Category: Industrial / Noise / Metal
Album: Of Human Toxicity
Blurb: Like a torturous promenade through an exhibition of horrific images, Acidrodent’s latest album is a boisterous and, at times, unpleasant helping of machine metal.
Having already demonstrated his industrial mettle in mindFluxFuneral, Tony Smith was not content to limit his skills to a single project – hence, we have Acidrodent, another outlet for his caustic and virulent brand of electronic noise and industrialized metal. While still steeped in heavy doses of distortion and acerbic attitude, Acidrodent is a much more straightforward affair as the songs on the band’s latest release, Of Human Toxicity, are very recognizably in the heavy metal vein, given a distinctly cybernetic quality thinks to the heavily processed and electronically treated vocals of Roland Zwaga, and doused with a firm and organic sense of rhythm and groove thanks in part to new bassist Karen Righeimer.
Kicking things off is the distorted glitch-laden rocker “Bombs Away,” with Zwaga’s robotic vocal treatments – at once malignant and melodic with a bit of ominous backing from Righeimer – bearing a likeness to OhGr. From here, the album sinks its fangs right into one’s jugular, the grittily downbeat marching of tracks like “Eater,” “A Troubled Romance,” and “Bones Under Pressure” playing well beneath throbbing atonal bass and guitar riffs, the synths throughout drawing the fine line between menacing atmosphere and seething noise. In a similar fashion, “In Praise of School Shootings” creates an appropriately disturbed effect with the synths mirroring the guitars for that familiarly dark metal feel, the verses driven by Zwanga’s eerie vocal effects and Righeimer’s sublime thrums of bass guitar, while the syncopated rhythms of the harshly mechanical title track, the stuttering and warbling sequences amid more growling vocoder effects and stabs of dissonant riffs giving the song an especially unsettling ambience as a malfunctioning machine lashing out in throes of its impending demise. “Close Your Eyes” is a surprisingly catchy track with its hooky progression shifting key with each iteration along with the crystalline vocoders amid slithering synths and sustained guitars in the chorus. “Pyre” concludes the album with the guitars finally taking a backseat to allow for a scathing procession of swelling pads and sparse percussion, Zwanga’s nightmarish growl echoing and reverberating to insinuate itself into the listener’s psyche in a manner that strangely reminds this writer of the samples of Timothy Leary utilized in Skinny Puppy’s “Left Handshake.”
Of Human Toxicity is a boisterous and, at times, unpleasant affair that will surely appease many with a taste for the more blackened leanings of Psyclon Nine or BILE – machine metal in every sense of the term from its consistent and insistent rhythms and layers of electronic passages creating the ambience akin to walking through a decrepit and barely function factory, the guitars and bass providing that delicate human element that keeps the listener grounded in a reality too grim to face. While many of the songs carry a similarly languid pace, with only the occasional jumps in tempo and clever interspersion of more vibrant breaks to break the monotony, Acidrodent makes no bones about its focus on the darker and uglier aspects of human society and behavior, with Of Human Toxicity playing out like a torturous promenade through an exhibition of horrific images.