Review Summary: A foul scent and a metallic grating sound awaken you from a peaceful sleep in the midst of a thick, diverse forest. You rub the sandman from your eyes and follow that horribly industrial smell to its source…a coal mine.
Thrash Metal and Punk entwined, this band’s energetic pulse livens the body of a rebel. Appalachian Terror Unit is a group of punk-rockers who have a bone to pick with capitalist establishment. Surprise, surprise? The originality of this band is their attachment to mountainous regions of sprawling natural life. Hailing from West Virginia and somewhat close to the Appalachian Trail, their passion for wildlife goes unquestioned, not only due to their location but the fiery expression that is their music. This EP’s full title, “Armageddon Won’t Be Brought By Gods, But By Men Who Think They Are” is more than a prediction but a description of society’s pretension. These men with egos and bank accounts bigger than Jupiter are naturally an opponent to any tree-hugging individual, for what is capitalism without relentless exploitation of limited resources?
The record, while brief is punk mastery. They can chug harder than a train and simultaneously offer us relevant commentary. Angrily the Terror Unit storm through the eardrums with a zealous wrath, urgently expressing their fixations. And they are intriguing to say the least; humans are bleeding the Earth dry, greedy coal lords are destroying vast forests, the war machine is sinfully growing, dead end day jobs are creating drones out of a once judicious people…
“If they call on me, let it be known that I will take my own life before I die for the throne.”
- Endless Bloodshed
“Endless Bloodshed” is a song about the war machine. What is the war machine? It’s a transparent but entirely real entity that escorts armies to their meeting with the Reaper. The machine is just that, mechanic, and will not halt its ventures for something like value of life, or any emotions as it has none. The machine is commandeered by those who advocate warfare for personal, monetary or familial gain. “A conquest of butchers, the bodies piled high so the victor can raise his sword to the sky”. The Terror Unit’s view of war is quite rebellious. Their passion for the woodland atmosphere conflicts with the endless thirst for Earth that the machine craves. This song is a chaotic revolt, roughly expressing through abrasive instrumental work the anger that greed and corruption put in a musicians mind. The song is sonically powerful as the hellfire the lyrics insist the machine’s warplanes conjure on innocent grounds. It assumes a non-forgiving style, totally distorted, nearly incoherent vocals but without these aspects perhaps they wouldn’t describe themselves as a crust-punk group.
Cut down the forest, turn soil to sand, nothing but desert where trees no longer stand.
- Armageddon Won’t Be Brought By Gods
“In the name of production we create destruction” exclaims the Terror Unit. Are we a plague? The human race resembles a parasitic species depending on the scourge of machinery for our necessities and simple desires. The forestland is a victim of our lack of efficiency. With a grungy deliverance this song epitomizes the Terror Unit’s primary passion; thunderous energy basking in the unison of like-minded, intelligent individuals. This passion exists for the land we all stand on, the same land we take for granted. We are a spoiled, fitful child beating up on his parents for there seems to be less Pepsi in the refrigerator than last night, and not enough gas in the car to take him to the cinema, and hardly enough death and destruction to keep him entertained. Sadly, he can’t very well hear the restless enthusiasm of Appalachian Terror Unit, so they are forced to scream and turn their distorted amplifiers up to the loudest decibel – but I find a turbulent tranquility in this grasp for attention. When the world is either won back or killed off, this song will be around to provide a decent History lesson.
We all call ourselves free but we were born in chains, born as workers, born as slaves.
- Another Day
Another Day is the finest piece on this EP. If sound could kill, we’d all be dead after the recording of this track. It is the loud yet unheard cry of the nigh enslaved worker bee. “As the sun starts to rise the dawn fades, and to the tune of alarm clocks zombies rise from their graves.” The discontent of a burdened laborer is some of the strongest, most heated fuel for an uprising you may ever encounter. But this song pictures a day when strikes and unions cease to exist, and a cycle of undead drones fill the workplace with their brain-deadness. Fascism has struck hard and “vultures surround us parasites pulling the strings”. Another Day is the tormented screaming for freedom. The infuriated anthem of those with boiling blood; and it fades out to end a mockery of greed and a plaudit of rebellion.
The insurgent is an individual who will spend a good deal of their life being tried, beaten, combated and ridiculed. The insurgent is also an individual who embodies the free spirit of human beings. Appalachian Terror Unit vehemently succeed in their musical rendition of the political activist. Their comprehension of Punk music could leave you exhausted with an appetite for more after only four short songs. I’ve only heard this, I greatly anticipate the rest of Terror Unit's discography.