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If there’s one thing you need to know about Cultfinder, it’s that the title of the UK bands previous EP, Black Thrashing Terror, was entirely accurate. As vicious and ugly as you’d hope such music to be, it was a very promising start for a fairly young band. Follow-up EP Hell’s Teeth carries on in the same style, bringing the listener just over 20 minutes of dirty, vicious metal, full of venom and violence.
There’s no real attempt at innovation here, and that plays to the band’s favour. Black-thrash is at its best when it is knowingly backwards-looking, and the stench of chaotic 80s thrash and proto-black is all over these songs. There’s points when it feels as if everything is about to slip out of control, the passion and speed of the band barely under control, whilst at others they show mastery of slower, more mid-paced tempos, without the songs falling in to easy categories, divided by their speed. Combined, it makes for an exhilarating listen. The energy is truly infectious, with songs like “The Devil’s Whore” keeping the momentum going by knowing when to slow things down a touch and vary the tempo. There are plenty of moments like this, showing that the songs are hardly one-dimensional affairs, and that the band have plenty of song-writing talent, writing interesting songs without straying from their chosen style. The inclusion of atmospheric track “Unholy Orders” also helps break things up a bit, building tension for the final track and adding further variety.
The production is pretty impressive, too. The guitars possess a wonderfully dirty quality whilst still sounding sharp and cutting, and the bass can actually be heard properly, which is something that can’t be said of a lot of metal bands. The drum production does sound a bit off initially, especially due to the snare sound and how high it all is in the mix, but by the time the second song is playing you’ll be used to it and it makes sense – I did prefer the more guitar-heavy sound of their previous 7″, but there is nothing wrong with the approach taken here. Vocalist Rob Belial also has a great voice, well suited to this type of musical evil, and his lyrics are clear, rather than being quite buried in the mix as they were on Black Thrashing Terror. Whilst they are nothing exceptional, they do their job of adding to the dark, filthy atmosphere of the music.
And really, that’s the best way to describe this EP: dark and filthy. It brings to mind some of the greats of this style at various points during its duration – Abigail, Aura Noir, Nifelheim – whilst also possessing that certain undefinable quality that gives a band their own identity. As such, Hell’s Teeth is highly recommended to anyone who likes their metal fast, loud, and nasty that is true to the genre without being generic.