Review: Them Teeth – Sun of Serpent, Moone of Cipher (Works ov Cauldron, Aug 30)

Even though witches never seem to be far from mind, Sun of Serpent, Moone of Cipher, it seems as though Them Teeth’s long awaited followup to 2016’s Auditory Witchcraft is less about rituals or black magic and more concerned with the mysterious energies of the forest itself. The reclusive duo hailing from Sweden have a palpably deep appreciation for nature and the formidable forces it contains that are so far beyond human reach, and their music reflects that. Rich, throaty, buzzing acoustic guitar arpeggios form a rhythmic backbone along with sparse tribal percussion, otherworldly vocals and string augmentations drift above, and behind it all lurk snakelike tendrils of rumbling noise, sometimes unseating the melodic elements, other times melding with them. While the reliable constant throughout the album is the unsettling nocturnality, Sun of Serpent, Moone of Cipher explores the multitude of areas their singular style opens up, from dark but almost catchy folk on “Hægtes, Burn the Trees” to harrowing inhuman chaos on “The Serpent Did Verily Speake” to both in “Cræft, Suspiria,” but everything flows so naturally, and you never feel like you leave the shadow-soaked forest that swallowed you as soon as “Dæl, She Plucks Downe Moone and Starres From Skie” rises from the earth. Among (many) other things, Sun of Serpent, Moone of Cipher is another reminder that Them Teeth is one of my absolute favorite bands right now.