Sure naming their album after a phrase heard on the TV show "HowStuffWorks" doesn't exactly conjure the same disturbing imagery as 2007's "Prey For Eyes" - an effort whose title was culled from the rantings of a mentally disturbed prison inmate. But at this point in The Red Chord's career, shock value isn't a necessity, creative growth is. Already seen as unwitting progenitors of the 'deathcore' movement, the band have made the bold decision to continue on as a quartet following the departure of their guitarist Mike Keller, seemingly putting them at a large disadvantage in a scene where having two shredders is law.
The thing is, if anything this weakness actually turns out to be a strength by the albums end. While remaining guitarist Mike 'Gunface' McKenzie certainly goes the extra mile to beef up his presence, the overall scaled down sonic attack allots the other members of the band a larger focus. Sadly though, this may be the boldest move The Red Chord make on "Fed Through The Teeth Machine". For while they have certainly embedded elements of thrash, grind and various other metallic shrapnel within their sound, the songs themselves aren't exactly revolutionary, nor identifiable.
This isn't entirely their fault, though their inability to outgrow the confines of the genre which they inhabit is depressing. Sure they poke and prod here and there and these faint moments of freedom are what truly deserve mention. It's just that the now standardized tornado of percussive cacophony and serrated guitars eventually becomes an albatross for the band, smothering the songs with repetition and predictability. Factor in that the clever lyrics are often unitelligble and the deck gets stacked against them even more. Unquestionably, the recent influx of groups following in their footsteps have stolen a lot The Red Chord's thunder.
Thus it is only when the band show nuance and actual dynamic that "Fed Through The Teeth Machine" commands attention, such as the plodding build-up on "Mouthful Of Precious Stones". That said, while not immediately noticeable, repeated listens reveal that many of the tracks possess an almost uniform song structure of full throttle face melting and a careening chorus followed a sustained bridge that leads to the songs end.
The brevity of the tracks, which all nearly clock in at under 3 minutes, does alleviate this. But once the listener is able to penetrate the harsh discordance and see through the initial velocity, the album's shortcomings come into full view. Undoubtedly "Fed Through The Teeth Machine" lives up to its title and readily decimates the listener with near sadist intent. But a genre, let alone cornerstone album for the bands discography, it is sadly not.
(3.5 / 5)