dusk rain shower. The band enters into doom’s realm for a moment, passing through dark caverns and spider webs before dusting themselves off and spreading terrifying pain. The vocals again sound traumatic, with the band playing some of the ugliest, darkest bits on the entire record. The closing title track gets off to an explosive start with everything hitting you from all corners. The pace is mauling and relentless, with crunchy riffs prevailing and even some sludgy terrain stomped over. The final moments are awash with grinding guitars that meet up with a pool of corrosion that brings the record to a crushing end.
Baring Teeth’s run so far has been impressive and uplifting, and this second record appears to be evidence that their might is growing by the day. “Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins” manages to surpass their stellar debut record and offers the death metal congregation something fresh and exciting for their ravenous consumption. These guys keep things technically sound but never fall victim to their creative whims, and this ideally portioned record is one that stays fresh and fiery from the opening moment to the acidic end. Great work by one of modern death’s most impressive young bands.
For more on the band, go here: http://www.baringteethmetal.com/
To buy the album, go here: http://www.willowtip.com/store/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.willowtip.com/home.aspx