Welcome back to one of our few traditions here at TeethoftheDivine (if you can call 3 years a tradition) – our annual Fillings and Cavities feature. Here, our staff open wide and revisit 2016 to select releases that we failed to review or mention in our year-end lists. Don’t forget to floss afterwards.
Well, here we are at the start of a fresh new year. And while New Years is usually a time for bright-eyed, wishful optimism and wistful reminiscence, the global political and social climates have the world at unease. Yet despite a near blastbeat-pace of bummers and deaths, 2016 gave us another year of stellar extreme music.
Teethofthedivine soldiered on in 2016 as well, with some new faces on the team (though our distaste for digital promos hasn’t changed a bit). We also experienced a growth spurt on social media, so if you’re not following us yet, why the hell not? ‘Cause while other sites seem content to feed you with celebrity blogs, lists of ‘top 10 albums from 1993 which which had llamas on the cover’ or so-called humor pieces, TOTD just did what we do best: reviews, reviews, and reviews. One review every week day for the whole year. That’s 300+ reviews, folks.
We hope to add more interviews, features, and contests in 2017, and we do it all for you guys – our loyal readers, sharers, likers, and listeners. So keep on keeping it real in 2017, as it might be the last year the earth continues to spin. We’ll do our part to make sure metal stays as relevant in 2017 as it has been in the decades before.
So with much ado, here are the hand-picked releases that the TOTD staff enjoyed in 2016. Given the thousands of releases that assaulted our collective senses last year, hopefully we’ll introduce you to a few new favorites. And as always, stay tuned for our Fillings and Cavities feature, where we’ll shovel even more death, destruction, blackened weirdness, and melodic wonders into your willing ears.
Summer is finally dead. Someone clever might shout ‘Winter is coming! Winter is coming!’ from the top of their still-attached heads, but we here at Teeth know that Game of Thrones references are so last season. Instead, we’re talking about a quantum leap to stranger days back in July. July, when we went to Tuska Open Air Metal Festival in Helsinki and lived to tell about it. So come with us, and longingly remember three days of sun, rain and heavy metal.
If there’s one thing that’s mothertruckin’ hot right now, it’s nostalgia. And what could be more nostalgic than vinyls? Satan probably. Teeth of the Divine teams up with Boris Records and Clawhammer PR for a giveaway that combines both of those things. Yes, you read that right. One randomly picked winner gets his hands on one (1) 12″ and three (3) 7″ releases from the following bands: Vimur, Hellgoat, Cloak and Mangled. And what do you have to do to participate and perhaps—if Lady Luck is willing—get your filthy hands all over these records? Just fill a form right here, right now.
Granada Theater, Lawrence, KS on July 17th, 2016. The dog days of summer can be grueling in the midwest, when the air is so chokingly thick with humidity that there is seemingly no place to hide from it. This is a time period when the earth is so scorched and disgusting that living underground seems like a good idea. You become a sluggish sack of goop, everyone reeks of sweat and body odor, and doing anything outdoors (even breathing) sucks. Appropriately, this is exactly when kings of rot Carcass chose to come to Kansas, on the very first stop of their One Foot in the Grave tour, along with support from Crowbar, Ghoul, and Night Demon.
When the almost 10 year old Sauna Open Air went bankrupt in 2013, the old punk capital of Finland, Tampere was to go without a hard rock/metal festival. A different organizer came in and scooped up the slot, and thus the South Park Festival was born — named after Eteläpuisto, the park it’s held in, and not the television show (though that would be an entertaining event as well!) So, third year in, how did the festival go this time around?
The year was 2004. In Flames had released Soundtrack to Your Escape, arguably putting the final nail in the coffin of melodic death metal. A genre that had eaten itself and become synonymous with the peaking US metalcore, and the genre was now almost a parody of itself. However, there was a hero to emerge. After one EP, The Porter, 2 years earlier, Germany’s Disillusion were about to reinvigorate an entire scene with their full length debut, the aptly named Back to Times of Splendor
It happens every year. In the mad shuffle to painstakingly put our year-end lists together, stuff gets missed. Whether they were sent to us after the fact, slipped through the cracks, or were simply overlooked, a number of killer releases found themselves in year-end limbo. A few of our staff compiled a list of the praise-worthy releases that missed the cut for our year-end 2015 feature, which means you should still consider them to be some of last year’s best.
