Chris: My fifth is Moon Tooth at St. Vitus for their CD release show.
at the Chance
Chris: My fifth is Moon Tooth at St. Vitus for their CD release show.
Fancy metallers Moon Tooth have delivered their debut “Chromaparagon.” Quickly rising up the ranks in their three year tenure, the band has a lot of emotions that are conveyed throughout the record in a full-on aural assault.
Kicking off with their single “Queen Wolf,” Moon Tooth let loose on this rifftastic ripping opener. To get an idea of the chemistry this band has, everything blends from guitarist Nick Lee’s pull-offs to John Carbone’s flowing vocals to the swinging latin beats of drummer Ray Marte (who produced, engineered, mixed and mastered the album) carried by Vin Romanelli’s luscious bass lines that really tie the room together.
In short, “Queen Wolf” is Moon Tooth incarnate.
Next up we have “Offered Blood,” “Igneous” and “Little Witch.” The latter (which Lee sings) may be catchy, fun and bouncy and the middle is wild, but nothing sums up “Offered Blood” better than five simple words.
What the hell is going on?
“Offered Blood” is all over the place, making it one of the best tracks on the album. Carbone’s soothing melodies control the chaos of his bandmates as they jam over a trippy monologue. One of the monologue’s key lines that stick out is Carbone’s caravan calling, “All the silent tingles in the air pulse and the animals know you’re coming.”
“Bats in the Attic” is a thrashy, psychadelic instrumental that sets the tone for the remainder of the album and your imagination. “Bats” creates the aural sensation of said mammals fluttering their leathery wings, foreshadowing Moon Tooth’s sonic descent into madness.
As bizarre as its title suggests, “Forgive Me Snake Ryder” is a mind-blowing cacophony of wonky atonal wankery. A litany of chromoparatastic riffs followed by brief pauses containing random samples of both speech and sophistication create this monsterpiece.
As we journey to the center of the album we’re greeted by some tag team turmoil in “Chroma Vesuvius I” and “Vesuvius II.” “Vesuvius I” is a gritty, chunky blues bit while “Vesuvius II” throws all that out the window, blanketing you in heavy ambiance while Carbone’s voice becomes the light guiding you out of the tunnel. “Vesuvius II” is an elaborate trap that has been slowly built for an aggressive, agitated breakdown.
“Vesuvius II” is the soundtrack of a man going completely insane.
Enter “Belt Squeezer” which is chock full of aggressive, thrashy fun. This also features Lee’s vocals and he makes them count with his 90’s punk/grunge combo that compliment Carbone’s clean, carrying hymns. “Belt Squeezer” features some of Chromaparagon’s best riffs and displays a brief moment of brevity before turmoil. For brevity, Moon Tooth slips in a blues moment around the four-minute mark before “Belt Squeezer’s” epic crescendo.
Wrapping up the album are “Death and the Vibrant Architechture of Rebirth” and “White Stag.” The tracks are solid, somber closers that feel like the end of a warriors long journey. Like Iron Maiden’s 12-minute epic “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner,” the former tells a story while the latter’s droning goodbyes slowly set the record down to a crawl.
Chromaparagon is a solid, complex debut from Moon Tooth. The intricate labor of love is a testament to the age old proverb “hard work pays off.” In a genre full of one-trick ponies, Chromaparagon is a much needed shot in the arm for the metal nation.
Last night was another Toothian trek for the boys and I.
An average Thursday was something one could only dream about. Whomever’s dream it was that came true must’ve been bored beyond belief.
I did may weekly freelance work (to attempt to try to make a buck), took a few matters into my own hands and waited around for some brute to install a washer/dryer combo. One who couldn’t wait, I passed the time by writing, listening to a combination of Cypress Hill, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains (in that very order) and playing Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on my Playstation 2 (rock the classics!) for the drones to come between two and five.
A quarter to seven was not exactly what I was expecting.
They couldn’t do what was needed due to negligence on the guy who ripped off my family faking his way into installing a washer/dryer combo into a basement the week before.
Long story short, I was pissed.
My body yearned for sushi, but upon arrival to said sushi joint I realized not only had they recently changed the name but had adopted the inhabiting chain’s menu – raising prices and getting rid of the items I originally had intended to order.
