May 22, 2017 3TEETH – shutdown.exe (Album Review)
The Los Angeles, California based 3TEETH, stylized 3TƎETH, have come a long way since the band’s 2013 formation. Known for their highly atmospheric brand of Industrial laden Rock, 3TEETH made a strong impression with their 2014 self-titled album, and in 2016, were handpicked by Tool to support them on a North American Tour. Not bad right? Well, the band continues to make impressions as Rammstein chose them as support for their much talked about lone US show in 2017, the June 25th engagement at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York. If that is not enough, 3TEETH dropped their sophomore album, shutdown.exe, on Friday, May 19th, via OMF Records, a new imprint of Cleopatra Records, Inc.
Shutdown.exe features production from Sean Beavan; whose resume includes work with Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, A Perfect Circle, and Slayer to name a few; kicking the 13 new tracks up a notch. In addition, the final takes were mastered by Howie Weinberg (Pantera, TOOL, Rammstein), making for some heavyweight names behind the scenes. That said, “Divine Weapon” kicks it all off, dragging the listener into the cathedral of Metal that is 3TEETH complements of a serious punch from Alexis Mincolla’s vocals and Andrew Means on drums. Surrounded by monastic chorus, Xavier Swafford on keys, and Chase Brawner guitar work, the opening cut unleashes a beast.
Then, intense melodies slay with hellishly great musicianship with “Pit of Fire,” making it difficult to fathom that there are just these four guys building this wall of sound. Kicking off the single “Atrophy” with sampling a statement regarding the major cause of insanity, they set a dark Industrial tone with the intensity and heaviness of Marilyn Manson’s Antichrist Superstar era. Just as cool as the prior tracks, “Oblivion Coil” is a nightmare delivered with subtle perfection by Mincolla’s over layer after layer of instrumentation.
Continuing on, nearly halfway through shutdown.ex, the album’s other single, “Degrade,” captures all the best of Industrial Metal with thought-provoking lyricism cutting through decidedly demanding musicianship. Following is “Tower of Disease,” which offers a distorted look at the future. Combining samples with music can be an overused trick, but is done here and handled with restraint as well as purpose. That in mind, never overshadowing the essential core of the song, these samples make them stronger and it is never more than evident than with “Tabula Umbra,” mimicking a drug-like experience with a dismal vibe.
Showing they have the ability of painting various dystopian landscapes, “Voiceless” utilizes various elements of Techno, Metal, and Industrial while Mincolla’s bellows raise hairs in the chorus. More guitar driven in the opening, “Slavegod” lulls the listener into a sense of security as Mincolla narrates a story before the angst ignites, bringing back distorted guitars and crashing drums. Artfully sequenced, it is followed by “Insubstantia,” which features a plodding grounded tempo. A defining factor of Industrial, 3TEETH’s ethereal chorus of vocals seems wonderfully out of place. Drifting further away, “B.O.A.” and album closer “Away From Me” are as dark and hopeless as they come, and they are absolutely lovely.
Listening to shutdown.exe is a full sensory experience on the ears. It is quite apparent that the four musicians that make up 3TEETH are a great team of talent. That said, the vocals and lyrics of Alexis Mincolla are the glue tying everything into a cohesive auditory journey. There is certainly a political energy to many of these songs and the ominous feel paint a bleak picture. Those who love the golden age of Industrial Rock will devour shutdown.exe. For these reasons, CrypticRock gives 3TEETH’s latest spawning 5 out of 5 stars.