'Fed Through The Teeth Machine' - The Red Chord (5/10)
Although modern times have given metal some of its most cherished masterpieces, there is a general trend I have been noticing where legions of bands will sound almost indistinguishable from each other, leaving only slight nuances to define their identity as a unique band. American technical deathcore group The Red Chord is one such act that falls into this rut with a thousand other soundalikes, and while these musicians are certainly skilled at what they do, it becomes a somewhat disappointing ordeal due to the fact that there are many other bands out there that can do the same style with more success. With 2009, the band released 'Fed Through The Teeth Machine', which may be considered their greatest work to date, and while I have never been much into either the band or the sort of music they play, their tightness and skill as a group carries the music through, for the most part.
Although the sound of deathcore generally gets panned by many metalheads for being little more than a haven for generic breakdowns and lackluster composition, The Red Chord's technical flaunting does seek to dispel that generalization, delivering some incredibly complex moments with precise double kick drumming, crushing chord rhythms and a lead guitar that rarely lets down its barrage of speedy leads. As is the case for many of these bands however, the vocals do tend to be the weak link, and while they manage to get the raw aggression down fairly well, Kozowyk's growls lack the dynamic needed to be engaging. Instead, 'Fed Through The Teeth Machine' turns into a general waiting game, waiting for the next technical moment of excellence. This requires a fair bit of wading through those generic breakdowns of yore, but for someone looking for a bit of heavy riffing, the journey is worth it.
The only time where The Red Chord really starts getting impressive standing on their own feet is towards the end of the album. 'Sleepless Nights In The Compound' features a passage where the band takes an interesting guitar tapping idea and extends it a little, allowing the idea to develop before the heavy riffs take over once again. To the band's credit, the album is fixed in such a way where it flows nearly seamlessly from track to track, but this effect of oneness would have been present anyways, due to the fact that each song sounds more or less the same, disregarding the aforementioned tapping section, and a few sparse moments where The Red Chord opts to use a bit of restraint in what they do.
A fairly run-of-the-mill technical metal album, and while fans of the band and sort of metal they play will likely enjoy it much more than I did, I cannot see 'Fed Through The Teeth Machine' standing the test of time, despite being a fairly fiery listen.