I settled for pizza.
Half a block and a street away my cohorts Timmy and Kevin were parked at the Coney Island Avenue 7-11, grabbing a six-pack of Hoegarden. I walked over, got picked up and off we were like three 80’s headbangers on their way to a Judas Priest show.
When we finally got to St. Vitus, we found an awesome spot in front and dove into our brews while cranking some metal to get the blood flowing. After the beer ran out we headed into the surprisingly packed bar and grabbed some Lemmy’s (aka giant, overpriced Jack and Coke’s)
Netherlands was a highly energetic mess of doom and ambiance flooded in visuals. I was a bit puzzled at first as the singer/guitarist had a wireless mic as opposed to using the club’s (makes more sense but doesn’t look as cool). Overall they had a good sound that was great to drink to. Unfortunately, a lot of the songs were very similar and at times they relied a little too much on said visuals and became a little one-dimensional. They did their job as far as getting the crowd pumped, but if they hone their craft and break that barrier, they can really be something special.
Afterwards came another round of drinks (changing things up with a Newcastle this time around) and some catching up with the Moon Tooth guys however I could. Their merch booth was covered in shirts, buttons and decorated in “Chromaparagon” (their debut album which came out today) paraphernalia. Eventually, it became “that time” and the mighty Tooth hit the lights.
If you don’t know Moon Tooth, you’ll have to claw your way out of the ditch, crush the rock and crawl out from wherever you came from as they’ve been all over the metal world lately (thanks to hard work, dedication and a crack marketing team). A sound full of classic, modern, aggressive and progressive influences – it’s hard to define what type of genre Moon Tooth actually is. Due to the strange sophistication of sounds, the term “Fancy Metal” immediately comes to mind (which I will sue over copyright!).
As per diem, Moon Tooth was all over the place. Frontman John Carbone could not sit still, whether he was having stationary seizures or bringing all of his energey directly into the face of the crowd (moshing around him or not). To describe the reaction of Moon Tooth’s fans (I’ll dub them “Toothians” or “Moonnites,” which I will also sue over copyright!) would be a sin, because we already have video evidence all over American Hardcore.
The Moonnites and Toothians were rampant, moshing and/or headbanging seemed to be fair game and the explosive attitude of the Tooth complimented their followers. Guitarist Nick Lee was loose and letting all his skills hang out on a Dean while keeping time and keeping up with drummer Ray Marte and Vin Romanelli’s Warwick/Precision attack. Make no bones about it, everyone was excited for “Chromaparagon” (my only complaints: No Reverend Sensei guitar and no backflips).They wrapped up their set with a longer, slower and predominantly instrumental number that according to Carbone they will allegedly “not play much.”
At around 1:30 a.m., after having said my “good-byes” (and some hellos) we had another drink and rode on into the night, where I came home to a pleasant surprise:
A fully installed washer/dryer combo.
We sit down with Progressive Mathsterminds Valence just in time for the holidays. During this episode, we discuss Valence’s style, influences winning the 2014 Independant Music Award for their song “The Reckoning” (which is featured) and a whole lot more.
Check them out at www.Valence.band.
It was no ordinary Friday the 13th in Brooklyn, NY as Lucky 13 Saloon warded off evil with a Jason Voorhees marathon in the front and a party with some sentient beings in the back.
The evening started off like any other, two beers at the office. When it seemed like the time, I hopped on the train and went down to Sackett Street – the current location of the metal bar. It used to be on 13th street in the same Park Slope region, but they moved to a bigger, livelier and more saloon type place next to a gas station earlier this year. The trek wasn’t as easy as it should’ve been, but it was my own damned fault. The call of the wild had me take a wrong turn at Albuquerque (a stop too soon) so I had a good 25-30 minute hike before I got to the bar which was just what I needed to break in my new shoes.
A quick chat with Moon Tooth’s guitarist Nick Lee and a few minutes later I was in and thirsty as ever. It wasn’t too long into my beer before I realized the end of Friday the 13th Part V was on. Unfortunately, New Line Cinema didn’t have the decency to quit there (even though this was billed in the title as “The Final Friday,” it wasn’t) and made sequels galore. Some were slightly better, most were worse – and those were yet to come.
