Toothgrinder pick their favorite sophomore albums

Posted by on November 10, 2017

Today, Toothgrinder’s sophomore album, Phantom Amour, hits stores. And while their second album is a worthy follow up to last year’s Nocturnal Masquerade, we thought it would be fun to see what the band’s favorite other sophomore albums were.


Justin Matthews (vocals)

Nirvana, Nevermind: Because it was one of the most iconic albums of my childhood.
Tool, Aenima: Because it contains all of my favorite tool songs.
Rage Against the Machine, Evil Empire: The album that got me intoRrage and still my all time favorite. 
Green Day, Dookie: This was a record that transitioned me into developing my own taste of music rather than my parents’ at a real young age.
Finch, Say Hello to Sunshine: Not a favorite of all time, but a severely underrated sophomore album that was way ahead of their fan base.
Wills Weller (drums)

Santana, Abraxas: You can’t listen to this album front to back and not wanna get up and dance with everyone in the room. 

Rage Against The Machine, Evil Empire: My next door neighbor growing up gave me this album and my parents didn’t really love the band so much. So naturally it became a favorite in my CD rotation.

Beastie Boys, Pauls Boutique: Being a drummer my whole life, hip-hop was always near and dear to my heart because of all the incredible rhythms used in the genre. With Paul’s Boutique they used samples from some of my favorite songs and bands it just worked so well. They managed to created this new sound with a bunch of recycled sounds. Also the Beastie Boys are a lifelong favorite of mine. Every album is awesome.  

Green Day, Dookie: This album made me want to play fast! 

Band of Horses, Cease to Begin: A perfect driving album. Full of amazing songs that make you happy, sad, and really just question life. 


Johnuel Hasney (guitar)

August Burns Red, Messengers: I learned how to play guitar and understand music by learning albums I adored from front to back. My cousin was my neighbor at one point in time and would come home from school and just rip through this album front to back before we thought we’d be better off to start investing our jam time into writing songs of our own. This one of my first introductions to hearing crazy time signatures and technical riffing that really just hit home.

Children Of Bodom, Hatebreeder:  I remember being introduced to COB because of the infamous “Baker 3” skateboard video where Dustin Dollin had “downfall” as his song for his respected part. Every shredder must have had their phase where they wanted that Randy Rhoads style V and shred the balls out of some neo-classical metal licks.  I surely was and kind of in some way am still one of them! 

Circa Survive, On Letting Go: This record helped me get through some of the rough patches I’ve had in life & really just had and still has such a huge impact on me whenever I listen to it. 
Karnivool, Sound Awake: This is one of the PERFECT progressive rock albums of the 2000’s. When it comes to the recording, songs, themes & ideas they really hit the nail on the head with defining what exactly it’s all about.
Trivium, Ascendancy: There’s no denying how impactful Ascendancy was on the metal world when it came out. This album really catapulted Trivium into what they are today and is one of those albums that put them on the map and staples into peoples minds. 

Jason Goss (guitar)


Metallica, Ride The Lightning: It was a huge part of what I was listening to when I first began playing guitar, along with most of Metallica’s early discography, and it’s something I will still regularly listen to. I felt this record set the stage for what Metallica could become, from the heaviness of “Ride the Lightning” to the epic allure of “Fade to Black.”

System of a Down, Toxicity: Introduced me to the band, one of my favorite bands throughout my teenage years, and it helped transition me into becoming a metalhead at an early age.

Misery Signals, Mirrors: I loved their 1st album, Of Malice and Magnum Heart, so I was anticipating this release, but was worried as they had a new singer, Karl. The album and Karl made me love the band even more. I recall seeing them shortly after the release at The Stone Pony in our hometown of Asbury Park, NJ. They played several tracks from this record and it was amazing; I pitted hard to say the least. Misery Signals was one of my biggest influences when we started Toothgrinder.

Parkway Drive, Horizons: The energy that poured out of this record was undeniable. It was a cross between metal and just straight up anthems of my youth. Horizons is still one of the best records to throw on for long drives on tour and every track is still a marvel to see live.

Between the Buried and Me, The Silent Circus: This album was the first time I truly understood what progressive music was. It taught me that music has no boundaries. It was a very skeptical listen for me at first as it was above and beyond anything I had listened to before in terms of heaviness and obscurity, but it quickly grew into an absolute fascination of mine. It set the stage for my musical taste for the remainder of my teenage years and into my early 20’s.

Matt Arenmsdorf (bass)

Baroness, Blue Record: I’m a huge Baroness fan. I got into them with the Red Album and fell in love with how beautifully toxic John’s vocals were. Blue is my favorite record of theirs still because you get to hear good song craft starting to emerge while keeping the sludge tones alive and well.  

Billy Joel, Piano ManThis record was played in my house growing up and ‘You’re My Home’ was my parents wedding song (when I later found that fact out, it made sense) Not only is most of this record considered greatest hits, but it’s a record that gets better with age. This record will make you want to laugh, cry, drink, and make love. It’s heart-felt, plain and simple.
Alice In Chains, DirtI was born in the 80’s so through my childhood (the 90’s) I heard grunge in its entirety on the radio. It was a genre I didn’t care much for until recent when majority of my personal music focus went into melody.  You do not get a more raw form of vocal melody/harmony in rock music than Layne. This record has been burned into my brain for the best reasons.
Incubus, S.C.I.E.N.C.E.This record has a special place in my heart for an odd reason. When I began to really dig into music through my teen years, it was cool to like a band before they went “pop” (even though I had Morning View and Make Yourself secretly blasting non-stop) and thus I found SCIENCE. It is a sonic masterpiece in that there are so many beautiful individual pieces / textures that somehow get woven together through BB’s vocal needlework. 
Ariana Grande, My EverythingMy “don’t-even-feel-guilty-about-it guilty pleasure.” Big fan, hot as the dickens. This record really pumps out the hits. Tracks that will jack me up and break me down. *fun fact: Sometimes I wear my AG shirt on stage 
Honorable mention: 
The Parlor Mob, DOGS’

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