I AM
Eternal Steel

I randomly grabbed the 2018 release, Hard 2 Kill, in a used bin back in 2018, and was pleasantly surprised with the Southern groovy take on death metal/thrash from these Texans. But I never really appeared on my radar again until I saw the fucking epic album cover for their newest effort, and thought “Oh yeah, I remember these guys, let’s check it out!”.

All I can say is that cover is the most metal cover I’ve seen in a while, and the music contained within is just as fucking good. But now I want some want Rumple Minze now….

Somewhat accurately promoted as a sort of Southern metal/death metal version of Pantera, meets classic SepulturaI AM certainly fit that bill a little. But, while they do imbue a sort of Swampy, Southern take on hefty death/thrash metal, where they truly shine, and I mean REALLY fucking deliver the goods is grooooooove. I mean a metric-fuckton of groove- sweaty, hefty, pummeling, head snapping grooves for days.

Seriously, the first two songs alone, “The Primal Wave” and fucking killer “Surrender to the Blade” have enough killer lopes and grooves that the plate in my neck came loose. And not just due to the Randy Leboeuf (The Acacia Strain, Kublai Khan) mix and master, though it helps.

The third song “The Iron Gate” slows things down a bit (as does the disgustingly swampy “Queen Infernal”) with a moodier but still hefty lumber before the title track delivers a more high octane, beefy thrash number. “Vicious Instinct” enforces the Pantera vibe a bit, but I could also hear some of these riffs on a faster Crowbar tune like “Infernal Panther”, “Eye Candy” or slow-burning “Heaven of Earth”.  But it’s the opening duo and tracks like “The Price of Pain” and “Manic Cure” that will get you moving, and those are the surefire highlights of Eternal Steel.

With Crowbar, Bodysnatcher, Malevolence, Noctem, and now I AM being released this year, MNRK (formerly eOne Entertainment) is having, if anything, a fucking heavy fucking year.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 20th, 2022

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