The fine folks at Clawhammer PR and the Fine Dude at Unspeakable Axe Records are in a giving mood. They have decided that one lucky Teethofthedivine reader is going to get a veritable swag bag of Unspeakable Axe goodies including 3 CDs, 1 Cassette, 1 vinyl record AND a damn T- shirt to boot. How Awesome is that?
2015. Another, goddamn, year over already. And how’d it end? With a major downer with Lemmy going somewhere else. Who do we have left? Ozzy? Rob? Alice? Anyone else? Damn. It wasn’t all that bad of a year though, even if the world seemed to become even crazier than 2014 — if Fox News is to be believed. Plenty of good music got released and what we’ve got here is a top list of metal related stuff that Teeth of the Divine’s staff handpicked themselves. Unlike most of our corporate overlords, we don’t outsource our opinions, enslave some poor bastards and build safety nets around them just in case they decide to call it quits. Actually, that’s not true. We’re not a hive mind, we enslave people to write for us but we sure as hell aren’t spending any of our huge advertising revenue to keep them alive. Ha! Anyway, browse around and find some worthy stuff you might have missed!
While summer 2015 didn’t met all the expectations, there was at least one constant in that equation; Wanaja Festival held in Hämeenlinna, Finland. Again, its inclusion on a heavy metal site is questionable at best and totally schizophrenic at worst, as most of the artists on the bill aren’t necessarily singing about Satan or promoting safe sex with dead people. But as always, there’s at least a band or two that gives us an excuse to attend the festival and live to tell about it on a heavy metal website. So gather around for some egotistically driven babble about the experience from few months back — when the weather was actually still nice.
Dog days of Summer are approaching. That means heat and sweaty gussets. The only remedy and answer for mother nature’s bukkakke of humidity is some brutal (and we mean brutal) death metal. It just so happens that brutal death metal is the specialty of Comatose Music! Thus, we’ll make the upcoming heatwave even more brutally intolerable by partnering up with Comatose and Clawhammer PR to throw four (4) of the label’s recent gut wrenching slabs of metal at you.
We here at Teeth of the Divine are again drowning in releases, good and bad. It’s gotten so bad that we even told the water department to scram because, honestly, who has time for watery showers when you can simply shower in metal and bathe in righteousness? But even then, the sacrifices to our personal hygiene and well being isn’t enough to cover all the goddamn metal we receive daily. Thus we’re looking for a few good headbangers that know how to spell somewhat coherent sentences to share their educated opinions about today’s hottest and ugliest releases.
The fine Canucks up in Canada’s Blast Head Records are in a giving mood as summer is right around the corner… probably because they never see the sun, right? Anyways to celebrate the upcoming warmth, the label is giving away 10 CDs, yep, ten CDs. And here is the great thing: YOU (or whomever wins) gets to HAND PICK the CDs from Blast Head Records’ releases!!! No questions, no judgement, no getting CDs you might not be interested in. Just 5 CDs each to two randomly picked lucky winners.
So here is the first of our new classics feature that is likely to ruffle a few feathers, just as the album’s initial release did back in 2002. The second album from Arizona’s Vehemence, God Was Created. Released in a bit of a dead era for death metal, the album was released on Metal Blade and was one of Metal Blade’s real gambles, being a new, young death metal band amid the label’s roster that included Vader, Amon Amarth, Vomitory, Bolt Thrower and such, and in a time where US death metal was in a bit of a lull. The band had a self-released album, The Thoughts From Which I Hide under their belt, and followed up God Was Created with 2004’s Helping the World to See, but it was the infamous middle album that divided metal fans and critics.
Another year. Another year of great metal, comebacks, surprises, letdowns, and everything in between. For Teethofthedivine, it was a transitional year as staff turnover was balanced by amazing output that resulted in new content virtually every day of the year. Former Internal Bleeding vocalist Frank Rini joined our ranks, and a number of fresh-faced, bright-eyed writers entered the fray, allured by free metal and a chance to have their voices heard. A few of the regular, grizzled denizens remained.
However, it was business as usual getting both old and new staff to get their year-end lists submitted. It took weeks of Liam Neeson-like emails and gravelly-voiced threats (“I have particular set of skills, skills that make me a nightmare for writers like you. Get me your list and I’ll think nothing of it. But if you don’t get your list submitted, I will find you and I will send you an everso slightly peeved Facebook message”) to get the lists all submitted in time.
