Baring Teeth
Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jacquibim STAFF
December 3rd, 2014 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Baring Teeth put out another superbly written, impeccably performed release, albeit still in Gorguts' shadow.

Brilliant as it may have been, Baring Teeth’s debut Atrophy was hardly a statement of originality; technically accomplished, beautifully composed and tastefully produced, maybe, but rather unabashed in its homage to Gorguts’ Obscura. The difficulty of creating an authentic tribute to such an album commands respect in and of itself, but it seems Baring Teeth are now intent on dispelling the idea that they are imitators rather than innovators. Vocalist and guitarist Andrew Hawkins is rather adamant that Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins is not only a more complete, well-rounded piece of work than Atrophy, but expands upon its predecessor’s boundaries in a way that is uniquely Baring Teeth’s. Although the Gorguts influence is still vividly apparent, Baring Teeth have made strides in their mission to shake off the masquerading stigma and establish an identity of their own.

It seems cliché to make note of an album’s title as a way of describing its sound, but Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins gives off a genuinely supernatural vibe, conjuring images of relics haunted by malevolent spirits of years gone by. While Atrophy felt like strolling through a self-aware mansion that would rearrange itself at will, Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins casts said mansion as a dilapidated shell of its former self. The overall pace is steadier and the atmosphere is bleaker, thanks to more fluid integration between the death and doom elements that so heavily contrasted with each other on the debut. As a result, song-writing patterns are more difficult to flesh out, but more rewarding when given the time they so obviously deserve. Songs like “The Great Unwashed” are comprised of motifs that are being constantly tweaked and modified until the track’s end, while “Terra Nullius” teases the listener by gradually trickling in one idea after another. Whatever their method is, Baring Teeth consistently pull off tracks that feel cohesive as single cuts, as well as thematically connected in the context of an album.

If there is one area that Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins falls short in comparison to its predecessor, it’s the production. The mix itself is superb and the textures are well preserved, but the lack of dynamic range damages the overall experience. Some of the more climactic moments are sapped of their potential energy, thanks to a mastering job that the band seemed very keen to avoid in the past but – for whatever reason – are okay with now. Nevertheless, Baring Teeth has gone above and beyond with regards to instrumentation, creating music that is insanely technical while avoiding the all-too-prevalent “wank” pitfall. Dissonance galore, Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins revels in merging supposedly incompatible chords, while the quirky – often chromatic – lead work explores the limitations of tonality itself. The ostensibly wayward axe and bass work is bound together by Jason Roe’s frenetic drumming, reeling off a plethora of unpredictable tom fills and handing frequent time shifts with consummate ease.

The respective vocal performances of both Hawkins and bassist Scott Addison bear an eerie resemblance to those sported by Steeve Hurdle on Baring Teeth’s most frequent point of comparison, Obscura. Now, although the band have begun to break the mould and assert themselves as a novel artists, Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins is still not going to free them from the perennial comparisons to their Canadian idols. In spite of the album’s vast quality, the core sound still lacks a sense of idiosyncrasy that will propel Baring Teeth from the status of a great band, to a legendary one. This isn’t to take anything from the band as far as their musicianship and song-writing is concerned, because Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins is still an expertly crafted piece of work, and I dearly look forward to seeing the direction they take in years to come.



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user ratings (31)
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ComeToDaddy
December 3rd 2014


1805 Comments


you had me at Gorguts worship. Never checked out their debut, but I'll definitely get a hold of this latest one and maybe even the older one too, I'm a sucker for this sort of thing. Great review man

tommygun
December 3rd 2014


26970 Comments


back to m/ m/ m/



...



m/

emester
December 3rd 2014


8271 Comments


yeah is is damn good

Insurrection
December 3rd 2014


24735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet

Benc
December 5th 2014


64 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Good job Jac! I freaking love this album, probably more than I liked the first one. Top-notch stuff!



titanslayer
December 15th 2014


2713 Comments


I've been meaning to check this out but can't find the time

DarkNoctus
December 23rd 2014


10902 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

thought this was pretty bad

Digging: Esoteric - A Pyrrhic Existence

osmark86
December 23rd 2014


9351 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

had some pretty cool moments

Veldin
December 24th 2014


3886 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gorguts is Canadian!?

brainmelter
September 21st 2018


6692 Comments


debut is great and I'm finally just checking this
Dripping Sun fucking goes

Digging: Evigt Morker - 1

Hawks
September 21st 2018


73730 Comments


Hmmm debut was solid so def gonna jam this.

Digging: Cradle of Filth - Cruelty and the Beast - Re-Mistressed

FearThyEvil
September 21st 2018


17081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's pretty good. Straight Gorguts worship

brainmelter
November 23rd 2018


6692 Comments


this is so much better than their debut



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