Album Review :
Gnashing of Teeth - Walking the Appian Way

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Band: Gnashing of Teeth
Title: Walking the Appian Way
Label: Sancrosanct Records
Release Date: July 27, 2010
Review By: Steve
Track Listing:
1. Separate
2. Appian Way
3. Death By Design
4. Awaken From These Dead Days
5. Mask
6. This Is The Day
7. Warhammer
8. Contrition
9. You

Finally, I get to review an album and band that does not make me feel super old! Some of you probably remember Gnashing of Teeth from a long time ago, and are asking yourself, “I didn’t know they were still around?” Well the answer is YES! Ten years after their self-titled album on Rowe Productions and some member changes, this five-piece thrash metal band has released Walking the Appian Way on Sancrosanct Records. For those of you asking, The Appian Way was considered the “Queen” of long roads in the Roman Empire.

Thrash is probably my favorite style of metal. Don’t get me wrong, I love bass drops and breakdowns as much as the next heavy music fan, but it is really refreshing to get some good thrash back in my diet! The Appian Way delivers nine well-written tracks of straight thrash to your ears. The album is definitely guitar heavy and full of chaotic, odd time signatured riffs and pummeling drums. I found myself loving this album from the first listen, and then I started enjoying it even more with each additional spin. Chris McKinney has some good metal pipes that kind of remind me of Bruce from Living Sacrifice in a way. In fact, Gnashing of Teeth reminds me a lot of Living Sacrifice and several other early Solid State Records artists. This is probably one reason I really like this album. While the lyrics do not mention Christ by name, there is no denying where these men put their faith. These are some lyrics from “Separate,” “So many years have passed, what have I done with time / Self centered / decisions have cast my lot to come / Tired of this toilsome world for such a long time now / Left to suffer pain of my misery / Bring me peace / Can your peace heal the wounds caused by my selfish hands / Fervor of conflict the struggle within / Internal change gives life to a hollow shell / Withdraw from my sin – withdraw from my sin”

There are only two knocks I have against Walking the Appian Way. First is the production: overall, the production/mixing is good; however, in some of the tracks, the drums are kind of drowned out and lack some low-end punch. You can tell that there should be some punch there but it is just not coming through in the production/mixing of the album. Second, there are two tracks, “Awaken From These Dead Days” and “You,” that have some of what I call “classic/synth” vocals that kind of remind me of old-school Stryper. I was never a fan of that kind of metal or singing. Other than those two tracks, I love every track on the album.

Overall: This is a fantastic album. Walking the Appian Way could have been released on a big label. If you like thrash metal, than you need to buy this album. Gnashing of Teeth have released a great album that needs to be heard. I am definitely excited to see what the future holds for these guys.

RIYL: Living Sacrifice, The Famine, Becoming the Archetype, if you think the older Solid State roster > current roster