Technical death metal doesn’t quite describe the Southern California band Teeth. The range of sounds, genres, influences, and ephemera is mystifying. If you know this intense metal band, you probably expect their newest record Finite, which is somewhere between and EP and a full-length record, to slash out of the gate. This release, however, begins with ominously beautiful clean guitar triplets with decidedly nuanced and hypnotic rhythms.

Still, it doesn’t take long for the blasts to flow and the tremolo guitars to accent them. Dueling guitar leads dance atop a trudging rhythm section. A short breakdown leaves the listener wanting more before the clean guitar return and a whole bridge emerges, revealing that the introduction was merely foreshadowing. “A Garden of Eyes” has it all and couldn’t begin this record off better.

Down-beat tempos provide space from the chaos in “Dreamless Hieroglyphs,” but it doesn’t let up for the full run-time of the song. Two tracks in, the pacing is just right. “Concubine” keeps up this subdued, head-bobbing tempo. These two short tracks contrast the variety of time signatures that make up the first track’s onslaught.

“The Fog of Futility” swings like a pendulum. There is a beautiful push and pull to this track, with alternating guitar leads that peak through the punishing double bass and rolling low end. This track seems to sway and increase in intensity little-by-little, before both vocalists Erol Ulug and Justin Moore scream together, and the pace picks up. The latter half of “The Fog of Futility” doesn’t let up, it punishes the listener with baton-like repetition and a linear narrative of volume.

Before the listener knows it, “Scornful Nexus” closes the release out. The tremolo guitars really pop here and the delay fades after the part has already changed. The bridge of this track is as hypnotic as the beginning of the album, except now with a little gain. The near-perfect sequence wasn’t planned, though.

“Since I handle all the production duties from beginning to end, the process of writing and recording gets intertwined,” says executive producer, guitarist, and vocalist Erol Ulug. Ulug and guitarist/vocalist Justin Moore write riffs together, demo-ing  on the spot with programmed drums as they write.

Once the rough song structures are delivered to the band’s drummer and bassist, Alejandro Aranda and Peter King,  they begin tracking and sequencing what becomes the release. “The creative process is pretty free, almost improvisational even,” Ulug says. “With themes and form tending to emerge organically more than being planted there from the start.”

Scornful Nexus – YouTube

The results of this creative process are easy to get lost in, but just as you sink deeply into the atmosphere the entrancing dynamics, of the final melodic part of the release it begins to leave you. The bass melody introduced half-way through the bridge is left alone, providing new context. There is no wasted time. Finite never bores. It is short, concise, and eventful. It leaves the listener always wanting more. The songwriting, sequence, and style of this record embodies its title—all things, in the end, are finite.


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