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American Head Charge: The Feeding

This record will be the next commercial-metal success. You will find it in record shops for a long time to come alongside Mastadon, The Mars Volta, Shadows Fall and System Of A Down. Will it deserve the spotlight that will surely fall on it? Frankly - yes.

Don't expect the most progressive or intelligent music here. They describe themselves as industrial metal but this unusual group of musicians has also taken cues from nu-metal, extreme metal, and even rap and punk, and fused them into something refreshing and different.

The chaos in their music is a reflection of the bedlam that has been the band's history. According to the stories, American Head Charge was formed from a chance meeting in a Minnesota rehab facility in the mid-1990s by Cameron Heacock (now known as Martin Cock) and Chad Hanks (now calling himself Mr. H.C. Banks III). Those odd name changes will give you an idea of the poseur attitude adopted by the band in their early attention-starved days. In order to attract publicity they fired shotguns on stage, threw pig heads at the crowd and broke instruments. But they also toured relentlessly, building a fanbase the old fashioned way, and played the Ozzfest in 2001. Since those early days they've been through more upheaval including more rehab, line-up changes, record label problems, and a 4-year writing process. But through it all the band attracted the attention of producer Greg Fiddelman (System of A Down, Slayer), and The Feeding is a strange and frightening CD that was worth the wait.

One thing you won't hear is regular singing. There are no Ronnie James Dios here, no Chuck Schuldiners, and no Clay Aikens. Most of the vocals sound like brutal cries of pain, something close to death metal but with more of an anguished feral scream. There are dark whisper-soft sections, there's a bit of rap, there are short passages of clean vocals, and every song is dripping in the emotions of despair, rebellion or torment. This music is heavily riff-based - but they aren't beholden to the riff and Head Charge shifts into soft passages, chaos, or unusual off-beat sections with little warning and with consummate ease. The instrumentals are led by the dual guitars but the music is a slave to the vocals which dictate the pace of every song.

The 11 tracks run a radio-friendly 3 to 4 minutes each and the record lasts just 41 minutes. But each track has its own personality and if you can get past the insolent attitude of a testosterone-drenched teenage-boy, you'll appreciate the raw talent and the refreshing in-your-face defiance that is this music's signature. Yes, there are a hundred European bands doing similar stuff, and doing it better. But they don't have the reckless Panache of the Head Charge.

Think of it as avant garde nu-metal for the masses. The kids are going to love this stuff!

Track Listing:
01. Loyalty
02. Pledge Allegiance
03. Dirty
04. Ridicule
05. Take What I've Taken
06. Leave Me Alone
07. Walk Away
08. Erratic
09. Fiend
11.To Be Me

Added: September 23rd 2005
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: American Head Charge's Web Site
Hits: 10724
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

American Head Charge: The Feeding
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-09-23 14:14:39
My Score:

When I first got the Feeding CD by American Head Charge I felt that I was listening to a band that was moving away from the nu-metal style and instead were employing a more industrialized groove that at times reminded me of Marilyn Manson or even Nine Inch Nails. I was brought to this conclusion by the way singer Martin Cock handled his vocals from soft subtlety and then to raging yells. The riffing of the guitar and mixing in of keyboards transform this from being a run of the mill band. Kicking you right in the face with this is "Loyalty" which is one of my fave tracks on the CD. It's a great mix of Metal attitude and Melodic harmony. "Dirty" is another fierce number and a staple in the bands live performance. The band is definitely versatile and on tracks like "Ridicule" I was almost reminded of Faith No More at times in the track. The lineup for the recording is as follows: Martin Cock (vocals), H.C. Banks (bass), Bryan Ottoson (guitar), Chris Emery (drums) and Justin Fowler (keyboards) and a solid lineup it is. Friends for years the band first unleashed their brand of mayhem on the world with 2001's The War Of Art and appeared on that same year's Ozzfest.

