Thursday, July 21, 2005

American Head Charge - The Feeding (CD)

I don't know why I've held back on reviewing this CD for so long when it's one of the best overall metal albums I've heard in a long while. I guess it finally dawned on me to help spread the word of this great album since their guitarist, Bryan Ottosan passed away a few months back and it would be a great injustice to his memory if no one heard his work.
AHC first exploded onto the scene in 2001 with the release of their first major label album, The War of Art. The band were notorious trouble makers while touring, including firing blanks from a shotgun on stage during Ozzfest just to garner attention, as well as almost getting kicked off the tour for chucking "heavy objects" into the audience! But what more can you expect from a band who's founding members first met in drug rehab? Heck, even I wrote them off as being redundant, but after listening to the album a few times, it soon became one of my overall favorite albums of that year, as well as of all time! After touring in support of The War of Art, the band took a long break, including getting back into drug rehab to face their demons again.
Now, four years later, the Charge are back with a highly anticipated new album, which metal critics are raving about. While not as bulked up as TWOA was (49min as opposed to 74min!), AHC still show the same wild maniacal behavior that won the fans over. The only reason this album isn't as long as their first major release was becaue they decided to cut back on the instrumental industrial sounds that usually ran in between songs to make them sound longer.
The speed thrash industrial sound that made them what they are are still predominant here, on tracks like the opening "Loyalty", "Pledge Allegiance" and "Coward", as well as the old whisper to a scream type tracks like "Dirty" and "Erratic". Singer Martin Cock has got to be one of the best when it comes to screaming his head off to the point it sounds like he's breathing his last breath. It sounds like he's rambling incoherently at times because he just does it so well with ease. And when he SINGS on tracks like "Walk Away" and "To Be Me", you can really hear a sense of sincerety as in they are truly asking for help or understanding. "To Be Me", the album's closing track and favorite of late guitarist Bryan Ottosan, ends the album on a truely sympathetic note as you can just feel the emotion in Cock's vocals.
Overall, this album stands high, if not at the top of my list, as one of my favorite albums of the year, and I highly recommend checking it out.
Album Rating: ****1/2

- Loyalty
- Dirty
- Walk Away
- To Be Me


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