Here at Jukebox we have a few blind spots…and metal is one of them. We do metal shows and talk about 80s – 90s metal, but miss out on modern metal. This is bad…because I found Backxwash far too late last year. 2022 has been an amazing year in music thus far and metal is no exception; therefore, there will be a lot more reviews on metal in the next few weeks. So, let’s get to Moon Tooth.
Moon Tooth is in the same wheelhouse as Mastodon, which are two bands twisting early 90s / 2000s metal into a modern musical landscape. Think of System of a Down crunch with some harmony and vocal range. There are blistering guitar riffs, smoking percussion and telltale metal crunch. Musically, The Conduit will remind you of the late 90s / 2000s metal revival. However, things take a detour when the vocals kick in.
Lead vocalist John Carbone mixes his metal growl with modern pop sensibilities. He can go Danish death metal on you, but his vocal largely has a warmth and fragility to it that is seldom seen in metal. He has excellent range that may lose its power in slower power tracks, but really acts as a compelling foil against the crunch and snare of the guitar riffs. Even though there is a bit of pop in Carbone’s vocals, he has a rich bounty or raw metal energy as to not turn off any hardcore metal fans.
Metal is in the early steps of another renaissance / golden age. Future reviews on new tracks from Backxwash and Health are the seeds of something that can get really interesting in a couple years. Moon Tooth’s The Conduit is sort of like the Stranger Things of metal…a glimpse into the past full of warm nostalgia that is cut with a modern edge.
Listen to The Conduit