So without further ado, here are the Staff Picks for 2014. Please feel free to share, comment and add your own list. Here’s to 2015!
The Teeth of the Divine crew wishes you happy holidays (or whatever) and the best of mosh for the year 2015.
The leaves are gone, the snow has fallen, and the Christmas decorations are showing up. That only means one thing: The great American tradition of gluttony awkward family gatherings…namely…Thanksgiving. To celebrate, the fine folks at Clawhammer PR have teamed up with Teethofthedivine and Comatose Music, Kaotoxin Records, Orchestrated Misery Recordings, and Unspeakable Axe Records to present a massive, 10 CD giveaway to celebrate Turkey day.
Wanaja Festival, held in front of a medieval castle in Finland, is not a festival for those who are exclusively looking a weekend’s worth of heavy metal; most of the acts mingle between pop and rock. Most of the acts and names you’ve never heard of since they cater to such a niche audience; the average Finnish music listener. Only a few bands add enough distortion, play enough riffs and grunt properly every now and then to qualify for a surefire spot on this site. But like you’ve probably noticed, we hardly limit ourselves here at Teeth, but if you do, then consider this a review of Turisas’ hometown concert.
When weighing up my options of which album to cover for my first contribution to The New Classics feature I was pleasantly surprised by just how downright overwhelming the task of narrowing down a pivotal album to highlight. Not through any shortage of quality options, but rather the sheer magnitude of landmark and game changing albums that have dropped during a very fruitful post-millennium decade. Personally, when the year 2000 rolled around I was still in my late teens and on an upswing of discovery since breaking my extreme metal cherry a couple of years prior. Of course I had plenty of catching up to do as my appreciation for heavy metal took on an entirely new dimension, with one ear scouring the landmark early wave of extreme metal, and especially death metal’s storied past, while the other was planted in the (then) here and now.
Even if the Finnish summer does its best impression of having a bipolar mental condition by throwing hail out every other day, there’s one thing you can count on in June and that’s Tuska Open Air Metal Festival held at the capital of Finland, Helsinki. The 17th Tuska was fighting an uphill battle with the visitor count being somewhat stagnant as the mainstream heavy metal boom is starting to wind down after Lordi’s Eurovision victory in 2006. World economy hasn’t improved much either and a lot of different things like Zirconium and Tony Little’s latest ab machine are fighting for people’s spending money. So how do Anthrax, Dimmu Borgir and Emperor fare in a tight spot?
For this summer’s festivities, Teeth of the Divine sent a festival reporter to the Finnish farming headlands to visit the Nummirock 2014 Festival. The festival is held around 330 kilometers north of Helsinki, away from any major city or municipal, annually on and around the midsummer day, during which time the country is often on a nation wide hiatus and a booze binge. So come on in, educate yourself and see how bands like Behemoth or W.A.S.P handled their business.
The fine folks at Clawhammer PR and the fine dude at Deepsend Records are here to liven up your summer with a Massive Summer Giveaway. A whopping 5 CDs are up for grabs from some of Deepsend’s brightest an brutalest bands; Old school death metalers Deus Otious, revived symphonic death metal blasters Agiel, reptilian techsters Embryonic Devourment, black death metal newcomers Emblazoned and chunky Danes, Ferocity. Take part now!
Clawhammer PR Spring Giveaway! Trenchrot, Omnivore, Shroud of Despondency, Insain and Cultfinder CDs up for Grabs!
The fine, if balding folks at Clawhammer PR, one of our very favorite PR companies is in a giving mood for spring. And one lucky, randomly picked TeethoftheDIvine.com reader will get some serious musical loot from some of Clawhammer’s finest clients; Old school Thrashers Omnivore, dusty death metal mavens Trenchrot from Unspeakable Axe Records, brutal French tech death metal crew Insain from Kaotoxin Records, USBM act Shroud of Despondency (Independent) and Black/Thrash Brits Cultfinder (Eldritch Lunar Miasma Records).
Here is hopefully the first of a new feature here at Teeth of the Divine, The New Classics. if you have been listening to metal for any amount of time you well know there there are a certain few records hailed as unquestionable classics. Legendary releases that, 20 years after their release, are still revered, still influential and still great listens. Of course, most of those classics were released in the ’80s and ’90s: Reign in Blood, Master of Puppets, Altars of Madness, Left Hand Path and others, to this day, are considered true classics and will be in another 20 years.