Tag Archives: Progressive

Moon Tooth Wreak Havoc on St. Vitus at CD Release Show

chromaparagon.jpg
The cover for Moon Tooth’s debut album, “Chromaparagon” (via Bandcamp.com).

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)

Unfortunately, we had missed Godmaker (which should not have opened based on the fact that they’ve been touring with Moon Tooth alone) and Meek is Murder. However, Netherlands was taking the stage.

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.”

Allegedly.

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.

Advertisements

Bonesaw Podcast – Episode 24: Valence

0002780607_100

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.

Moon Tooth & Co. Take Over Lucky 13’s on Friday the 13

moon tooth promo

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.”

The Unravelling: Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision Review

After a five year hiatus, battles with Cancer and a revolutionary new sound, Canada’s The Unravelling have returned with their striking sophomore release, “Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision.”

Ten tracks of beautiful, chaotic frustration make up the release, starting with “The Hydra’s Heart.” Gustavo de Beauville’s ambient, droning guitars over spacious synths, dancing drums and the agonized, rage-fueled vocals of Steve Moore fuel the album to life.

Weaving a morbid, raving web, the albums tempo picks up in the Powerman 5000-esque “Lucky Me,” then slows to a crawl in the title track and the gripping dirge “Out of the Depths.” Moore’s lyrics are of a man possessed, dissatisfied with society and the cards he has been given and willing to make a drastic change for better or worse. De Beauville’s scoring of Moore’s dwindling frustrations is timed immaculately, with each transfixed scream generating its own unique crescendo.

The remainder of the album continues with “The Fearless Seed,” the piss-and-vinegar ranting of “Enough is Enough, and ” “No One’s Song.” Also contained are the two singles (“Revolt” and “Master Drone“), and the albums ironic closer, “We Have No Problems.” What’s interesting is not only de Beauville’s sonic decoration of Moore’s chilling vocals, but the fact that both singles are the deeper cuts of the album rather than highlighted at the beginning. Placement is everything and if you read the lyrics, there is a damn good reason.

We very well may have a concept album on our hands.

While the album’s pace is of a slower pace than their previous effort “13 Arcane Hymns,” “Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision” (which can be downloaded here) is a more enraged horse of a different color. The Unravelling have gotten darker and angrier, emerging like a phoenix from the ashes out to solidify their place in musical history. Lyrically the album seems like there is a story element, especially when you think about the placement of the songs and the way they bleed into each other.

How’s that for a hole in your collective vision?

Winter Calling: As Darkness Falls Review

Winter Calling is a progressive metal band from Florida, but you’d never be able to tell with their widely influenced brand of music on their self-released debut, “As Darkness Falls.”

The album (which can be streamed, bought and shared though the bands official website)  is an emotional journey spanning accross 11 songs, including a unique piano-based cover of Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years.” Highlights include the opening track “A World I Can Feel,” the power-groovy “Forever” and the single “The Stand” (for which the video can be viewed below).

“As Darkness Falls” contains complex ballad-esque arrangements backed with ambient keyboards that uniquely provide the foundation for the music. “Forever,” “Make it Rain” and the “Wasted Years” rendition largely reflect on this rarely traveled route.

Although Winter Callings vocals and guitars are a hybrid of Queensryche, early Helloween, and Dream Theater, that’s not to say they aren’t unique. Ian Medhurst (guitars) and  Chris Hodges (vocals) sonically feed off of each others energy throughout their debut – a prime example of what a guitarist and singer pairing should be.

“As Darkness Falls” is a solid debut from an independent band trying to make a name for themselves in Winter Calling. While the slower pace is not for everyone, it is a calm, refreshing offering for the wandering spirit in all of us.

The Unravelling “13 Arcane Hymns” Review

In 2010, Canadian Industrial band “The Unravelling” released an album that shook (and continues to shake) the very core of the metal underground.

That album is “13 Arcane Hymns.”

While drastically different from their newly released single “Revolt,” “Hymns” focuses on Lamb of God/ Tool influenced progressive grooves with locking tribal drumming and a frightful array of haunting, mid-range vocals crossing a link between Fear Factory and Alice In Chains.

The kicker: a mammoth wall of sound created by two Canadians.

Singer Scott Moore and instrumentalist Gustavo de Beauville have unleashed the early stages of a complicated vision with “13 Arcane Hymns” that is currently building into something beautiful.
Standout tracks from “Hymns” include the three openers “Move Forward Until You are Dead,” ”Becoming Chaos” and “Fire Breather.” The chemistry between Moore and Beauville is striking, capturing fear and imagination in the layers of emotions flattened into a myriad of sound.

“Last Rights Protest” is arguably the most gripping song on the album. Moore’s anger is expressed ten-fold with Beauville’s aggressive talents backing him.

“My Resignation” and “Arjuna” help round out the album with soothing intimidation reimagining pain. The progressive tendencies contain a great ebb and flow that build to impressive portraits through an innate wall of sound.

While a difficult struggle with Cancer put a strong hiatus on the band for five years, The Unraveilling have returned with “Revolt,” but their debut album serves as a blueprint for where they can (and will) go. The Unravelling’s initial unraveling still holds a body of water for what the band will eventually become. If you haven’t heard them before, do yourself a favor and give The Unravelling a whirl, starting from square one.