Toothgrinder’s latest release, Phantom Amour, is a lesson in change and musical intricacies. It is unique, but certainly not raucous nor abrasive to the ears. They have veered away slightly but not unpleasantly since 2016’s Nocturnal Masquerade. Combining elements of progressive and power metal and classic metalcore, it is also spiced with some blues and a pinch of jazz. The vocals are smooth, yet they still have that certain bite.
There’s a hint of Mastodon during songs such as “HVY” and “Let it Ride.” Some blues elements sail through “Jubilee,” and heavier bites rip on “Pieta” and “The Shadow” with mixtures of tasteful, grinding vocal work and more massive guitar/bass riffs. Lose yourself in an ethereal feel on the oddly hypnotic song “Snow,” and then it’s back to aggressive meatiness on songs like “Futile.” The lyrics and production are intriguing throughout the entire album.
Each song on Phantom Amour is enjoyably different, yet the parts fit the entire whole for a decidedly independent character. It is definitely a hefty display of forward-thinking creativity.
Phantom Amour is out now on Spinefarm Records. Buy it here!