Review Summary: don't bother, they're here
Three years have passed since we last heard from London duo Raime. Moving from 2012’s Quarter Turns Over a Living Line
capitalised on the distortion which made their sound so characteristically ominous. Its rhythmic, industrial noise spoke of ever approaching violence but sturdy post-rock roots kept this violence human. Tooth
does the opposite, instead peeling back Quarter Turn
’s distorted skin to reveal something all the more cold and threatening.
The impression is different – the violence is not advancing but here already – and it moves with a perpetual, jittery energy. Dub undercurrents animate loops whose rigid restraint invites images of sci-fi horrors: the biomechanical not-quite-human. Tooth
is icy, uncaring, and the sense of terror only rises as the indifference of its eight tracks becomes more familiar. There is no bargaining with music like this. It is the sound of methodical and inevitable destruction.
There is a reason zombies are so terrifying: they do not feel fear. Our actions become meaningless, we cannot understand, we lose hope. Tooth
contains a similar apocalypse, but the end is synthetic and mechanical, its agents sharp and metallic. Yet even amongst this peril is a kind of hypnotism and fatalistic allure. “Dead Heat” marches determined through a hazy swirl of deftly picked guitar notes, while “Stammer” almost seems to extend an invitation to join in the destruction. We are mesmerised by the very thing that threatens to end us.
The new sound is a long time coming from Raime, whose earlier releases made up so much of home-label Blackest Ever Black
, but the wait comes with a reward. They return with something more uniquely insidious than anything heard from the label so far, something which attacks and intoxicates in equal measure, completely assured of its success and all the more awe-inspiring for it. If Moin
and Quarter Turns
echo the victim’s fear, clutching on to one last thought before the end – “I’m scared, I’m vulnerable, please make this stop” – then Tooth
contains the answer, “no”.