Baring Teeth
Atrophy


4.0
excellent

Review

by J.P. CONTRIBUTOR (70 Reviews)
January 16th, 2014 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


In music, the art of impersonation is criminally underrated. Granted, if a band is fixated on replicating derivative nonsense in the hope of cashing in on whatever trend is doing rounds, said band’s efforts will (deservedly) be dismissed on a whim. However, imitating the supposedly inimitable, regardless of the lack of originality required, is a remarkable feat. If you’re expecting something novel or ground breaking from Baring Teeth’s debut album Atrophy, you’re going to be underwhelmed. Baring Teeth aren’t a “rip-off” act per se, but neither can you say they’re subtle in the way they channel their influences. Save for a cleaner production job – courtesy of the album’s 14 year deficit to its spiritual predecessor – and a much more subdued vocal performance, Atrophy comes closer to mirroring the deranged, extra-dimensional aesthetic of Gorguts’ Obscura than any album before it.

Just like the aforementioned, Atrophy is a churning cacophony of warped rhythms and strange, sinister soundscapes. The eponymous opener immediately engrosses the listener in contorted riffery and drumming before briskly shifting into ambient-tinged death/doom. Although the opening track reveals itself to be a lesser cut over the course of the album, it nevertheless sets the tone of the album effectively. Atrophy is riddled with spontaneous segues, tempo shifts and atmospheric passages, utilising this demented concoction of instrumental mayhem and organic production to craft genuine suspense and then shattering it without warning. The sonic disarray is like a musical equivalent of M. C. Esher’s legendary Relativity lithograph, in which the basic principles of gravity are suspended in favour of the artist’s personal canon. Just like Relativity, Atrophy creates its own set of rules and abides accordingly, and though the result may appear superficially twisted, in actuality it is a cohesive and sensical (though abnormal) piece of work.

It should be noted that Atrophy doesn’t approach the quality of Obscura, it’s neither as structurally abstract, as texturally nuanced nor as vibrant in execution. The most apparent difference between the two albums is their respective vocal performances. Though Baring Teeth have managed to flesh out Gorguts’ methodology very well, the dual vocal assault of Luc Lemay and the late Steve Hurdle remains something that is yet to be replicated. The vocal performances of Scott Addison and Andrew Hawkins don’t extend far beyond unobtrusive guttural murmurings, but it’s clear that said vocals are merely intended to be accents to the organised chaos accompanying them. The demented, jazz-tinged guitar, bass and drum work is set ominously to the fore-front, and while entertaining and puzzling they may be, the album is actually strongest at its slowest and most drawn out. Extra praise must be reserved for the album’s producer, whose attention to dynamics as well as organic tones and textures allow the slower sections to work their magic as intended. The three-punch combo in the form of tracks “Distilled in Fire”, “Vestigial Birth” and “Scarred Fingertips” is quite easily the highpoint of the album, showcasing the band shifting focus from organised chaos to timbre-conscious soundscapes and faint ambience.

It’s a shame that Atrophy’s validity as a musical triumph will forever be in dispute in light of its fervent to imitate rather than innovate. No, it doesn’t reach the heights of Obscura, however it can lay claim to the idea that said album is no longer one of a kind, which isn’t exactly a minor achievement. Atrophy may very well be a stable mate in musical worship as opposed to innovation, but its sheer effectiveness and superb execution is a call for admiration.



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user ratings (33)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2014


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules, hope you like the review, no fun allowed

Digging: Vril - Portal

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2014


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah you should revisit for sure. Surprised the average is only 3.6 as well.

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2014


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Godspeed Captain m/m/

tommygun
January 15th 2014


25498 Comments


pos

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2014


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers tommy I know you didn't read but you're a m8 so :D

tommygun
January 15th 2014


25498 Comments


too hot to read maybe later but i'm on a one way trip to 46º so

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2014


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn my prayers go out to you

tommygun
January 15th 2014


25498 Comments


dude if we hit 46.2 it'll break the record from 1939 m/

thank you global warming :D

gon read this now

ShadowRemains
January 15th 2014


21957 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this was the hidden unorthodox dm gem behind flourishing

tommygun
January 15th 2014


25498 Comments


yep good ass review would pos on my alts if i had any

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2014


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Alts are for silly billies agreed.



@shadow, I think I just prefer this to Flourishing but I need to give them more listens.

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2014


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks cap, didn't notice I repeated "warped" in 2 sentences. It's nice to have a review dissected with 90% compliments as well :D checking the cover now.

TheSpirit
January 16th 2014


18043 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i think you put too much emphasis on gorguts in this review. they obvs play a big part, but i feel there are other, equally as large elements at work in this album

Digging: Ashdautas - Where the Sun is Silent...

Wizard
January 18th 2014


19767 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this was the hidden unorthodox dm gem behind flourishing



And you led me onto this!

Digging: Leviathan - Scar Sighted

dancok
February 22nd 2014


51 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it's good ! scarred fingertips riffs kinda hard

TheSpirit
August 3rd 2014


18043 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

>>>>>>>> colored sands

emester
October 11th 2014


4810 Comments


really thinking of bumping my rating for this

Digging: Leviathan - Scar Sighted

fromtheinside
October 12th 2014


19389 Comments


oh i'm only a year late

emester
October 12th 2014


4810 Comments


distilled in fire twangs hard

fromtheinside
October 12th 2014


19389 Comments


yeah this album rules



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