Baring Teeth is a Kansas based technical death metal band consisting of three members. Their new album, entitled Atrophy, is my first exposure to the band. Their label promotes them as a progressive death metal band with avant-garde elements. I have a soft spot for these kind of forward thinking bands, so let’s see what Baring Teeth has to offer.
When it comes to progressive death metal I usually think of bands like Opeth, Obsidian, The Faceless and Obscura. This American threesome is altogether an entirely different beast. Their specific brand of technical death metal reminds me of bands like Converge, Burnt By The Sun, Cryptopsy and a less arty-farty variant of The Dillinger Escape Plan. Their hardcore influenced bare-bones approach supports that notion. The first two songs are fairly straightforward, but the real fun starts when “Distilled In Fire” kicks in.
It’s the experimental/avant-garde angle on songs like the aformentioned “Distilled In Fire”, “Scarred Fingertips” and “Tower Of Silence” which sets them apart from the pack. They have a freestyle jazz feel to them as well. Those songs form a nice counterbalance to the frenzied character of “End”, “Vestigial Birth”, “The Dead Hand” and “Anti-Holy.” Despite the overall brilliance of the album I kind of have the feeling that Baring Teeth is still looking for the ideal balance between the death/grind and the more avant-garde parts.
The dry and spartan sound of Atrophy enhances the take-no-prisoners attitude of the band. It gives the album a harsh undercurrent, which works really well in the musical context.
Atrophy by Baring Teeth combines forward thinking and technical death metal with a bare bones and hardcore approach. This certainly gives these lads a lot of originality. Atrophy may not be the next Onnivium, Blackwater Park or Calculating Infinity, but it’s still worth your attention when you’re into frantic, yet intelligent and unforgiving metal. Recommended!