With a debut album that drew floods of acclaim and just as eager attention, Atlanta outfit AMERICAN TERROR set a benchmark which meant its successors would have to pull out the stops to match. Now the band has unveiled their highly anticipated sophomore full-length and like for so many intrigue and expectations colluded in a swift exploration.
Where We Are is a beast of a release with the band’s ferocious blend of metal and punk embracing even greater variety and adventure to its ravenous intent. Its character has a sense of DOPE meets BROKENCYDE meets MARILYN MANSON to it but by the minute and song it offers new facets to the band and aspects to their songwriting for a greedily individual sound and proposal. It is also a confrontation in theme bred of these turbulent times, highlighting and accosting a world in decline and decay; their homeland a central target and swiftly under attack by album opener End Of America.
The song ignites the air and release straight away, vocals and riffs uniting to eye ball its quarry which is soon under the attack of predacious rhythms and sonic voracity. Vocalist/producer Brad Cox bites, snarls and incites with every syllable and variety of his attack, leading the virulent assail with relish before equally firing up an already rapacious Self Control next. Anxiety and defiance fuel its contemplation plus an appetite for classic rock flames in its alt/industrial metal prowl.
Already the diversity to the album’s enterprise and imagination is rife, the following Attitude uncaging punk rock inclinations with irritancy soaked voracity. There is an old school punk ‘n’ roll breath to the track, a gripping JOHNNY THUNDERS-esque belligerence while Take Out A Bully strolls around with alt rock attitude, twisting and turning as it breeds greater punk metal discontent. The track is superb, a web of AMERICAN TERROR imagination and cunning proving thickly addictive; a template of craft as potent within I’m Fucked and it’s eddies of flavours and grooves. From thoughtful calms to psyche twisted uproars, the track greedily hooked the imagination as it revolved in seduction and ear chewing discord.
The RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE scented Just A Victim similarly orchestrated keen attention and participation, its galvanic defiance and punk metal incitement proving inescapable before The System sauntered in to grip matching subservience with its MURDERDOLLS meets THE CLASH prowl and holler. Favourite track honours went its way in quick time though those before and after with every listen provoked regular appraisal, the bitch slapping Lies and Soulless with its pop punk/alt rock contagion firmly among them.
With N.L.M bringing the album to a ferocious yet unapologetically catchy close, again an array of styles and flavours uniting in its quarrel, Where We Are left no second void of ear gripping, spirit rousing incitement. The album has pushed the boundaries and heights of AMERICAN TERROR and their ravenous sound; a new tide of praise and attention destined to go their way.
Where We Are is out now.
Pete RingMaster 15/07/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review