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Classic Album Review: American Head Charge | The War of Art / Kataklysm | Epic (The Poetry of War)

The Yankee nu-metal septet & the Quebec hyperblasters battle for supremacy.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Heavy metal is seldom as topical — intentionally or otherwise — as these two combat rock-titled offerings from Yankee nu-metal brigade American Head Charge and Quebec hyperblast veterans Kataklysm.

But in this battle of the bands, the victor is obvious: It’s apocalyptic death-merchants Kataklysm, whose fifth brutally excessive album Epic (The Poetry of War) unleashes unstoppable hellfire in the form of machine-gun drumming, nuclear-powered bass lines, napalm-flash guitar shredding and the tortured screams of vocalist Maurizio Iacono. Next to the crippling onslaught of Kataklysm tracks like Damnation is Here, Era of the Mercyless and Manipulator of Souls, the standard-issue, creeping psychosis nu-metal of the trendily grooomed septet American Head Charge — as displayed in (unintentionally) ironically titled scrape ’n’ shriek fare like Pushing the Envelope — has as much chance as a firecracker-wielding Marilyn Manson going up against Rambo with a flamethrower. Surrender or be eliminated, boys.