TOOTHGRINDER NOCTURNAL MASQUERADE HIGH HOPES SIGHTS & SOUNDS
ULTRA-TALENTED NEW JERSEY HEAVYISTS SINK THEIR TEETH DEEP INTO TECH METAL
■ TOOTHGRINDER ARE a band who sound like they spend hours poring over the very base elements of heaviness, refining and distilling until it’s surgically sharp. Nocturnal Masquerade is not the ragged, colouring-over-the-lines carpetbombing of looser metal bands; everything here is taut, ninja-accurate, everything designed to detonate just-so for optimum damage. It’s got a lot more gumption to it than a lot of stuff on the more boring, staid, fret-wanking end of the flashy-music scale, but there’s only a couple of moments that’ll make you want to properly lose your shit – although they’re dangerously close to perfecting the formula. Next time around, Toothgrinder could knock your teeth so far down your throat you’ll be sticking a brush up your arse to clean them. DOWNLOAD: The House (That Fear Built). FOR FANS OF: Bury Tomorrow, Sikth. Mediterranean heat of Greece is just as effective a backdrop. Sort of makes you imagine musty old tombs, choking incense and wild-eyed priests decked out in thick cassocks even in the hottest of suns, doesn’t it? Athenian diabolists Rotting Christ’s new one ticks all those boxes, living up to its shadowy title with ease. Opener In Nomine Dei Nostri is a blast of speed, but after that, they settle into something more mysterious. The doom of Ze Nigmar burns slowly, while Apage Satana features suitably ritualistic chanting, before For A Voice Like Thunder powers along in glorious fashion, an appropriately thunderous metal hymn that cuts through the darkness perfectly. Proof that, even after 29 years at Hell’s coalface, Rotting Christ can still cook up a potent, magical brew. DOWNLOAD: For A Voice Like Thunder, In Nomine Dei Nostri. FOR FANS OF: Watain, Behemoth.
READING MELODIC HARDCORE CREW MIX BIG BRAINS WITH LOTS OF BRAWN
■ WHEN AN album starts with a quotation from astronomer Carl Sagan about the significance of Earth in the vast cosmos, you know you’re dealing with a band who are concerned with a bit more than merely ‘opening shit up’.that’s not to say that Sights & Sounds lacks the visceral gut-punch required to kick-start your average festival pit.there’s a lot of latent power lurking within these songs, with harsh vocals, pounding rhythms and the odd crunching breakdown, but they’re all balanced by the band’s subtler side. It’s not so much a quietloud dynamic as a loud-slightly-less-loud one, but the towering waves of melodic guitar and inventive songwriting flourishes make this a multidimensional trip. Proof that musical brains can be just as powerful as musical muscles. DOWNLOAD: Vanguard, Manipulator. FOR FANS OF: Misery Signals,your Demise.