American Heritage Sedentary

American Heritage Sedentary
Early in their career, American Heritage garnered some justified comparisons to Mastodon, yet still managed to make a name for themselves at a time when just about everybody and their guitar teacher was taking the plunge into beard. Now, with the enjoyable yet predictable sounds of Millenarian behind them, they have decided to throw that same crowd a bit of a curveball. Taking it back beyond the unclassifiable melting pot approach of the last ten years in underground metal, American Heritage have taken a few cues from under-the-radar Hydra Head heroes Keelhaul and established institution Melvins, going for a looser, more punk rock aesthetic while still maintaining a fairly reliable level of technicality. Elements hinted at in their early work have stumbled their way to the forefront, from the animated hardcore jaunt and buried fuzzbox vocals of opener "Sickening Ritual" (which is capped off with an all-too-brief foray into surprisingly adept soloing) to the downright nasty mixture of groove-based sludge and travelling riffage on "Vessels/Vassals," giving critical favourites Baroness and Bison B.C. a run for their recently augmented income. Some may be put off by the overt AmRep-isms of the vocal approach, which has evolved beyond the debut to include a broader range of styles that still occasionally betray a fairly obvious influence. The production, while initially unwelcoming, is quickly accustomed to, as the slightly bitter, caustic slant the group offer on the source material constricts the ear canals tighter and tighter, ultimately releasing the tension expertly on the more measured pace and feedback-laden density of "WWDHD." It's a clear step forward for the band, and with a little work on making their sound a touch less episodic, hopefully a stepping stone towards greater things. (Translation Loss)