28 Nov 2021 - Thorsten
Crustpunk | Narshardaa Records | Release date: 10 Dec 2021
Is this Post-Metal or Blackened Hardcore? Crust or Japanese Screamo? The answer is simple – not “or” but “and”! It’s really hard to categorize Placenta the debut record by Northern German outfit No God Only Teeth, and maybe that’s what makes this record so much fun. Not in the literal sense, because that is not what they are looking for.
The five-piece from Hamburg is in itself already a very good display of the diversity of the city’s punk scene, as all five members come from different parts of that scene and that even becomes audible in their sound which is a furious amalgam of the various components. Each member brings something unique to the table so that in the end you could compare the band to genre classics like Envy, Sons Of A Wanted Man, Morrow or Dirge.
Placenta is a very cohesive record and sometimes one doesn’t even notice that there is a new track running which definitely speaks for the band. One reason for that are also the amazing vocals which are surely coming from a back ground in the Emoviolence or Japanese Screamo scene, for they are high-pitched but never shrill so that no one understands what the singer wants to tell us. The difference to Envy is surely that there are less spoken word passages and less whispers, The lyrics are sung in English and German and deal with topics of loss of self, self-perception but also the recognition of others. Another recurring theme is approaching death and its inevitability. One of the most simple, yet also hauntingly impressive lines is the ending of ”15.37.12”, when the dying person is reflecting that moment when “it” happens: ”Doch wie wird es sein, wenn er mich holen kommt? / Wird es schmerzen, wenn ich meinen Atem für immer verlier?” (translation: “But how will it be, when he comes to get me? Will it hurt, when I lose my breath forever?”) - pure shivers.
Musically, there is no denying the fact that the guys really know what they are doing. Whether it is the classic break in their thunderstorms to let everyone catch a breath, or the swirling, upwards directed movement of the riffs which may create some really fine, crescendos that many Post-Rock bands would kill for. Or the chunky riffs which needs to stomp and rage and lead us to fist-pumping if the songs’ topics were not so emotionally charged and despaired. Here ”15.37.12” is another really good example as it starts with a good, slow built of a distorted (seemingly semi-acoustic) guitar which sounds like barren metal without a well-built corpus but then the drums kick in, the guitar is swirling up and all of a sudden much more powerful. There is no confusion in the songwriting, the thunder has been ignited by the rhythm section and it’s also them who drive the song home with a lot of precision and forté.
Listening to the record one gets the impression of a very tight-knit unit that was brimful of energy when entering the studio and then that energy was released as one gigantic fireball. And indeed, the recording of this really well-constructed record only took ”a wild three day weekend in 2020.”. Amazing.
The amazing thing is to see how the Sludge, Emoviolence, Post-Metal and Hardcore are fused into a really well-crafted record with every single taste still lingering on your tongue but not giving you enough information as to know which cook created it for you. A good start to a hopefully long career!