3Teeth have teased songs from this album for over a year, the wait is finally over and I am not disappointed. The LA industrialist have forged an album that not only boasts musical influences from Ministry, NIN and Skinny Puppy. Blending together the key elements that made their debut such a standout with new sounds and skills, they have taken 3Teeth to the next level.
The band is comprised of Alexis Mincolla (vocals), Xavier Swafford (keys), Andrew Means (drums) and Chase Brawner (guitars). 3Teeth have brought Industrial music a new lease of life in recent years; with their own unique amalgamation of aggressive sounds, thought provoking lyrics and compelling visual art. The band themselves are all accomplished artists in their own right and use these skills to create a full sensory experience within their mediums.
After a monumental 2016 tour with the legendary Tool and Primus, 3Teeth have established themselves a strong fan base. Which will continue to grow with this album, especially with the band currently gearing up for an intense year of touring which includes their support of Rammstein on the only East Coast date of their 2017 tour. A UK tour will hopefully follow later this year if FB is to be believed and I hope it is right! 3Teeth live is powerful, intense and overall a mighty experience. See my review from a few years ago here
‘Shutdown-exe.’ is a concept album, as frontman Alexis (Lex) Mincolla explains: “The album centers around the idea of shutting down consensus reality tunnels, which is a way to describe the generally agreed-upon perspectives of what is considered real.” With this in mind the opening track ‘Divine Weapon’ greets you with a holy choir of voices, as if we were starting a service into the reality of 3Teeth. The industrial mix of layering beats, bass and vocals is present from the outset. The use of synths is more prominent on ‘Shutdown.exe.’, as they are used to entwine a multitude of textures in sound.
‘Pit Of Fire’ showcases Lex’s cleaner vocal style; the vocal harmony mix is in keeping with 3Teeth’s ability to experiment. The lyrics “I want to drown you in your faith, I want to crown it with my hate, I want to burn it in my pit of fire”. Are strong, catchy and memorable, which is what has made this album so infectious. Songs like the single ‘Atrophy’ introduce danceable beats, headbanging guitars and powerful grooves. The video emphasises the strong artist visuals 3Teeth have, with a woman in a gimp suit and the riot mid song.
There is a fantastic 80s/90s industrial vibe running through the album with songs like ‘Oblivion Coil’, ‘Voiceless’ and ‘Insubtania’. The strong use of synths and mixture of female vocals (Kanga) that compliment well with Lex’s, is a strong part of the development/experimentation that has gone into the album. ‘Voiceless’ has a retro homage to it and the continuous chant of “Silent voices” almost takes me into goth territory. This vibe is topped with ‘Insubtania’ with its beautiful melody that flows hauntingly through the song and has become my favourite song on the album.
‘Shutdown’ and ‘Degrade’ both have heavy guitar riffs that are in the vain of 90s Ministry, which is so satisfying to hear, the power and ferocity of them is mighty, I love it! Both singles are trenched in lyrics that question our perspective on the world and technology, which they convey through the catchy chorus of ‘Shutdown’. “this is the place in your mind, with a crooked crown, we came to execute its own perfect shutdown”.
The intro to ‘Tower Of Disease’ is full of thunderous beats in the vain of Skinny Puppy, with Lex’s distorted vocals screaming over the continuous wall of noise as he screams “submit, submit, submit to me”. The variation in his vocal style; whether through electronics or his clean singing. Has given the 3Teeth’s sound a new element, to fuse into their chemical reaction. The guitar work is solid through out the album, infusing chunky riffs with melodies.
‘Tabula Umbra’ is the instrument interlude, like ‘Zeit’ or ‘Chasm’ on their debut album. It is stripped back from the get go, giving you a sense of calm before it gets ripped up a gear. The sound bites work so well; with the mechanical noise it’s almost like a machine, as it pounds away . It would work well in an Author Punisher song, with it’s hypnotic monotone drown.
‘SlaveGod’ is the oldest track on the album and sounds more like their debut, it is thick in sound. The vocals are strong and pierce through with cries of “crucify reality” and “fear is your god”. The lyrics through out the album are thought provoking and intelligent, making the album appeal to me in more ways. As B.O.A begins I am taken back to NIN’s ‘Pretty Hate Machine’ with the drum and synth beats, that build into catchy guitar riffs. Finally ending with ‘Away From Me’ which is the latest single, which has a harrowing intro. The dark somber tone of the song and video work well, with lyrics “I’m burning on the inside, freezing on the outside, you can take it all away, but you’ll never take my mind away from me”. As the piano plays us out, I almost feel naked and afraid as I have to go back to reality.
What 3Teeth have created with ‘Shutdown-exe’ is a fresh take on Industrial music, there are comparisons yes. However what good band is not going to get compared to their peers, which in this case is Ministry, NIN and Skinny Puppy. The album is varied, with a progression in their style and masterful techniques. In 2017 Industrial music is in good hands with 3Teeth.