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Teeth Of The Sea - Master CD (album) cover

MASTER

Teeth Of The Sea

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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5 stars I have been dying for this one to hit the site. I picked it up on Bandcamp last week and have been listening to it almost nonstop. I even made my first dabble into the world of vinyl. I liked it so much; I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity.

I, probably like most people, had never heard of Teeth of the Sea. I've since checked out their back catalogue. Pretty solid and certainly more conventional psychedelic stuff and I'll be sure to give it the attention it deserves once my devotion to Master has subsided.

So what is Master? Well for starters, I am not sure whether it is a concept album or not. It is largely instrumental and what vocals there are, are often distorted or highly esoteric. Not surprising given the nature of the genre. There are a few passages repeated throughout, but in large part each track is perfectly capable of standing on its own. That said however, the wall the pieces fit together as a whole suggest a much greater thematic relationship. I'd agree that it is one on that basis.

Master is my first brush with seriously industrial music and I've found myself liking in considerably more that I imagined I would. The tone of the album is incredibly dark, the beats are rhythmic and mechanistic and everything is cold. What little brightness there is comes from the trumpet, but that too is distorted, tarnished and faded into the mix. The trumpet itself is actually a mainstay of the band, not a tack on. I was surprised. It seems to me a very curious fixture for an industrial album, but it works. Overall, I would compare the style of Master to that of Welcome to the Machine (my favourite track), by Pink Floyd. Save for the up tempo and adroit delivery. The menace is there though, right down to machine sounds, I'll be it with a little more horsepower.

I liked this album from the heavily distorted vocal German introduction to the final fade out. Teeth of the Sea's previous work is much less electronic than Master. They managed to find an excellent heterogeneous mix here though. Along the way the band manages to cross the vast distances between death metal and club music and somehow make it feel coherent. My favourite track is the closer, Responder, which errs on the electronic side, but it is the most upbeat (relatively speaking) track and it clears the air after the weight of Master very nicely.

I would be totally remiss giving this album anything less than five out of five, so I will do just that. I recommend it highly to psychedelic fans and fans of dark ambient music. Metal fans should also enjoy this, but not in the same way you would Iron Maiden. Really though, this impressively diverse and immaculately assembled album is truly essential in my mind. Highly recommend, and timely, if you are looking to go high concept this Halloween.

Report this review (#1064856)
Posted Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | Review Permalink
Second Life Syndrome
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Sometimes my affinity for terrific album art leads me to some really strange places. Sometimes these strange places are disappointing or downright terrible. Then, however, there are the times when I discover not only a new band, but a whole new style that I really enjoy. Teeth of the Sea are one such band. Their new album "Master" has had me transfixed for a little while now, as they embed stunning, raw elements into their electronic style.

You read that correctly. Teeth of the Sea are labeled as psychedelic rock, but in reality they are more like an electronic post rock or post metal. There certainly is a psychedelic element here as lots of spacey keyboard atmospheres appear. On the other hand, we also get some really high-tuned guitar work that is so emotional and so hypnotizing. It always comes in at the right moment to hit that emotional trigger in your brain. Most of the soundscape here is electronic, however. But, this band also makes excellent use of horns. They are used in a way I've never heard, and I just love it. The horns become a foundational aspect of the music quite often, as they form grooves and melodies with ease.

As I mentioned, Teeth of the Sea have much in common with post rock. This means that many of the song structures are long, slow, arcing affairs that climax near the end with breath-taking results. This plodding pace can certainly be a weakness at times, or so I thought. What I've really discovered here is that Teeth of the Sea knows what they are doing. Everything on this album is perfectly placed, and superbly crafted. This band performs this climactic structural style with a finesse and a grace that I'm not sure I've heard elsewhere. Layers upon layers of sound converge, ebbing and flowing to the rhythm. And that's what "Master" is really all about, isn't it? It's about rhythm, melody, and vibe all set to a soundscape describing the uselessness of humanity. Touching, right?

So, with the sci-fi themes, the amazing cover art, and the sweeping auras of sound; Teeth of the Sea have created a masterpiece that is all their own. Their electronic style is part of a genre that rarely agrees with me, but this band has managed to create an album that appeals to me in every way.

Report this review (#1075612)
Posted Monday, November 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars TEETH OF THE SEA are a British band who play a Psychedelic/ Electronic style of music with a Sci-Fi flavour. Lots of electronics on this one and the trumpet is a nice feature that you wouldn't normally expect with this kind of music. I would even go as far to say that the music here isn't far from Techno at times. This has been a blast to listen to with the many great ideas that they employ and that often catchy in your face beat along with the many spacey atmospheres. This is very innovative and I don't have a lot of music that I can compare with this.

"Leder" is a short intro track with robotic vocals with a dark atmosphere. It's easy to tell that these guys are into Sci- Fi movies and novels. "Reaper" is one of my favourites. A repetitive beat that sounds like a drum machine starts us off as other sounds come and go. A keyboard melody helps out but there's a lot going on here as this song plays out. It settles into a groove after 3 1/2 minutes with synths, a beat and more. The guitar comes in around 5 1/2 minutes and proceeds to light it up. "The Servant" has these spoken works that are done in a psychedelic manner as a beat and trumpet help out. The spoken words come and go. Such a cool sounding piece. "Black Stategy" has two different beats as inventive sounds come and go including voices. A change after 3 minutes when an electronic melody kicks in over top along with spacey synths. Guitar before 4 1/2 minutes as that beat continues as the flavour changes all around it.

"Pleiades Underground/ Inexorable Master" has a spacey intro as the piano is slowly played. It turns heavy before 3 minutes including some doom-like guitar. "Siren Spectre" is such a spacey track and it has this dark vibe as it drifts in and out. Beautiful. Trumpet before around 6 minutes followed by a heavy beat. "Put Me On Your Shoulders So I Can See The Rats" has this electronic humming and another strange sounds as spoken words come in. Piano and clapping late. Crazy stuff. "All Human Is Error" has a repetitive beat as experimental sounds come and go throughout. Love it! "Responder" is another favourite of mine. We get spacey electronics as the trumpet joins in early along with drums. A calm before 4 1/2 minutes then a catchy beat kicks in. I'm reminded of NEU! for some reason.

It's so good to hear something a little different and it's all done so well. These guys aren't short on ideas and I for one really appreciate the innovation.

Report this review (#1469897)
Posted Saturday, September 26, 2015 | Review Permalink

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