Tooth and Claw – Dream of Ascension (Good Fight)

Monday, 31st May 2021
Rating: 7.5/10

Old school metallic hardcore (NOT metalcore – there’s a distinct difference) with members from Earth Crisis, Undying, Die Young, and more, Tooth and Claw is an act formed through the COVID pandemic. Meant to take the bludgeoning approach of hardcore and lace it with some sharpened, dark melodies and beef it up with metallic aggression, Dream of Ascension is just the type of album that will get your adrenaline pumping.

With most songs ranging in the 2-3 minute mark, Tooth and Claw leave subtlety at the door and go straight for the jugular. The metallic base to the music gives it a darker feeling than much of hardcore (particularly the current scene), and the sinister melodies that the band employs on a regular basis give it a nice complexity to the otherwise punishing vibes. A few songs, such as “Kiss of Night,” also go a little further with the melodies, utilizing some haunting and almost gothic-like cleans and atmosphere that keeps the music dark but adds some texture to it. Other songs, like “Time’s Desire” and “Torn in Half,” are complete ragers but still fling in some melodies along the way and help to keep the breakneck, thrash-y tempos memorable while still bludgeoning. The mixture of bleak melodies and immediate hardcore riffing is a great combination (see “Your Crucifixion”), and allows the band to really keep at the aggression without it ever approaching the ‘blurry’ territory that extreme music can take when focusing on brutality.

Dream of Ascension manages to pull off being caustic and dark while still providing a melodic edge that strengthens the final product. It’s more rare these days to have hardcore-based acts utilizing a more corrosive tone like this, and it leaves the door open for Tooth and Claw to really make a name for themselves in the future (even without counting the ‘supergroup’-esque members involved).

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