Eschewing any sort of subgenre classification, Vancouver’s Witch Of The Waste mix hardcore/grindcore delivery and structure with progressive/djent riffing to create one of the most unique-sounding albums I’ve heard in a long time.
There are expectations and/or stereotypes when it comes to certain subgenres of metal. With grindcore, one expects a few slamming guitar riffs repeated over and over with barking vocals, and songs lasting under two minutes. With progressive metal, it’s complex chords and song structures with the tendency for songs to last twice as long as they should. These can be turn-offs for a lot of listeners, myself included. Needless to say, when I received this EP, I was hesitant to even listen to it, much less write up a review.
Made Of Teeth opens with a short instrumental number entitled That Door Cannot Be Opened. It’s a rather dissonant song that almost envokes a black metal vibe that left me completely unprepared for when the next song started. The title should have given it away.
They Haunt Minds is the first true song on the album, and it begins with the pained vocals of Ryan Fitzgerald atop a fast-paced cross-harmonic guitar riff underlined with a double-kick drum beat. The sheer rawness of this song lets you know what you should be expecting for the rest of the album.
The third track, She Burst Into Snakes, manages to dial the intensity up even further. Here the band takes an approach typically attributed to grindcore. The song slows to a more mid-paced tempo toward the end with some black metal flourishes thrown in because… why not?.
The rest of the album follows the formula (or lack thereof) of the grindcore-style delivery atop riffs and rhythms associated with more intricate styles. I hate to risk overusing the word “unique”, but as I’ve never heard anything like this before, I can’t think of a better word.
While I can’t say Made Of Teeth is exactly my cup of mead, I’m going to give Witch Of The Waste a lot of credit for taking seemingly disparate styles (and ones I don’t typically care for) and merging them together into one of the most interesting-sounding albums I’ve ever listenened to. This isn’t an album I can see myself listening to with any regular frequency, but it was definitely an experience.
Available at Bandcamp.
Special thanks to Asher Media Relations for the complementary review copy.