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Teeth of the Hydra - Greenland - 2006 - Tee Pee Records

Track Listing
1. Sawing Through The Ice
2. Our Strange Man
3. The Garden of Rotten Teeth
4. Voices Over Conus
5. Nine Heads
6. Eruptin'
7. Narsaq
8. Purgatorium
Teeth of the Hydra have synchronized the launch of their career quite well with the recent resuscitation of American sludge/doom. Over the past few years, a number of fresh acts such as The Sword, The Abominable Iron Sloth, Lair of the Minotaur, Withered, etc., have emerged to follow the pioneering footsteps of the monolithic Yob. Teeth of the Hydra’s particular take on the genre exudes self-assurance, lumbering along with deliberation and a hint of the Southern swagger that has also done so well by Mastodon and Clutch.

But enough namedropping. While Teeth of the Hydra do share much with all those acts mentioned above, they are certainly not a carbon copy of any, nor a featureless mish-mash of them all. Though still of a prototype quality, ‘Greenland’ presents an often engaging mixture of hypnotic lead melodies and cocky riffs so intrinsic to sludge music.

However, Teeth of the Hydra also exhibit some of the genre’s weaker tendencies that are also apparent in a number of their peers mentioned above. The most problematic of these is the tendency of a song to fall back in on itself, failing to expand upon the initial foundation. Instead, selected motifs are extended to the point of exhaustion, beyond even sludge’s forgiving boundaries. Not all the songs do—some are in fact quite dynamic—but it occurs enough to disrupt ‘Greenland’s momentum from time to time.

The other main concern is the vocals. For the most part, they are protracted and gruff—part yell, part moan (this is their feature most similar to Mastodon), and while in many situations it works perfectly well, the almost narrative quality to them can become overly monotonous. This would not be a detriment were the music itself more predictable and even, but with so much opportunity at hand for a more vibrant, lively delivery, the negative space can be rather glaring at times.

‘Greenland’, in the end, still does its namesake justice. It is a sprawling, uncompromising, and yet still seductive experience with a perspective that reaches beyond the constraints of its literal duration. And, as a precaution, it is also like its namesake in that those unprepared for its stark character might miss the appeal altogether. Snow-blinded, to continue the metaphor of the title. Properly navigated, though, it is like a breath of that ice-cold northern air: sharp and incisive.



--Etiam 01.29.07

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: TEETH OF THE HYDRA
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
GreenlandTeeth of the Hydra
2006
Etiam2/1/2007


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