LA’s Teeth unleash death metal brutality while twisting your brains with smashing EP ‘Finite’

Photo by Brandon Mavaddat

My mouth is an endless source of misery for me, the one horrible trait I have inherited from my ancestors that haunts me and my banking account to the ends of the earth. No matter how much care I do, no matter the amount of cleaning, no matter the money dropped at the dentist, I never seem to get any sense of relief.

That’s no fault of the mangling death metal squadron Teeth, but damnit if I don’t cringe every time I see their name because of that. Hey, it’s not their fault my anxiety causes me to ruthlessly grind my soft teeth at night, but records such as their new EP “Finite” might not be helping. And that’s too bad because there is brutal and precise death metal that drips in doomy pools to absolutely ruin any mental well-being you have left. This is the band’s first release since 2019 full-length display “The Curse of Entropy,” and these five songs find the band—guitarists/vocalists Erol Ulug and Justin Moore, bassist Peter King, drummer Alejandro Aranda—in ridiculous form, twisting your brains and injuring your muscles with their clobbering savagery that, while it might leave you scarred, is a pretty good time.

“A Garden of Eyes” opens the record, and it’s the longest song, running 7:22. The track enters from a haze before it bursts, and the growls take hold and drub you, pulling you along the way. A beastly fury unloads as zaniness goes off, the waters get muddied, and the track trudges and enters an eerie sequence. Melodies are traced along the air before the next explosion, leading to a mangling assault that drowns you. “Dreamless Hieroglyphs” is ugly and driving with nasty growls slaughtering and the playing getting heavier. The band melts into rage as the earth is ground into splinters, and then we’re into “Concubine” that cuts right through you. Gargantuan mashing bruises your face as unglued thrashing sends sparks and shards of bone flying as the earth is shaken to its core. “The Fog of Futility” clobbers immediately with the growls knifing through your chest, bludgeoning as the menace hulks closer. All hell is unleashed as the band enters a monstrous phase that fries your mental circuit board.  “Scornful Nexus” finishes things off by unloading on you, peeling back your flesh and pouring copious amounts of salt inside. The playing is destructive and dizzying before cold waters rush, and a thick bassline snakes through. The band emerges from the mist with a final steely push that stomps away and leaves only refuse behind.

Even a smaller release from Teeth is mightier than most as these 22 minutes are formidable and rattling. “Finite” is direct and menacing, a five-track collection that wastes no time getting you opened up and bloodied, making sure you have no time to recover. That’s what makes Teeth such an intimidating, impressive force in that they can take half the time to leave you a crumbled mess.

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