Tuesday 19 January 2016

Moon Tooth - Chromaparagon (Album Review)

Release date: February 05th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Chromaparagon – Tracklisting

1.Queen Wolf
2.Offered Blood
4.Little Witch
5.Bats in the Attic
6.Forgive Me Snake Ryder
8.Vesuvius I
9.Vesuvius II
10.Belt Squeezer
11.Death and the Vibrant Architecture of Rebirth
12.White Stag

Band Members:

John Carbone – Vocals
Nick Lee – Guitar & Vocals
Ray Marte – Drums & Vocals
Vincent Romanelli – Bass


A lot can be said about Moon Tooth’s debut album Chromaparagon. Progressive, Complex, Challenging, Creative, Exhausting but perhaps the best way to describe it is – Chromaparagon is perhaps one of the most clever and devilishly fun debut albums I’ve heard in a while. It’s not going to be for everyone. If you’re a fan of Mastodon, At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta and perhaps even Dillinger Escape Plan then you will find much to enjoy here.

Moon Tooth deserves credit for trying something different with their music. Stoner, Doom, Sludge, Prog Rock, Math Rock and even Thrash makes an appearance on the album. Opening track – Queen Wolf – matches the ferocious heaviness of Mastodon with the quick witted intelligence of The Mars Volta but the band still create their own original sound. The vocals are one of the most impressive things on the album as lead vocalist shows his impressive vocal range – Prog Rock, Thrash and even a touch of alt-rock style vocals with a deep haunting edge. When the riffs change from Prog Rock to a more bombastic Sludge based groove then the album changes mood and direction.

The album has a schizophrenic approach as the band can’t decide if they want to be Prog Rock, Prog Sludge or a straight out experimental alt rock/metal band. Second track – Offered Blood – feels it could have came off from At The Drive-In classic album – Relationship Of Command. It has the same complex melodies and intriguing story that album has but as I’ve said before Moon Tooth make this their own sound. The song has quite a doomy outlook with different noises and riffs being played against each other.

Third track – Igneous – once again challenges the audience’s perception of what genres do these guys fall under. It’s a stunning track and one that shows off each member musical talents with the vocals almost being drowned out by the frantic riffs. You can start to hear traces of thrash based riffs in the background before the band adds almost sinister psych/blues rock noises.

I’ll be here all day if I try to explain every single song. Let’s just say the rest of the album carries on the experimental progressive nature of the first three songs as the band create heavier and sometimes disturbing moments of Prog Rock/Metal. Check out the fourth song – Little Witch – which is perhaps the most straight forward Hard Rock/Stoner Rock song on the album. It’s a nice contrast to the opening songs but the vocals take a sinister turn at different times and I never expected the Thin Lizzy dual guitar style melodies towards the end.

Other songs to check out are Forgive Me Snake Ryder, Vesuvius I, Vesuvius II and perhaps the standout track on the album – White Stag. White Stag is on for eleven minutes and Moon Tooth unleashes a sonic progressive masterpiece onto the world. It’s a complex and challenging listen as the band create moments of Mastodon style epic prog rock/metal madness with moments of sheer genius especially with the lyrics and vocal delivery.

Maybe the band has included a few too many songs but it doesn’t deter from the fact that Chromaparagon is a beautifully created and perhaps slightly demented album at the same time. As I said before this isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste. You need to invest a lot of time with this album as it’s full of great ideas that a few listens is never enough. If you have the time and patience for a challenging album such as this then you will be rewarded with a trippy as hell progressive experience. An outstanding debut album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Moon Tooth and Curran Reynolds for the promo. Chromaparagon will be available to buy on CD/DD from February 5th 2016.