Review: Control – The Teeth and the Wounds

“I want revenge, revenge for our lives, and I will fucking take it.”

Thundering out of Converge guitar virtuoso Kurt Ballou’s famed Salem, MA God City Studio, up-in-coming Oakland, CA grinders Control have exploded from the gate with one of the strongest debut LPs I’ve heard in a long time in The Teeth and the Wounds, standing shoulder to shoulder on the cutting edge of thinking man’s extreme right alongside fellow GC alums Trap Them, Skeletonwitch, Vallenfyre, Nails and Harms Way.

Control sets the pace early, a raging storm of guitar crunch, hammering double bass and crashing cymbals rounded out by vocalist Tristin’s rapid fire rasp. There’s an impressive clarity within the wall of sound the band creates though, made even more impressive by , as they state on their site, the “live instrumentation without punch-ins, click tracks, triggers, etc”. The lack of muddy sameness that sometimes drowns out the craft of similarly minded heavy acts gives the sonic presentation an even more visceral and urgent feel, until the band slows down on doomier tracks like “I, Master”, which on the typical grind record would give both listener and artist a chance to catch their breath, but not on The Teeth and the Wounds, where the plodding tempo only intensifies the trio’s campaign of looming aural dread before rampaging back to the breakneck speed exhibited on standouts “No One & Nothing”, “Cold Teeth” and the crushing opener “Mine”.

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2016 is still in early days for sure, but as many have commented in regard to this release, metal fans may have already been gifted with one of its best records, and an excellent start to the year ahead. Control are currently searching for a permanent bass player and plan to take their show on the road as soon as possible, which is excellent news as I can’t wait to see and hear these punishing perfectionists in person.

The Teeth and the Wounds is available now.

Kevin Hawkey is the co-founder, head writer and editor of Riot-Nerd. He enjoys Fighting Games, Metal, Marvel, Horror and all the weird shit in between. A lifelong Philadelphian just as comfortable in a circle pit at Underground Arts as he is drooling over the new Hot Toys figures at Brave New Worlds, Kevin’s idiosyncratic sensibility gives this site it’s unique dichotomy between “riot” and “nerd”.
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