So who should look into AHC? Pretty much anyone who enjoys a certain level of in-your face intelligent Metal that often defies the convention of their peers. There is very little to disappoint on the CD and after repeated listens and seeing them live I found myself enjoying the music a little bit more. The packaging is loaded with the lyrics and offer a little insight into the demons the band is often singing about. Sadly, the group suffered the loss of guitarist Bryan Ottoson while died will on tour with Mudvayne. Since that time the band has vowed to carry on in his name the way he would have wanted them to. Check out this very interesting group and try to catch a show if they come around your way.

American Head Charge: The Feeding
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-04-09 08:57:11
My Score:

Where to start? The album has a horrible artwork -- NOTHING would ever prompt me to check it out unless I was a reviewer for a website. I could tell from the band's name and song titles that American Head Charge is a hardcore/nu-metal band, and I wasn't wrong. When I popped in their 41-minute CD to give it its first spin, I thought they are a good band for the type of audience they aim at. They certainly have talent, good sound, some good hooks here and there. But overall, The Feeding is still the same old nu-metal with occasional heavy riffage and brutal (!) moments. At least their singer, unlike most other hardcore bands out there, knows how to carry a tune and sing without expressing single-minded fury. His clean vocals are fine, when he doesn't attempt at doing any rapping-like vocals that sadly remind me of the singer from Deftones or Limp Bizkit. One song that I find worthwhile is track four, "Ridicule", which starts with an interesting acoustic guitar melody as the singer Martin delivers the lyrics with a tense whisper. Much to my dismay, the dark mood of the song leaves its place for a banal nu-metalriff about thirty seconds into the track as Martin begins to rap amidst scratchy sound effects.

The first song "Loyalty", as wrong as I may be, is something I can see System of a Down fans digging -- at least production-wise. It's got the same down-tuned guitar, nice drum sound and different vocals that move from smooth singing to semi-growls. Most songs on this album are in the 3-minute mark. As on every other hardcore release, there are no lead solos. All that said, I still think American Head Charge offers more variety than most other nu-metal bands around. There are some interesting variations in melody and song structure, althought they are few and hard to detect. Every once in a while, I feel like I detect a solid riff pattern (intro of "Leave Me Alone") that sadly loses me halfway through the track. Greg Fidelman of System of a Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sick of it All, Marilyn Manson, etc fame has produced this album and I guess fans of all these bands might enjoy American Head Charge.

» Reader Comments:

American Head Charge: The Feeding
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-04-15 17:43:19
My Score:

The music is as brutal as Heacock's severely disturbed lyrics. I feel the havoc wreeking Head Charge has seen it's darkest days already with the passing of guitarist , Bryan Ottison, notorious for the axe weilding, murdering of guitar riffs on The War of Art, which is no doubt part of the reason for the change in tempo on most songs other than a simply darker, gloomier band. And the now, well known, split between Heacock and the band. The next step is finding their genuine miracle. And I feel it's possible, that they'll find somebody better than Heacock and continue on as the same band they were always meant to be, with quite presumably, a different name. Don't get me wrong, Heacock's depraved voice and lyrics are terrifying, original, tragic, and intelligent. They are the cool kind songs that messed up people, like Lane Staley and Jerry Cantrell write. Let's hope the next step isn't hardcore techno or... "Prodigy."

American Head Charge: The Feeding
Posted by Mike G on 2005-12-24 06:53:51
My Score:

I absolutley loved this album. and as a couple of these reviews touch but dont quiet hit the right word for describing it. I feel that its very catchy. I first heard this band a couple years ago when i heard the songs "seamless" and "just so you know" and i loved both before the songs were even over. So when this album came out i couldnt wait to put it in my cd player and i was not at all dissapointed i think its all there for this band, vocals and instrumantals. I seen one guy say that he was dissapointed how certain songs changed tempo but i thats one thing i like about them, it keeps me interested, i dont want to hear the same stuff with different words for 4 minuts straight. I was lucky enough to catch them at a show earlier this month and they sounded awesome live too. I see this band becoming only more and more succesfull. another thing, about the "rapping" i do see in some songs a little rap influences in his vocals but he does a good job of making it sound metal as opposed to a limp bizkit sound.

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