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Album Review: The Red Chord - 'Fed Through the Teeth Machine'

17 February 2010 | 8:31 pm | Staff Writer

Brutal offering from Massachusetts metal heads

American four-piece The Red Chord are an interesting proposition. The band’s sound has always contained a resonance that is hard to pinpoint – are they death metal, grind, metalcore, deathcore?

However, while musical variety is inherently a good thing, the inability to isolate The Red Chord’s sound has meant the band is commonly overlooked when discussing frontrunner groups in the heavy scene. For a band with the obvious musical capability this is arguably a tad unfair, or at the very least unfortunate.

Fourth studio album, ‘Fed Through the Teeth Machine’ does not employ a softly, softly approach. Rather, it is a twelve-track wall of noise that is engrossing, endearing, and structured in such a way that is both deliberate and precise. Opener, ‘Demoralizer’ mixes tempos with a brutal menace before giving way to standout track ‘Hour of Rats’, which combines guttural vocals with driving riffs and solid double kick work. Although the album maintains pace and heaviness, it is safe to say that if you’re not drawn in by the initial few tracks, then this album probably won’t captivate you.

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True to form, there is no real deviation from the band. There is no odd crooning ballad or over-the-top instrumental, rather just sustainable metal that for all intents and purposes serves The Red Chord well.

Moreover, other notable tracks such as, ‘Floating Through the Vein’ and ‘Ingest the Ash’ show that a predominant death metal sound can contain small doses of controlled melody. With most songs clocking in at less than 2 ½ minutes, ‘Fed Through the Teeth Machine’ bothers little for drawn out musical passages – its charm is in its unruly precision. This album will satisfy both the metal purists and scene kids equally.

Brutal, straight to the point and representative of The Red Chord sound, ‘Fed Through the Teeth Machine’ is arguably the band’s most consistent effort. There are still clear areas to improve on before The Red Chord can be considered one of the contemporary greats but they are certainly still ahead of most heavy bands today.

1. Demoralizer

2. Hour of Rats

3. Hymns and Crippled Anthems

4. Embarrassment Legacy

5. Tales of Martyrs and Disappearing Acts

6. Floating Through the Vein

7. Ingest the Ash

8. One Robot to Another

9. Mouthful of Precious Stones

10. The Ugliest Truth

11. Face Area Solution

12. Sleepless Nights in the Compound