There are many things that can bring two reclusive humans together who are usually a fair distance apart; be it family ties, sex, a wrong turn off the highway into an area with no cell phone reception to call a tow truck when your engine dies or in the case of American, a partner to create the most blackened, filthy noise out of every instrument they lay their palms on, with.
Following two demos in 2013 and a couple of singles, American’s first full-length “Coping With Loss” was released on Sentient Ruin Laboratories back in August of 2014, limited to 100 cassettes and digital download. Recorded by Anthony Vi, this Virginian two-piece, comprised of Jimmy (vocals, drums) and Mike (vocals, guitar and bass) have created a ruthless blend of black metal, crust and noise/drone to inundate every sensory receptor with a new realization of pain, hatred and suffering.
Seeping out from silence, ‘Ritual Suicide’ creeps in to explode with a blood curdling scream, distorting into bursts of distant drums, being pulverized into oblivion and echoing guitar riffs, the likes of Ash Borer.
When it came to ‘Lamb to Slaughter,’ a theme that feels a little overused in metal, my initial expectations and apprehensions were immediately absolved when I heard that cascade of metal emission; sorrowful sirens weeping on guitar strings. By far my favourite track on the album and reason enough to keep a watchful eye on American.
Filling the void with a haunting drone and crackles like static plasma on a glassy surface, an atmosphere is created that doesn’t quite blend itself into the next piece, from ‘Pulse Beating Slowly’ to ‘Solace In The Silence;’ another notable track on “Coping With Loss.” This is perhaps my only qualm with this album. A lack of congruity from piece to piece. Having grown accustom to those who set their albums out to be a complete experience, American demands more that each track be taken and consumed as its own entity, be it drone, black metal or otherwise. Luckily each track holds up and has had me chomping at the bit ever since I laid ears on them.
For fans of Ash Borer, Full of Hell, Wolves in the Throne Room, Swans, Merzbow and crust, American is a must listen from the past year as something so raw, yet mechanically possessed and manic. Prepare yourself for complete savagery.