3TEETH
Metawar


3.2
good

Review

by Simon STAFF
July 5th, 2019 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An exciting opportunity squandered on echoic songwriting.

I suppose, in part, I’m to blame for Metawar being the most disappointing release of 2019 so far. I mean, looking back on it now, there was no way 3TEETH was ever going to meet or exceed the level of expectation I had for this record – it was destined to fail in that regard. But I’m getting ahead of myself; it helps if I explain why Metawar would have been my first pick over any one of this year’s biggest knockout albums, had I been given a choice. The reason for this hype is simple: it’s purely on the grounds that Shutdown.exe showed so much promise back in 2017. Sure, their sophomore album had a couple of caveats that stopped it from being a stone-cold classic, but the potential underneath it all was so blindingly apparent. This is a band that successfully revived the crusty industrial sounds of the 80s and 90s and did so with a clear vision in mind. The band took the sounds of Bile, Skinny Puppy, Frontline Assembly, Rob Zombie, NIN and Marilyn Manson, shoved them all into a meat grinder with riffs that could turn whole planets into dust and presented their sonic invasion with a sincere political undertone. They sat on a bulk of imitative traits at times, but when they got it right it was like nothing else out there. So, with that context in mind, by rights all they had to do was focus on their exceptional ear for EBM grooves and face-melting riffs in order to break away with an idiosyncratic sound – i.e. songs akin to “Slavegod” and “Divine Weapon” than the derivative parodies of “Atrophy” and “Oblivion Coil”. Yet, tragically, what Metawar manages to do is the polar opposite of what it needs to.

Let’s get it out of the way now; this isn’t a hyperbolic rant. Metawar is not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination. On the contrary – 3TEETH’s third effort is a serviceably executed industrial metal album, with a number of enjoyable moments to be had in the midst of its well-produced and mechanically sterile dystopian backdrop. Like Shutdown.exe, the band continues to pay its respects to the industrial architects who formed this, now, dusty and antiquated genre. But with all that being said, the vital differences between this album’s failures and Shutdown.exe’s successes are night and day. The band approaches these two albums with a very similar mindset – both records wear their influences like a badge of honour – but Shutdown.exe handles its inspirations like a set of tools in order to form what is an enjoyably unforgiving, punishing and, at times, uniquely intriguing experience. What we get with Metawar is the same theory but with a tremendously botched execution. The biggest frustration comes from seeing the band taking the minor niggles of the last album and blowing them up to be the focal point here: Alexis’ earth-shaking screams and intentionally stoic performances are now a thing of the past. Metawar curates its dominated style with the same clean Nivek Ogre-Marilyn Manson-Rob Zombie twanged vocal impersonation that corroded previous offerings. Alexis’ flat, reverb-soaked drawl subjugates almost every number here and makes it dreadfully difficult to take the band’s sound as its own thing anymore. Their acrimonious vehement for modern America’s way of life is now largely delivered in laid-back, soporific croons and hearty lashings of melodious licks in a baritone. Their sincerity and message aren’t in question here – it never has been – but the band’s narrow focus on accessibility has taken away the serrated bite found on previous works.

There’s no two ways around it, Alexis has dropped the ball here. But the pill wouldn’t be half as difficult to swallow had the music actually taken things up a notch or two. However, even in this department the music resorts to compounding a mixture which turns into a 3TEETH-lite experience. Compositions have the bare minimum of imagination put into them, as they lean towards radio-friendly alt-metal/nu-metal riffs so bland they end up making Metawar sound, essentially, neutered. The once minimalistic and unconventional approach to guitar playing is now converted into generic Pantera grooves; electronics take on a less pertinent role, opting to sit in line with a more traditional metal aesthetic; and the biggest crime of all stems from the metronome-styled drum work which sits in the snug pocket of what everything else is doing. The industrial wrecking ball snaps and flourishes of contagious colour – which rightfully elevate Shutdown.Exe’s strongest tracks – have regressed into autopilot-playing in order to push the pseudo alt-metal style they’ve started to run with here. Fundamentally, Metawar sits closer to the soundscape of a 90s Fear Factory album than one that sits on the edge of its influences with a fresh set of integrative ideas. The industrial innards are still very much the meat and potatoes of this band’s sound, but Metawar removes a lot of the extremities lent from other genres which once gave their promising sound a lasting resonance: the ethereal breathers of past iterations aren’t present, nor the outright bone-crushing heavy tracks. Instead the record sits comfortably in the middle of conventionally safe heavy metal songwriting.

