Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cultfinder - Hell's Teeth [2014] (EP)

Oh boy.

I think, the most inescapable truth about retrogression is that no matter how much we move forward, through the epochs and the endless cycles of both musical phenomena and bashful, ignorant tinkering, there will always be a certain circle that will not give even the slightest of fucks to break free of the dull chamber and begin the process of contemporary acclimatization. This is not just in music, folks; art in general will always have its antiquarian minorities, these little groups of revolting, sulky old-schoolers who will absolutely refuse to start pacing in the modern way. It's no big surprise. And to think, there are many bands who excel in the school of the olde, despite current standards. Unfortunately, there's an even bigger stockpile of bands who fail to do so. Cultfinder being one of many. While dubbing them as ''old school'' might not be the smartest of criticisms, and certainly no way to exercise chastisement, one can't help but feel that their sound is worn down by age. For a band riffing the practices of Venom, Destroyer 666 and early 80's punk mania, it must surely be hard to create any sort of particularly appealing texture, but that great strain to prolong bygone efforts does not enhance the quality of their music...

For those of you who still haven't gotten anything beyond the puerile art comparison, I'll make this plain: Cultfinder is a black/thrash trio, hailing from the UK, and their newest EP ''Hell's Teeth'', a teetering, vitriolic assault of demented aggression, is no shocker of an experience. Even their previous EP ''Black Thrashing Terror'' was a fresher ballast compared to its meager successor, and I find it almost sad that the trio couldn't produce anything worthy of note in 2 years' time. While mortally menacing, Cultfinder can scantly portray any form of ''terror'' here. The sense of fulfillment is utterly constrained to the percussive but terribly recorded drums, a handful of punk-induced thrash riffs, and the atypically hoarse rasps of the vocalists. The patterns are simple, as you might imagine, but I was grateful that they were executed with celerity and effectiveness. Perhaps, only perhaps, the only tad of surprise I had was how the band at times tried to manage black metal as a purer form rather than constantly mixing it up with the junkier aesthetics of thrash and punk. That however, proves to be waste of time and recording space when the band's attitude is so incompatible with the spiritual requirements of ''pure'' black metal. That's not to say black metal doesn't run on raw fuel, but it simply can't operate with such a parochial approach, even in its most primal form.

After all, there might have been less than a handful of riffs that held my attention ephemerally, and in the end I'm not going to hate this because it sticks to what it is and has no delusions about it, (well, for the most part) but even if it possessed twice - no, thrice - the fervor it has, let's be honest - how many black/thrash bands out there have hit it big? Forget commercial success, I'm talking about actual quality, durability and beauty. There are so few records that are really impeccable in this realm (''Unchain the Wolves'' instantly comes to mind) that Cultfinder had little chance from the start. I know it's rather demeaning, but that's the cold hard truth. This EP is just a raw stack of tremolos, chords, primal energy and wretchedness, no more, no less. As always, purists will be immensely fond of it, at least enough to give it 2 or 3 spins, and the mainstream metal community will immediately neglect it, I imagine. If you're acquainted with black/thrash or the aforementioned bands in any way, than you already know to expect. Don't forget crucify someone whilst listening.

All Conquering Death
Morbid Breed

Rating: 58%

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