TOOTHGRINDER
Nocturnal Masquerade


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trevor James USER (24 Reviews)
February 14th, 2016 | 46 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An immensely satisfying ball of energy that's sure to please fans of hardcore and progressive metal alike.

Imagine Slipknot. Imagine The Dillinger Escape Plan. Imagine those two bands shoved in a blender. Imagine the blender is subsequently engulfed in flames, smashed with a mallet, then once again set ablaze just for good measure.

The result of that lovely concoction is a band known as Toothgrinder.

Nocturnal Masquerade, the New Jersey quintet's first full-length release, wastes no time making its intentions known. Opener "The House (That Fear Built)" begins with a short, vaguely Middle-Eastern riff before exploding mid-measure into a relentless hardcore assault. Immediately, one may note that the song in question, along with just about every other track on the album, is presented in the traditional verse-bridge-chorus format. Although the predictable song structures do begin to feel somewhat repetitive over the record's 12 tracks, the choruses are fantastic almost across the board, making this an easily forgivable offense.

The Dillinger influence begins to rear its head on track #2, "Lace & Anchor." Boasting a fantastic groove, quite possibly the best chorus on the album, and some superbly-executed progressive, melodic guitar segments, it's a perfect example of the music Toothgrinder are capable of writing. It's an absolutely punishing track, but one that doesn't sacrifice substance in order to show off its hardcore chops.

Though undeniably impressive, Nocturnal Masquerade does fall short of perfection. "I Lie In Rain," one of the album's slower numbers, brings little to the table other than adding a bit of variety. It's not a terrible song by any stretch, but fails to live up to the heights that Toothgrinder can clearly achieve. Thankfully, "Blue," the following track, immediately assaults the listener with the album's best riff and gets things back on track without a hitch. It's largely smooth sailing from there, although the title track, another slower number, is a clear drop in quality as well. However, it's quite short and serves as little more than an interlude, and thus doesn't detract considerably from the experience as a whole.

As far as the heavier numbers are concerned, every example is excellent. If I had to pick out one dud, however, it would be "The Hour Angle," which sounds a bit too much like a Slipknot B-side. Again, though, it's by no means a poor song, and only appears lackluster due to the pristine quality of the album's other material. "Dance of Damsels" is easily the most adventurous track on the album, boasting a chorus that implements a quirky, slow rhythm with minimal instrumental accompaniment. It comes together surprisingly well, though, resulting in one of the record's finer moments.

All things considered, Nocturnal Masquerade is everything that could be expected from a debut album, plus a hell of a lot more. Somewhat weak mid-tempo numbers aside, it's an immensely satisfying ball of energy that's sure to please fans of hardcore and progressive metal alike.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Ebola
February 14th 2016


3348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wrote this for my blog, but decided I might as well post it here because this badly needed a review.

Constructive criticism is welcome as always!

jayz0ned
February 14th 2016


168 Comments


You've convinced me to listen to this album. pos'd

Ebola
February 14th 2016


3348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

judging by your ratings, don't see why you wouldn't like this

LotusFlower
February 14th 2016


12001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review. Glad to see this got a review, been loving it since the first single was shared on here.

JeetJeet
February 14th 2016


5600 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've had my eyes on this band for a while and they have yet to disappoint me. Incredible album. The vocals on this are insane.

Digging: Vince Staples - FM!

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2016


14075 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I thought the ep was ass but ill check this anyway

Digging: Skycamefalling - 10.21

LotusFlower
February 14th 2016


12001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Far better than the EP

Ebola
February 14th 2016


3348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the positive feedback, friends!

And yeah, this is far more focused and easily enjoyable than the EP, which is kind of a mess as far as continuity is concerned.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2016


16047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the EP versions of the songs here are much better than than on this which made me really sad but this album is still sweet.

JeetJeet
February 14th 2016


5600 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Ep was great IMO. Wish they remade Reality Juggernaut for this album. My favorite off this is Lace and Anchor, but I'm sure that'll change within the next few days.

Ebola
February 14th 2016


3348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It was good, yeah, but it was disjointed and lacked focus imo

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2016


16047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a lot of groups use EPs as teasers or just to show some songs they have finished so it shouldn't be surprising to find those things.

Sniff
February 14th 2016


5005 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is 10% really good, 60% really meh and 30% really bad.

Ebola
February 14th 2016


3348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

disagree hard

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2016


11589 Comments


I was wondering when someone would review this, good write-up man. I'll check this out for sure.

Digging: Dekagram - May Flights Of Devils Guide

ZippaThaRippa
February 14th 2016


10459 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

If you're going to name yourself after an Animosity song, at least be good

Ebola
February 14th 2016


3348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lmfao

TristarRules2001
February 15th 2016


19 Comments


Great review. I'll look into this band

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2016


1331 Comments


The early SlipKnot-meets-DEP comparison is bang on, and the production on this thing makes it an ultra satisfying listen. LIKE.

jtswope
February 15th 2016


5788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album's pretty cool agreed.



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