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American Heritage / Foe / Art Of Burning Water - "The Combined Stupidity Of Spiteful Men"
House Of Stairs 2003

This split CD features three bands that are on a real move. All of them with metal roots, yet succeeding to find their unique musical face. Okay! The music! Chicago's American Heritage (or American Heritäge) is four pieced band. They contributed three pieces. First among them is Dead Men Wear Tags. Title sounds somehow slightly familiar with Motörhead's Dead Man Tell No Tells. It is straight brutal attack of melting guitar riffage and manifestation of pure anger and rage. Brutalized vocals are not seeding any flowers here. Disillusioned vocals are schizoid, frenetic, and realize that all is fucked up, screwed up. Filthy and nasty produced sound is fully convincible! Sound is garaged with no polishing and delivers pure underground butchering alive experience. Anti-American Girl Place opens sparkly with thundering drum rollings that nicely backs up main riffing theme. Some motives are catching a slight trace familiar to hard core. You'll be able to detect that bass sounds sometimes familiar to Lemmy's Rickenbecker. Guitars are succeeding to build massive riffing wall that covers larger part of band's sound picture. Changes in rhythms and riff themes are constant, unpredictable and done with great tuning that confirms great technical skills of band members. No time to sleep for listener! Rhythm in Forget is fashioned in massive doom way with slow but pounding ripping slashes. Song captures obscured feel. American Heritage delivers pure devastating untamed melting power. This brutal force is a 100% guarantee that your heads are gonna spin with extreme high frequency!

Foe is complete interstellar overdrive! Well this hyperactive band just released their debut album "Arm Yourself with Clairvoyance" in October this year. Split CD contains only one song from band, but in length well over 10 minutes. Myrmidon with powerful distorted bass sound, is song that will make happy all those who like pure instrumental experiments in music. This song slightly differs from what band offered with their debut. Sound is again hellish alive, guitar is pushed more in front, and it's sound delivers even more raging and damaging experience in comparison with debut's production! Song runs unpredictable, full of constant riff and rhythm changes as we expect from Foe. It might be called "nasty progressive metal" song that freely explores shapes of things. All instruments are forceful, pounding in straight raw linear vein. This last statement is far from being band's predictable frame. Foe's aforementioned straightness and rawness constantly surprises with unpredictable switches that are assembled with nice portion of complexity. There's always something fishy about this song. With such ambitious work, we are hardly awaiting Foe's forthcoming EP entitled "When You Carry a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail".

Art Of Burning Water use vocals mainly to spice up things, you won't find any kind of main vocals in their style. Huge palette of different screams tries to picture closer what we called "reality in focus". Reality we are living. Brutal, pathetic and sometimes lunatic screams are revealing band's cynical face. I must admit that they approached on a very successful way here. All these vocal spices supremely fit inside complexity of their music. Art Of Burning Water are sticking mainly to instru-metal-murdering. Like Foe, they constantly explore by twisting cliché metal frames into non-cliché and this results in fresh sounding unique musical shape of their own. Band has been influenced by acts like Killing Joke, Melvins, Swans, Neurosis, Rush, The Who and also incorporates some Iraqi and Irish folk music. I like again erupting fat bass sound, distorted and sometimes driven in "Mr. Kilmister playing full chords" way. Bass turns melodic where it is need to. This concern especially for sections without guitar riffs (Destroyer Disgraced). Guys are mixing straight forwarded riffing drive (some addition of oriental themes, check this out in Gates of Kazantrutha) with innovative progressive sections. Everything happens unpredictable and spontaneous with band that never looses Moulin rouge within unique musical face they are offering.

All three bands are independent and musically free to do what they whilst. They have complete freedom in songwriting and we can expect to hear a lot from them in future. They don't know a word taboo. "The Combined Stupidity of Spiteful Men" is their awareness of complete social decay we are living in and therefore brings highly provocative musical stand that perfectly gathers straight raw "earthly" devilish powers with highly intellectual and innovative exploring that tastes new musical horizons. In other words, this is untamed wilderness mixed and nicely balanced with addition of genuine complexity. It focuses on a larger mass. It gathers under the same flag not only people who are strict metal "earthdogs" with lust for quick, sharp and effective riffage dope, but also people who are dying to meet a new creative and innovative musical faces that boldly explores new and neglects standard rock clichés. It is fully exiting and inviting new wave of metal (there's a lot more)! And it has just begun...

Author:   Ale¹

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