Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine - Rampton review

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Band: Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine
Album: Rampton
Release date: April 2002

01. He Who Accepts All That Is Offered (Feel Bad Hit Of The Winter)
02. New Pants And Shirt [Killdozer cover]
03. The Smiler

It's a metal supergroup, Charlie Brown! And one of the better ones this time.

The shortly lived Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine (aptly named after a song from the Earth debut, if you were wondering) was a powerhouse of doom and drone metal talent that sadly ended far too quickly. Boasting Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson of Sunn O))) on guitar and bass, respectively, Justin Greaves (Iron Monkey, later Electric Wizard) on drums, and topped off with the vocals of Lee Dorrian (Cathedral, Napalm Death), one could rightfully imagine the sound conjured by these four to be pretty colossal.

TOLRTD left only one release by which to judge them: 2002's Rampton, a mammoth journey across 3 massive slabs of drone doom clocking in at just under an hour. Some listeners may be turned off by the almost painful, glacial pace of the music here, especially on the opener "He Who Accepts All That Is Offered," but patience is something that ultimately pays off when listening to Rampton. The music takes a while to come to its proverbial peak, with a good amount of atmospheric buildup from Greaves and Anderson in the rhythm section involved in the process. When things start to pick up and crescendo a little, the music shifts into more of a plodding, slowly crushing doom delivery, brought to a climax by O'Malley's colossal, wall-of-noise guitar style and the gravelly, pained vocals of Lee Dorrian.

So called "supergroup albums" are often best when they distance themselves considerably sound-wise from the previous work of the parties involved. This is indeed the case with Rampton and part of what makes it feel so unique, as it isn't overly similar to any prior material from any of its members. If anything a comparison could be drawn to Sunn O))) most of all, but even this is misleading, as TOLRTD is less drone oriented and more focused on a repetitive, gradually escalating doom approach. The drumming of Justin Greaves, formerly more punk and D Beat oriented with his work in Iron Monkey, crawls to more of a standstill here, as Greaves embraces slower tempos that see him getting a lot more creative with fills and other techniques. Lee Dorrian's murky vocals, meanwhile, are more or less the same, but combined with TOLRTD's more downtempo approach they conjure a far more tortured, almost industrial aesthetic, not too far off in fact from the sound of some of the early Swans albums.

Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine ultimately left little to measure their quality by before their split, but considering what they did leave behind, it's easy to see that the band would have become quite a formidable entity in the doom metal hemisphere had they continued. Featuring some of the best talents the subgenre had to offer up to that point in its history, Rampton somehow feels distinctly retro and forward thinking at the same time, showing influences of what its members had done previously while also harnessing a new energy to step into an entirely different area. It's a bit disappointing to listen to this album knowing nothing came after it, as Rampton raises many interesting possibilities of where TOLRTD may have gone sound wise had they stayed together. But regardless, it still stands as a fairly impressive, one off effort from what very well could have been a doom supergroup for the ages.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Written on 20.06.2020 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 14 users
20.06.2020 - 07:52
Need me more Dorian drone
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
20.06.2020 - 16:06
Written by RaduP on 20.06.2020 at 07:52

Need me more Dorian drone

That would definitely be welcome
Check out Apothecary's Favorite Bands Playlist, brotendo. One track per band.
21.06.2020 - 00:32
The Witchfinder
Account deleted
For realsies.

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