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Toothgrinder - I AM

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 29 November 2019, 7:36 AM

Musical labels sometimes are pretty disgusting, and can turn the truth behind a band’s musical work into turmoil. It’s not so easy to point to a band and say what it does in the deeper sense of the words. That’s why names as TOOTHGRINDER are not so easy to label, as “I AM” is here to show. The North American quintet from Asbury Park, New Jersey can be considered a Modern Metal band, after all. Their music sounds deep, emotional and full of such accessible ambiances that can easily catch younger Metal fans, those used with modern sonorities. Their musical work bear influences from Groove Metal, Progressive Metal, New Metal and Metalcore as well, but another label than “Modern Metal” is not necessary. So it’s melodic, aggressive and accessible, and filled with a deeper form of energy.

As the main objective of “I AM” is to be accessible and heavy, the consequence must be a cleaner sound quality, what was granted to the album. But, of course, that Modern Metal used crushing greasy tunes, so to bind together the two elements were not so easy, but it was done in an excellent way. “The Silence of a Sleeping WASP” (a weaving seductive melodic line flows into the listeners’ ears, but keeping an aggressive touch as well, with very good contrasts between clean and harsh voices), the accessible double “Ohmymy” and “My Favorite Hurt”, the deeper and melodic ballad “No Surrender in the House of Leaves” (a modern song, so be prepared for some harsh parts as well), the brutal insight used on “The New Punk Rock” and “Too soft for the scene, TOO MEAN FOR THE GREEN”, and the contrasts between deeper emotions with abrasive aggressiveness shown on “I AM” are the ones that shows the great shape the band is.

Of course, TOOTHGRINDER isn’t doing something that wasn’t done before, but “I AM” is an album that Modern Metal addicted fans must hear at any cost.

Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Silence of a Sleeping WASP
2. Ohmymy
3. My Favorite Hurt
4. No Tribe
5. No surrender in the House of Leaves
6. ShiVer
7. The New Punk Rock
8. Too soft for the scene, TOO MEAN FOR THE GREEN
9. Can Ü Live Today?
10. The Fire of June
11. I AM
Justin Matthews - Vocals
Jason Goss - Rhythm Guitar
Johnuel Hasney - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Matt Arensdorf - Bass, Backing Vocals
Wills Weller - Drums
Record Label: Spinefarm Records


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