Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine – Rampton
April 2, 2002
What It Sounds Like: Supergroup brings together members of Napalm Death, Sun O))), Goatsnake, and Electric Wizard for one of the most doom-filled, sludge-through-the-black-tar-muck records that I’ve ever heard.
Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine is not for everyone.
I’m not even sure it’s for me, to be quite honest with you.
This music is harsh. It’s a minimalist droning record for those who think the guys in Earth (from which this band takes it’s name, from a track off of Earth 2) have been dining on too many happy treats like Skittles and Combos. Now, if you caught that reference to the “Marilyn Manson Ate My Girlfriend” punks, think of the type of music that would fall at the polar opposite end of that spectrum. Instead of snappy lyrics and happy driving riffs, we have a snail’s pace of chugging slush, half-awake drums, and lost growls echoing throughout a ancient cavern’s halls in abundant darkness that’s sure to be closing in with every passing second.
Rampton is a three track record that clocks in just a couple minutes shy of a complete hour. Say what? Enter the opener of Who Accepts Whatever Is Offered (Feel Bad Hit of the Winter), which is twenty-nine minutes and twenty-seven seconds of dread and despair. The first eight give us some heavy electric drone with a scarce, experimental, ever changing drum line over the top of it, before cascading into just utter slow-paced heaviness. Have you even been in a dungeon where an evil spirit dwells? Yeah, me neither, but you can expect that this is the exact soundtrack for that moment. The lyrics chronicle the destruction of a man during a drug overdose, so even if this is the most un-uplifting thing you’ve ever heard, you can at least take some solace in the fact that these guys, being involved in the genre that they are, have probably seen one too many friends fall behind that black curtain. They’re destined not to make that same mistake themselves.
New Pants And Shirt is a cover of a Killdozer track, and from what I can tell, there were no humans involved in its re-creation. It had to have been made by Goblins, lurking in the sewers, putting on their version of some demented talent show. Have mercy. It clocks in at seven minutes.
Let’s round things out with The Smiler. This wall of noise is atmospheric, like dark angels descending onto the earth from the storm clouds. You see them coming from far off in the distance, eyes blazing and tongues lashing, with hypnotic grins on their faces. Over these seventeen minutes, they glide ever closer, while you are powerless to move, waiting for what is seemingly your inevitable end. Those electronic white-noise warbles at the close can only be what is then left behind after the apocalypse.
Can someone get me a Snickers bar already? Maybe a DVD player and a TV so I can, like, watch There’s Something About Mary and bring some sunshine back into my life right freaking NOW?! Rampton is a beast, and for one sitting, it’s just too much. If someone told me that they’d give me twenty bucks to go home, turn the lights off and sit at home in the dark and listen to this record from start to finish, honestly – I don’t think I’d do it. In turn, I would actually pay cold, hard cash to get myself out of that situation.
When I rate a record six out of ten, my scale that I’ve created tells me that I feel that the record is “average” and “enjoyable”. I don’t think I could ever listen to this record and call it “enjoyable”, but there has to be something said for these guys, as they set out to create an atmosphere like this and accomplished it – that’s no small feat. Go try to make a record like this. I surely couldn’t do it.
Am I throwing this record on twice a year for pleasure? You’ve gotta be crazy. Am I telling you to actually listen to it and try it on for size? I’m not even going to do that. My only suggestion for throwing it on would be if you decided that you never wanted to see trick-or-treaters at your house again.
If you blasted this thing out on Halloween night, I doubt they’d even approach your door.
If you had to listen to two tracks: N/A