Here’s another brilliant release that recently arrived at our headquarters. I admit this was my first time stumbling upon this band, and I was immediately blown away by their creativity and musicianship. The bands capable of creating complex music without sounding pretentious and boring are a sheer rarity nowadays, so I highly advise you to check out this release. Phototroph is a third full-length release by Moon Tooth, a progressive rock/metal band from Long Island, New York. Besides Phototroph, the band released critically acclaimed full-lengths such as Chromaparagon and Crux. Between these albums, Moon Tooth published Freaks EP, a live album called Violent Green Sessions, Audio Tree live session, and Violent Grief: Acoustic Selections.
Phototroph contains eleven exceptionally detailed compositions. Moon Tooth and Pure Noise Records heavily promoted this material with Nymphaeaceae, The Conduit, Carry Me Home, and Alpha Howl, four introductory songs serving as an appropriate example of what you might expect throughout the entire album. However, these are just a few samplings, and Phototroph provides more listening pleasure than you could imagine. I guess many bands are exploring quite the similar sound, but Moon Tooth sounds unique by all means. Their music is profoundly detailed, complex, and energetic like progressive rock bands should sound, but they have many other qualities that many contemporaries lack nowadays. These compositions burst with qualities such as bold, confident, soulful vocal performance, enormously catchy shreds, melodies, harmonies, themes, solos, equally complex basslines, and exceptional drumming performance that will immediately knock your socks off. Some readers might say those are qualities of every progressive rock band, and you wouldn’t be far from the truth. However, there’s more than meets the eye.
Perhaps these guys solely explore the vast universe of progressive rock, but you’ll find some other elements lurking in the mix. You’ll be amazed how Moon Tooth combined some of the finest properties of progressive metal, post-metal, math-rock, stoner rock, grunge, and alternative into their compositions. At some points, you’ll have the impression that you’re listening to the best contemporary progressive rock band exploring the early nineties grunge sound or a math-rock band delving deep into stoner rock aesthetics. These combinations work to the advantage of the entire material, and honestly, I can’t think of any other band that blends genres as well as they do. Also, no one stacked this many virtuosities on the album like Moon Tooth. Every segment of each number carries some sort of progressive shredding. Luckily enough, it doesn’t sound overwhelming, repetitious, or boring. Quite the contrary, I couldn’t imagine these songs without exceptional musicianship by all four band members. Phototroph is one of those mind-blowing progressive rock releases you definitely need to check out. Head to Pure Noise Records for more information about ordering.