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.