For Fans Of
A side-project, a change of pace or maybe just an excuse to try something a little different? Whichever way you choose to align your opinions, musical endeavours that merge members from respective bands are intriguing if nothing else.
Enter I Am War, a group comprised of Atreyu vocalist Alex Varkatzas and fellow throat titan Brandan Schieppati of Bleeding Through. And, in the most impartial and dispassionate manner of speaking (or rather writing) debut album ‘Outlive You All’ is an entertaining affair. Don’t dig into complexities, take this album on face value and enjoy its simple merits.
It’s unfair to continually link all analysis back to the members aforementioned mainstay bands. However, allowing just one statement, this is an album for those who wished Atreyu would return to the impressive feats reached on 2004’s ‘The Curse’. Those confronting, intense and personable refrains are back. It only took eight years. But, better late than never, right?!
The album is balanced by a thrash, blast-beat blueprint, where the riffs drive the tempo. It’s literal in approach. Metal vocals, the odd breakdown and some commonly used gang vocals.
It’s a tag-team approach that feeds off itself. Beginning with the assertively titled ‘Don’t Worship Assholes’, I Am War allows the listener in. Things get intense with ‘The Poisoning’. The drums give way to the album’s true highlight. It takes away the fluff and focuses on tenacity rather than technicality.
Perhaps, ‘Outlive You All’ is guilty of staying in the same range. There are a few passages that blend into one another. However, this isn’t Meshuggah. Listeners press play realising that this is an ‘up front’-type of musical creation.
All songs are short and sharp with none of the twelve clocking in at over two-and-a-half minutes. ‘Chipped Shoulders and Heart Attacks’ hits its marks, while ‘Nihilistic Motivation’ is another fast moment towards the tail end. Worth a look-in.
‘Outlive You All’ offers no surprises. But, putting context into our analysis, this is an overwhelmingly positive statement. The album is no-nonsense, fundamental music. The full-length does not prioritise with complexity. Bleeding Through and Atreyu fans will love the debut offering, while neutral listeners should find reason to equally engage.
1. Don’t Worship Assholes
2. Uninvite Me To Your Facebook Party
3. The Poisoning
4. Plug Me In
5. Bat Out Of Hell
6. Hunting Me
7. Chipped Shoulders And Heart Attacks
8. Don’t Know Anything
9. A Nightmare
10. Lead By Liars
11. My Love Affair With Disaster
12. Nihilistic Motivation
13. Feel The Same