The Red Chord - Fed Through the Teeth Machine
Record Label: Metal Blade
Release Date: October 27, 2009
Music today has become so super-saturated with heavy bands that it has become difficult to sort them all out. Unfortunately, many of the truly worthwhile fall by the wayside. The Red Chord, the deathcore innovators out of Massachusetts, are one such band. With one consistent effort after another, they shouldn't have to further prove they are one of the best, but with their newest offering Fed Through the Teeth Machine, they do it anyway. With authority.
The album starts with "Demoralizer." The menacing string-bends give you just enough time to be afraid before The Red Chord begin their assault. The standout opening track is a superb display of the brutality in store for the listener. On "Hour of Rats", like the others that follow it, the musicianship is unparalleled. These guys know how to play fast and heavy. "Floating Through the Vein" is a good example of their constant use of tempo shifts, from breakneck speed to slow and sludgy in no time at all. Make no mistake, the pace is unrelenting throughout, finally letting up with the concluding notes of the superb final track, "Sleepless Nights in the Compound."
Guy Kozowyk's vocal delivery is throat-shredding as usual, and works perfectly with the music. His lyrics are typically very intriguing, seemingly using strange themes ranging from aliens to a general disgust in humanity in order to reflect on personal experiences. Often it will leave listeners more than a little curious as to what he could have possibly been thinking. Not enough can be said about the proficiency of this band as musicians. Mike "Gunface" McKenzie handled all guitar duties on this album and his riffing played no small part in making this album a bone-crushing experience. The rhythm section for the album, comprised of then-drummer Brad Fickeisen and bassist Greg Weeks, contributed greatly to the band's chaotic style. The fact that they could incorporate so many parts into three-minute songs is testament to that.
The album as a whole is a welcomed experience. The melding of hardcore and metal influence hasn't sounded this intense in a while. The Red Chord stick to what works for them and settle for nothing less. What is most impressive is their ability to incorporate so much into such a concise record. Admittedly, after a while some of the songs do seem to melt together. This is certainly an album best experienced front to back and appreciated as a whole as opposed to certain tracks. It has to be appreciated not only for its technical superiority but because it is a furious metal album devoid of the embarrassing cliches used so frequently by legions of wannabes. The Red Chord are still the real deal and in light of another superb release, they should be recognized as such.