I Am, Eternal Steel (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Texas death metal band I Am bring the heat on their new album, Eternal Steel.

I Am is a deathcore / death metal band from Texas that came to be around 2011. After the Momento Mori EP in 2015, I Am released two killer full-length albums, Life Through Torment (2017) and Hard 2 Kill (2018). Their music is notable not just for its power but also for speed. They have combined thrash and death metal elements with enough of a hook and a groove shining through to make the sound unique. The band is Andrew Hileman (vocals), Tom Reyes (guitar), Chris Burgess (guitar), Erik Rodriguez (bass), and Ian Scott (drums).

I Am gets their point across on the new album through eleven electrifying tracks. “The Primal Wave” poses the first question and introduces the heavy sound punctuated by rapid ripples and brought forth fully by Andrew Hileman’s menacing singing. “Surrender to the Blade” continues the campaign with a steady, driving riff that morphs into a dervish at exactly the right moment. The lead break is eerie and enticing and two thirds of the way through there is another shift. It is impressive how the initiated theme remains in place as it is put through its paces in such variety. “The Iron Gate” follows, a sorrowful, dooming affair, setting up the title track. “Eternal Steel” races through the open field, bewildering all who give it a glance. This song gives you a savage battering you won’t soon forget.

Other stand-out tracks include “Infernal Panther,” again along a doom lane with homage to early heavy metal icons you will recognize right away, and “Heaven On Earth,” a song that pushes on with unswerving confidence – it also has a fantastic lead guitar break. “Manic Cure” is the final statement, and here we go out on a bang when the speed, power, and groove all come together in a signature piece of work. This new album is exceptional, even better than Hard 2 Kill, I think. Go get yours. Recommended.

Eternal Steel is out through MNRK Heavy on Friday, September 9th in digital and an array of physicals.

Photos by Wayne Edwards, taken at Piere’s Entertainment Center, 2022.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://iamtxmusic.bandcamp.com/album/eternal-steel

I Am website, https://iam-eternalsteel.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/iamtxmusic

MNRK Heavy, https://mnrkheavy.com/

© Wayne Edwards

I Am, Eternal Steel (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Nile ~ Incantation ~ Sanguisugabogg ~ I Am at Piere’s, March 1, 2022

It was a night of death metal devastation at Piere’s in Fort Wayne, Indiana when Nile, Incantation, Sanguisugabogg, and I Am rattled the rigging of reality for fans from far and wide.

It was my first time at Piere’s Entertainment Center. I think I am going to be there a lot during my residency in the Midwest because so many heavy music acts make this stop in Northern Indiana. It is an excellent venue with plenty of room for fans and it offers an intimate proximity to the stage.

First up was I Am, a band from Texas. They have an EP and a couple albums out, the latest being Hard 2 Kill. They hit several songs from that recent record and it sounded like there were a couple of new ones in there, too. They got the night off to a great start with some heavy-hitting death metal.

Sanguisugabogg comes from Columbus, Ohio. They are currently touring in support of their latest album, Tortured Whole. I had never seen them live before, and I still don’t think I am pronouncing their name right. I can tell you this: they are formidable. Their songs are filled with savagery and the delivery is razor-sharp. Take the chance to see them whenever you get it, even if you don’t know how to say their name.

I have followed Incantation for many years. I can’t even remember the number of times I have seen them play, and I always come back for more. Their newest album is Sect Of Vile Divinities, which we reviewed very positively here at FFMB (link below). Thirty years in and their music and performance is stronger than ever – my favorite set of the evening.

I think we can all agree that Nile has forged an unforgettable place for themselves in the annals of heavy music. There is not a ton of music out there themed around Egyptian mythology at the jump – it might just be Nile. They have honed their presentation to an unswervingly precise delivery, and the music seeps into you like an ancient curse. The band’s most recent album is Vile Nilotic Rites, and in the live show at Piere’s they didn’t miss a beat.

At first pass you might not have thought to put these four bands together on the same ticket, but their music, in fact, worked exceptionally well together. The tour continues through for a few more stops so if you are in their path make sure you catch this show.

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Nile, https://www.nile-official.com/

Incantation, https://www.incantation.com/

Review of Sect of Vile Divinities, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2020/08/18/incantation-sect-of-vile-divinities-review-relapse-records-2020/

Sanguisugabogg, https://sanguisugabogg.com/

I Am, https://iamtxmusic.bandcamp.com/

© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.

Nile ~ Incantation ~ Sanguisugabogg ~ I Am at Piere’s, March 1, 2022