On their third campaign to open the public's eyes to the ills of modern society, Los Angeles industrial anarchists 3Teeth expand the scope of their assault with the powerful Metawar, a hulking monster that makes shutdown.exe sound tame in comparison. Uncovering all the sins that America has to offer, the band pulls no punches, delivering their typically subversive and unflinching messages with beefed-up sound quality courtesy of producer Sean Beavan. As on previous releases, two of Beavan's former collaborators (Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson) heavily inform 3Teeth's sound, just as much as influences Rob Zombie and Rammstein. These songs are unrelenting, cathartic releases, with frontman Alexis Mincolla's nightmarish lyrics (as apocalyptic and dystopian as ever) bludgeoned home by a band (Chase Brawner, Xavier Swafford, Andrew Means, and Justin Hanson) in peak form. Like a Terminator-meets-The-Matrix film directed by Rob Zombie, this is techno-horror pushed through a meat grinder. Highlights abound as 3Teeth veer from towering epics ("Altaer," "Sell Your Face 2.0") to melodic earworms that creep deep into the brain ("The Fall," "Surrender"). The corrosive "Affluenza" rides a NIN-versus-Prodigy synth attack that chronicles the spread of corporate disease across the globe, which complements "EXXXIT," an ode to American imperialism and consumer culture. "President X" tackles the uncomfortable truth that they're all bad (just packaged differently), as downtuned nu-metal guitars churn and drums pop. They even take indie-synth band Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" and inject it with the appropriate dread to match the song's original, troubling lyrics. Social media, facial recognition technology, privacy, identity politics: it's all here and nothing is safe from Mincolla's critical eye. While this might sound like more of the same, there's just enough variation to the observations to make Metawar feel fresh and full of newfound anxiety. The nightmarish threat is all-too-real and 3Teeth knows it. By peeling away the layers, they reveal that doom is not waiting far in the future but is already at our gates. Therein lies the true horror on Metawar, a wake-up call to the people that demands change before it's too late.
AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung