With their sophomore full-length effort, Phantom Amour, New Jersey progressive metal outfit Toothgrinder continues to push heavy metal into the future with their unusual song structures, torrents of riffs and scaled-the-bowels-of-hell vocal attack. But it's not all metallic fists and fury; the band's music is smartly crafted and sonically provocative. In fact, their music sounds like the result of spending too many Friday nights in July in bottlenecked, bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Garden State Parkway. You've got to let that frustration out somehow and it's as though Toothgrinder took their frustration out on their instruments.
Phantom Amour follows-up the band's 2015 debut Nocturnal Masquerade which set the stage for Toothgrinder and allowed them to join NJ's long and elite lineage of game-changing metal acts. "The endless war with one's own subconscious is something that all of us can relate to," explains singer Justin Matthews about lead track "The Shadow." "The ebb and flow of life can either drive us in a positive direction or drag us straight to hell. ‘The Shadow' expresses this concept from my perspective. The tune is meant to be a bit haunting and mysterious, as well as the perfect way to bridge the gap between the old and new Toothgrinder sound."