It’s a record overtly designed to be succinct and digestible, but the results create a sound with overwhelming indifference. A track like “President X” or “Bornless” does little to persuade you that 3TEETH are pushing their artistic abilities to the limit, rather leaning on the genre’s systematic clichés. This outcome has taken 3TEETH into the realm of being a good ‘gateway band’ than a band that chooses to grab the bull by the horns – to pioneer and innovate for a new generation – and it’s a damn bloody shame to see, because they’re more than capable of such feats. With that said however, I still believe these guys will go on to spearhead an industrial metal revival for the coming years, and I welcome more light being shed on what is a really interesting genre of music. But for the raw, unrelenting potential this band has residing in its underbelly, Metawar feels like a greatly missed opportunity and does little to display that talent here. Suppression and creative anaemia are the order of the day here, regardless of how well they play derivative industrial metal tunes. If you’re new to this type of music it will definitely be a good starting point, as it displays an impressive array of positives this type of music can offer. If, like me, you were looking for that elevated display of artistic evolution, ultimately you will be disappointed with the final product. This is a solid slab of industrial metal without a distinguished bone in its body, and not much else. Here’s hoping for next time.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: DIGITAL/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION BONUSES: N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://centurymedia.store/dept/3teeth"cp=102832_103046_105117




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3.1
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3TEETH

shutdown​.​exe


Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2019


15409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Heartbroken by how this turned out. Biggest disappointment this year by a landslide.

Digging: Torche - Admission

Dmax28
July 5th 2019


552 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this overall a lot more than their other two albums. It's best tracks don't reach the heights of the best on shutdown.exe. I'd give the first 6 songs on shutdown.exe the edge to this album, and they were def more "artistic" sounding, but the last 7 songs on that album don't do much more me besides Slavegod. They sound more like experiments and don't have much to grab onto.



This album is more solid all the way through. I'm really glad they made the guitar riffs the backbone here, but it's still through and through an industrial record. I would have liked if some songs were longer and fleshed out a little more, but then again, they aren't any shorter than the ones on the other albums. I agree that a little more bite in the vocal department may have helped things, and some more bold industrial elements and sequences could have made a bigger statement. I can see how those who came to this band for a particular thing will see this as "3TEETH lite". But this doesn't waste any time and is full of hooks. I'll be returning to this a lot and I think it fleshes out their current discography well. Nothing grabs me like Oblivion Coil, Shutdown, or Degrade, but I can play this from start to finish better.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2019


15409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

The biggest problem I have is STILL with Alexis' vocals. He still hasn't found a voice he's comfortable with. They just feel like impersonations -- I mean, Christ, he sounds like fucking Richard Patrick from Filter on "Bornless". He has such a powerful and distinct screaming voice on shutdown, even his spoken word style has its own merits. But here the band just full-blown blankets itself in the imitation game. I dunno, I just expected 3teeth to really pull out the goods with this one and it just ended up sounding like a load of sounds industrial's biggest names have already done to death.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2019


4806 Comments


I'll be seeing these guys opening for Ministry next week. The few songs that I listened to so far seem a bit generic tbh.

Digging: Torche - Admission

DoofDoof
July 5th 2019


4321 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Marilyn Manson without, uh, the Marilyn Manson persona



So not a lot to tuck into here

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2019


15409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

I’ll give them their dues, they are unbelievable live. You’ll have a great time ins

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2019


15409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Alexis isn’t the best vocalist on records but he’s an excellent frontman

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2019


8370 Comments


I liked the first album from these guys, have to hear this.

A general comment; it's so hard to find really good industrial nowadays...

Digging: Norman Shores - De L'Ombre Surgit La Lumire

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2019


15409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Can’t argue there man



Have you checked out shutdown exe?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2019


8370 Comments


^^I'm afraid I haven't, but I plan to.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2019


4806 Comments


That's great to hear. I'll refrain from listening until I've seen them live, clean slate.

oltnabrick
July 6th 2019


37115 Comments


this is pretty cool


been meaning to check them out since they were on MDE: World Peace in 2016

Digging: Herme$ - Luna de Sangre 2

Imperial
July 6th 2019


1778 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Found these guys from when they were on MDE world peace. Loved the self titled. Shutdown was a step in the right direction. Really unsure about this album.

Ebola
July 6th 2019


3606 Comments


Saw these guys live a few years ago on a whim. Wasn't all that impressed.

rodrigo90
July 7th 2019


5418 Comments


Nu-metal is COMING BACK, GUYS

oltnabrick
July 7th 2019


37115 Comments


yeah finally

Imperial
July 7th 2019


1778 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

So after a few listens really the only songs that stick with me are Affluenza, Exxxit and American Landfill. Should have been an EP, very disappointed.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 8th 2019


15409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Pumped up kicks has grown on me the most, and that’s a bloody cover lol

scorpi
July 8th 2019


4 Comments


Seems like your rating and review don't match up. Slaughtered it for the most part but given it a good rating? You barely said anything good about it.

TVC15
July 8th 2019


10065 Comments


Well uh.... I guess that means I’ll be looking forward to a cover of the school shooter song if not a consistent project

Digging: Lingua Ignota - Caligula



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