The Red Chord - _Fed Through the Teeth Machine_
(Metal Blade Records, 2009)
by: Jackie Smit (9 out of 10)
When it comes to heavy metal, four years can be as good as a lifetime. Take The Red Chord for example; in 2005, the Massachusetts quartet released _Clients_ to a hailstorm of fanfare, pointed in large part toward a vitriolic streak borne of death metal's virtuoso violence and hardcore's testosterone-addled beatdowns that left most of their so-called peers in the shade. Just a few years later -- and one virtually on par sequel later -- and The Red Chord return to a musical landscape where everyone and their neighbour's pet Chihuahua appear to be plying an equally visceral trade -- deathcore, as the kids call it.

Still, that's not about to slow them down. The opposite is true in fact, as "Demoralizer" roars to life with enough horsepower to make even the hearing impaired take notice. Melody clearly remains a large part of The Red Chord's artistic make-up, but in contrast to 2007's _Prey for Eyes_, it acts as conduit for the album's almost suffocating atmosphere, rather than as one of the main attractions. Indeed the lead that swirls out of the disc's opening cut owes as much to the tuneful tradition of Marty Friedman and Dave Mustaine as it does to the alterna-core of recent Poison the Well efforts.

Guy Kozowyk's biting lyrical wit is matched only by the disgust he conveys every time he belts out another line. At times reaching such an adrenalized apex that actual songs are left jostling for position, the band are at their most effective when they're able to anchor it all with the sort of stunning crescendo that rounds out "Sleepless Nights in the Compound". On their best day, just about every one of The Red Chord's peers aren't fit to lace their boots.


(article published 4/1/2010)

7/27/2007 J Smit 9 The Red Chord - Prey for Eyes
5/31/2005 J Smit 9.5 The Red Chord - Clients
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