Toothgrinder: Phantom Amour (2017)

Written by: Kev Rowland

I don’t understand what’s going on with band names at present, as here Toothgrinder are back with their second album, but a death metal act they definitely are not. There are times when they do have some deathcore moves, but for the most part this is quite a “poppy” album. They describe themselves as a progressive metal band, but to these battered ears there isn’t really enough of either genre contained within this to give them that label, as while there are tendencies to both at times, this comes across more as confused as opposed to progressive.

I found myself wishing that they had either embraced the metal and gone more in that direction, or more into the laid-back grooves that they are so good at, but the mixing and moving between the two just didn’t do enough for me. It feels that the band is confused as to what they want to achieve, and they run the risk of being too heavy at times for part of the audience, and too mellow and laid back at others for the metalheads. Drummer Will Weller says, “It’s a breath of fresh air for fans that love the heavy shit and something aggressive for fans of lighter music. It’s the best of both worlds.” I have to disagree.

Rating: 3/10

Track list:
Hvy // The Shadow // Let It Ride // Phantom Amour // Red // Adenium // Jubilee // Paris // Pietà // Snow // Vagabond // Futile // Facing East from a Western Shore


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