While such is usually true, another cover art rolls around that fittingly matches the music it holds. This album art is honestly spectacular as it simultaneously represents the group’s sound, can make a passerby do a double-take, is utterly horrifying, and most important of all, carries the ability to remain iconic within the metal sphere for years to come. And I haven’t even gotten to the music yet…
Hyperdontia’s name carries little importance within the metal world as their tag only has one other release as of yet, that being their 2017 EP titled Abhorrence Veil. However, the group is somewhat of a super-quartet in analyzation of their shared work. Hyperdontia is formed by members from Undergang, Burial Invocation, and Taphos (albeit only live). These three are all superb modern death metal bands that are active and have released some of 2018’s best metal thus far, namely Undergang’s split with Gorephilia and Taphos’ Come Ethereal Somberness. Either way, this homogenous situation highlights one of the issues with modern metal, and modern music in general, as earning a stable and proper income as a musician is becoming increasingly difficult. When you dive into groups and their member compositions, you realize that a lot of people are working tremendously hard under multiple names within the music world to get paid for their passion.
Anyways, now that we’ve got our minds on societal issues, let’s release our frustration with a filthy slab of death metal. Hyperdontia’s Nexus of Teeth came out of the gates on release day into many pairs of eager open arms and I’ll save you the long read, it absolutely does not disappoint.
I think the record’s main selling point revolves around its sickness-inducing atmosphere. Originally pioneered by the beloved Autopsy with their 1989 LP Severed Survival, this old-school form of death metal relies on horrifying its listeners with the discussion and production of the grotesque. The cover art (which is highly comparable to Severed Survival, enough-so that I believe it is a nod to those legends) is utterly-disgusting, the twisted riffs displayed on the release make your stomach turn, and the vocalist sounds like he’s yelling at you from beneath the city sewers. While death metal always mingled with these sickening qualities, most of the associated productions used such as a way to propel lyrical themes revolving around societal issues, the displeasantries of war, and other related issues. However, Hyperdontia simply aims to respectively gross you out (although you can pull whatever you want from the displayed lyrical content).
In brief summation, Nexus of Teeth is highly self-aware, diverse, and a product of knowledge. This record doesn’t overstay its welcome, and nor does it overextend its boundaries. You’re getting eight tracks of comfortably-varied death metal that gets weird at times, but mainly remains within the confines of the genre. This cited diversity is absolutely the highlight of the release, as no two songs sound the same.
There is a collection of guitar riffs pulled from various songs that sound like they were crafted to emulate the album cover, twisting and turning in a contained and repetitive fashion, swirling around your headset. The displayed vocal technique also reminds me a lot of Mortuous’ vocalist who, while displaying a number of different styles, often dipped down to a guttural vocal that sounded drowned beneath a few feet of water. Vocalist David Mikkelson’s approach resembles this sound, although for the length of the release. He manages to break up his coma-inducing speech with a few putrid screams, most notably on “Of Spire and Thorn” and “Euphoric Evisceration”. While I would enjoy a few more attempts to break up the potential monotony of the one-dimensional vocal style, these two moments hit the listener with full force as they inject a brand new sound into the equation.
To continue on the theme of diversity, in addition to the spiralling and chaotic riffs meant to emulate the album art, there are a few more standout moments to be found. “Aura of Flies” breaks down halfway through into a great thrash-like guitar sections that repeats splendidly. Furthermore, “Purging Through Flesh” opens with a crushingly-fast beat, but slows down to a deathly crawl during its second portion which juxtaposes nicely with the track’s beginning. There was just a clear widespread effort to diversify this release in a matter than made sense and catered towards the listener’s enjoyment.
I will say that the fashion in which the album closes could use some work. The final track ends with a fade-out, but such is incredibly brief and the song goes from a sonic assault to silence within a matter of a second. I feel like the eerie fade-out ending would achieve a better effect if the closing choice lasted a little longer; this is a minor gripe, however.
There are just some really good moments on this album, which is a quality that has been lacking within recent releases as of late. A lot of the time music will seem passable, and as a reviewer you can dissect the product and cite the positives, but as a passive listener nothing will grab your attention. Nexus of Teeth does not suffer from this difficulty, as it is chock-full with tasty riffs, steady drum beats, and choreographed auditory delight. This has the potential to be one of the year’s top death metal releases, as it features a delightful replayability aspect which will keep you entertained for hours on end.