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Pulling Teeth - Funerary

Crack Pie   (1924 reviews)

Posted: 04/26/2011 | Comments: 15 | Rate:

I remember when I first heard people talking about Pulling Teeth in the Summer of 2005. All I knew was members of Slumlords, The Spark and a few other local Baltimore bands had gotten together to play a different sound. While the band has never been one to break musical barriers they still managed to very easily differentiate themselves from the bands they played in and most others in the hardcore scene. Fast forward six years, three albums and numerous other releases and Pulling Teeth is ready to launch their largest collection yet titled "Funerary".

For those looking for Pulling Teeth to resort to the ferocious pace of their earlier albums then look no further. After a brief subdued instrumental opener the band seamlessly rips into the Slayer-esque intro of "From Birth". These guys already sound more metal than ever after the first few minutes and the guitar playing will be grabbing the listener by the balls. The track then divebombs into a huge breakdown that features guest vocals by Justice "Street Jesus" Tripp of Trapped Under Ice. This marks the first of a startling amount of guest vocal appearances on the record.

"Extinction" flies past at a high speed keeping the album moving like a motherfucker. Fortunately, the speed of the first two songs does not deter from the heaviness of each track or the rest of the record. "Brain Drain" follows and pounds along with another guest vocal appearance in Jeff Beckman of Haymaker. Much like Justice's vocals, Beckman contrasts well with Mike Rileys higher end screams. "The New Dark Ages" is the first track that I'm not very interested in. The foot comes off the pedal a bit for this one and it loses me in its sing-song middle. The background vocals start to become unintentionally funny (AAAAAGGGGGGE!!!!!!!!!) and Alex of Skin Like Iron's guest vocals don't do anything for me.

"Grudgeholder" and "Plastic Tombs" finish off the first half of the record in an unmatched fury. Whether we are calling this metal or hardcore now the guitar work on this album really does standout. It wasn't until right now that I have listened to this full blast with headphones on and I'm sure I'm annoying my girlfriend down stairs with my foot tapping/stomping.

Then something happens. The record comes to an abrupt halt for the title track that clocks in at just over ten minutes long. Here comes the sound from "Paranoid Delusions", but this is slower, creepier, and somehow more beautiful at moments. This track features Mike Apokalypse, Dwid and Nick Fiction, but it is hard to tell what exactly they are doing. The whole track features a chaotic mix of sinister vocals that add a layer of gloom to the already sulking song. There is even a cello or some shit thrown in mid-track.

"At Peace" slightly picks up the pace on the next track, but we are still moving slow. Just as the first half of the record moved fast but still retained its heaviness, the slow brooding speed of side B still sounds massive. The guest vocals on this track were a seemingly odd choice in Kyle Durfey of Pianos Become The Teeth. Yet this is possibly the catchiest song in the fifty minutes of the record. "Whispers" does more of the same and throws in an surprising new bit with cleanly sung gang vocals. Yeah it sounds like a stupid fucking idea, too bad it works shockingly well. Personally I enjoy all the new vocal tricks and guest appearances due to the amount of variety they add to the good, but unchanging sound of Mike Riley.

"Waiting" features probably my favorite moment of the record with more of the clean sung gang vocals backed by a plodding guitars and an almost tribal rhythm section. I also think I hear more guest vocals from Rob Sullivan of Ruiner, but I have nothing to confirm that. The closing track "Aug 29" has a somber tone and is doused in spoken word that interludes violent full band bursts of viciousness. I've said plenty about the guitar work on this record, but the rest of the band deserves a fuck ton of cre

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