I ordered another beer.
Shortly after Moon Tooth arrived and after a few phone calls and interviews Lee and I were meeting for the first time. I ordered the man a brew and we chatted for a bit before he went in to get ready.
I didn’t get around to seeing the first two bands as shortly after the first one started my phone rang. Kevin, a friend I had originally planned to meet at Lucky’s was down the street at The Sackett with two of his buddies. It would’ve been nice to catch the full show since the first band (either Beast Modulus or In the Presence of Wolves) had a great sound.
Down at The Sackett I was introduced to Kevin’s associates Richard and Henry. Two beers, a shot and an empanada later they proceeded to tell one of the best Mardi Gras stories this side of the Verrazano. I was starting to feel woozy so I grabbed a burger from Bonnie’s Grill and ran back to Lucky’s to catch the rest of the show as time was growing short before the Tooth would hit the stage. Inside I ordered another cold one and caught the last couple of songs from Valence, but not before some blonde gave me a glow stick (why she had an abundance of them I’ll never know).
This most if not all progressive metal band was incredible. Their playing was tight and the sound had Dream Theater elements but was not oversaturated with John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy worship – which is a very good thing. Valence was not a clone of any kind as they had the right balance of influences and originality sprinkled in. Their lead guitarist did not only play keyboards as well, but was using an Agile – one of the cheapest and most underrated guitar brands around. You can get really quality stuff from them without breaking the bank at the custom shop.
As Valence ended I complimented them on their musicanship and gave the lead guitarist a Bonesaw card. We chatted briefly about doing a podcast so there’s a possibility on the horizon.
Dead Empires took the stage and it was interesting to say the least. There were some progressive elements but there was more of an industrial feel to their sound. They were almost like a fusion of early Nine Inch Nails and Ministry with some Prog/Death Metal thrown in. One interesting factor is that the bass player was one of the driving forces of their sound as his rig was massive. Dead Empires also brought with them a big show/rave vibe with their custom lighting. When their set was up, I did some more schmoozing and shameless plugs with them so we’ll see where that goes as well.
Up next were the big guns, Moon Tooth.
While very friendly and down to earth in person, these guys are professionally trained killers on stage. Not only do Moon Tooth have the energy of a young Bad Brains, but they can keep the audience in the palm of their hands from start to finish. Singer John Carbone is a maniac that never stays in the same place twice. The man is possessed when it’s go time and on this particular day, he probably was. Carbone was throwing himself on and off the stage like a rag doll, tying audience members in tape and at one point playing drums while on the shoulders of actual drummer Ray Marte – who didn’t skip a beat all night as bassist Vincent Romanelli laid back and stayed in the pocket like a boss.
Lee on the other hand, is another animal altogether. Like Carbone, he’s a ball of energy. Unlike Carbone, he tends to stay on the stage – but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t use every quadrant of it. Lee seamlessly plays guitar (this night he was using a Reverend Sensei) while jumping off cabinets, kicking whatever inanimate object is the closest and trying to get on top of the club itself.
Moon Tooth is not just another band from Long Island, Moon Tooth is performance art.
The Tooth played what seemed like a good hour filled with catchy tunes from their Freaks EP as well as a bunch of new tracks from their debut album set to be released early next year with a celebratory show at fellow metal bar Saint Vitus in February. Some highlights were Freak’s “Ebb/Flow,” a new song called “Bats in the Attic” and a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression” that hadn’t been seen since Carnivore’s version on 1987’s “Retaliation.”
As the night came to a close we said our goodbyes, I picked up a shirt from Carbone and that was that. At around 3:30 A.M., I crawled into bed after a train ride I’m not sure how I had gone on there was one thought that still lingers.
“That was a fucking show.”
For our 10th episode we have Long Island based experimental metal masters Moon Tooth. In this episode, we talk movies, SXSW and all things Moon Tooth.
Check out Moon Tooth here: http://www.facebook.com/moontoothband
Donate to Thrash Bash BBQ IV: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/206782…ash-bash-bbq-iv