Toothgrinder: Nocturnal Masquerade

Ferocious hardcore scientists distil the kitchen sink approach

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Taking an inventive hardcore platform and swelling it beyond recognition with a plethora of metallic influences and fiendish sense of adventure, Toothgrinder’s debut is impossible to pigeonhole and exactly the kind of fresh, feral sound that the modern scene needs.

The House (That Fear Built)’s opening salvo of frantic metalcore and rabid vocals, the dissonant moods of Lace & Anchor that leads into simple choruses, black metal riffing and considered melodic leads, and the latter-day Dillinger-meets-nu metal of _Dance Of Damsels _are all bristling with invention and confident execution.

An exemplary rhythm section assault the senses, even putting the more conventional Coueur d’Alene and brooding melodic crescendo of Diamonds For Gold on edge. Closer Waltz Of Madmen’s murky passages tussle with a huge anthem trying to break through the mire.

Only the repeated choral hooks of Schizophrenic Jubilee offer a slight detour, as the band weave through the labyrinth of potential messy pitfalls and unexpected turns to a stunning result.

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.