Review Summary: American Me's "Siberian Nightmare Machine" provides more of the same formulas and their signature sound in a tighter, more focused effort. In a scene filled with a lot of the same, it's good to know that you can count on American Me to keep it classy.
NOTE: If I were to give this an accurate rating, it would be a 3.8.
It's November and the so-called month of "Rocktober" has passed by. My iTunes is full of so much great new music, such as "Fed Through The Teeth Machine" and "The Great Misdirect", and other great albums, most of which are more progressive metal and other primarily heavy metal influenced acts. American Me released a very solid debut album, "Heat", in early 2008 and at the time, it really had me wanting more. They had such a raw aggressive sound that would also make a "bro" proud. The hardcore influence was more apparent than anything and surprisingly, I loved it. It was infectious because the music would come at you so fast and wouldn't overstay it's welcome, the songs were short and solid. The only thing I could have hoped for was more songs altogether, the album was just over half an hour (including the 11:54 second closer, which didn't need to be length that it is).
November 10th rolls around and I happen to surfing the net for some new music, so I checked out what Rise Records had to offer these days. Rise Records is primarily...well you know...Emarosa, Attack Attack!, The Devil Wears Prada, all that style of "metal". American Me had just released "Siberian Nightmare Machine" that very day and I was surprised that I had heard nothing about it. It was apparent that they were in the studio but nothing more than that. I got my hands on it within ten minutes of getting this news and at first listen, I knew by the first note, I was in for something special...
"Human Traffiker" comes in as I expected, at a million miles an hour. The beginning starts with their signature melodic hardcore/chugging guitar lines, and the vocals explode with vicious intensity. This song immediately showcases that American Me have stepped up their game, along with many bands this year. I like breakdowns, I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for a good breakdown but I also know a good one from a bad one. These breakdowns are catchy and always fast paced, even when it's slowed down in half time. "Death Squads" reminded me of earlier Converge mixed with Bury Your Dead (before they stepped their game down...). It also displays their hardcore roots much more than the opener, and the drumming provided some nice blast beats. "Infected" and "Die Faster" switches back into more melodic riffs and great breakdowns. I noticed the vocals have improved and give more variety. I couldn't help but dance at :30 in "Die Faster", it's just that groovy.
I need some water...hold on two seconds. Okay, we're good now, I had to catch my breath.
"The Fire" provides more of the same aggression that I came to expect. "This story has been played so many times before!" is a great line that I felt relation to, in a scene of copycat bands popping up every two seconds. I swear if you can't bang your head to this, there is something wrong with you. The song structures are simple, raw, aggressive, never giving you the chance to breathe in between songs. American Me demands your attention and they certainly have mine. "Son of a Machine Gun, Part 2" was one of the strongest songs on the album and before listening to it, I knew I was going to like it. "Heat", by some coincidence, had a song I particularly enjoyed entitled...drum roll please..."Son of a Machine Gun". I think it's one of the best songs that they have written and is a go-to song if someone we're looking into them. "Whiteout" starts out with a filthy melodic/bouncy introduction that just leads into the rest of the song, which I swear could have been on Bury Your Dead's "Cover Your Tracks". Great stuff so far.
Just when I thought I couldn't possibly wear out a song entitled "Demoralizer" more than it already is, American Me -- damn you! More of the same stuff in this song, but don't let that turn you away because the album's best breakdown comes at the end of the song. "Blot Out The Sun" is just winds blowing, throwing a little Siberian cold vibe to the CD. Fast-forward to the eight-minute mark and you'll find them perhaps making a little humour out of the fact that they are on Rise Records...The song altogether, was a failure -- they did exactly what they did on "Heat".
Overall, American Me's "Siberian Nightmare Machine" provides more of the same formulas and their signature sound in a tighter, more focused effort. The only negative aspects of the CD are the running time and pointless 10 minute + closing track. I just wish they could write more tracks! In a scene filled with a lot of the same, it's good to know that you can count on American Me to keep it classy.