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I Am War - Outlive You All Album Cover

I Am War - Outlive You All

Reviewed by
6.0
I Am War - Outlive You All
Record Label: Razor & Tie
Release Date: August 28, 2012
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
There's a line in James Cameron's Aliens in which Michael Biehn's character uses the phrase "short, controlled bursts" in reference to gunfire. The phrase is also an apt description for I Am War's debut album, Outlive You All.

Like many fans, vocalist Alex Varkatzas was unhappy with the direction his band Atreyu was talking prior to their hiatus last year. Instinctively, he turned to music as an outlet for his frustrations. He teamed with longtime friend and Bleeding Through frontman Brandan Schieppati to form I Am War.

Nary clean singing, Outlive You All is dominated by Varkatzas' guttural screams. I would have preferred more of a tag-team approach to the vocals, but Schieppati's shouts mostly serve as back ups. He is, however, responsible for the guitars and bass. (It's worth noting that he previously played guitar in Eighteen Visions and Throwdown.) His fretwork largely consists of riffs that are fast in tempo and low in technicality, along with many chugging breakdowns.

The drums are programmed by Mick Kenney of Anaal Nathrakh (who also produced the effort). They don't sound overly phony, though they're surprisingly light on blast beats. There are plenty of gang vocals (fun fact: former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett is among the contributors), but they sound like they were recorded using a tin can and string.

"Always wear my heart on my sleeve" screams Varkatzas in "Uninvite Me to Your Facebook Party." It's true; both he and Schieppati have never been ones to mince words as lyricists. Even still, Outlive You All contains some of the most straight forward, angry lyrics either man has penned. "Feel the Same," for example, features the line "A fleeting moment's happiness / Displaced outraged feelings / I felt this way before."

Considering the band is made up of two guys who have been playing metalcore for the majority of their lives, it makes sense that that is the predominant genre. The songs do touch on other styles of heavy music, including punk ("The Poisoning"), death metal ("Bat Out of Hell"), grindcore ("Hold This Sword with Your Face") and black metal ("My Love Affair with Disaster"). The CD packs 13 songs in 27 minutes, while the digital version offers two bonus tracks to round out a half hour of music.

Fans of Atreyu's later output are decidedly not the key demographic for I Am War. It's a return to roots for Varkatzas, proving he still possesses the unbridled aggression found on Atreyu's early material. I Am War may have been created as a form of catharsis for Varkatzas, but Outlive You All is the best thing he has put his name on in quite some time.

6/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 8 of 8
07:34 AM on 09/12/12
#2
Niko John
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13 songs in 27 minutes? Not a single song is past three minutes. Sorry, but that is way too short for me. I guess that is what you meant by "short, controlled burtsts." Literally short.

I love Atreyu, but I listened to I Am War's first single and I wasn't a big fan :/ it just wasn't anything special to me. Maybe I just have to give the whole thing a listen, who knows.
07:54 AM on 09/12/12
#3
njiata603
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This record riiiiiips, loving it. I don't hear any black metal though. Like, not even for a second.
08:32 AM on 09/12/12
#4
CellarGhosts
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This record riiiiiips, loving it. I don't hear any black metal though. Like, not even for a second.
Yeah, this is much closer to grindcore or beatdown hardcore imo.
01:51 PM on 09/12/12
#5
Alex DiVincenzo
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This record riiiiiips, loving it. I don't hear any black metal though. Like, not even for a second.
Not very prevlant, but from about :40 to :55 in "My Love Affair with Disaster," specifically, gave me a black metal vibe.
01:52 PM on 09/12/12
#6
Alex DiVincenzo
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13 songs in 27 minutes? Not a single song is past three minutes. Sorry, but that is way too short for me. I guess that is what you meant by "short, controlled burtsts." Literally short.

I love Atreyu, but I listened to I Am War's first single and I wasn't a big fan :/ it just wasn't anything special to me. Maybe I just have to give the whole thing a listen, who knows.
Like I said, I don't think many Atreyu fans will be too into it. However, don't let the lengths deter you. The longest track is just shy of 3 minutes, sure, but a bunch of the songs still follow a typical verse-chorus-verse format.
05:36 AM on 09/13/12
#7
Niko John
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Like I said, I don't think many Atreyu fans will be too into it. However, don't let the lengths deter you. The longest track is just shy of 3 minutes, sure, but a bunch of the songs still follow a typical verse-chorus-verse format.
I will have to give the album a listen then and reserve my final judgements until that point.
08:16 AM on 09/18/12
#8
cubine
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Never liked Atreyu. Maybe I'll dig this.

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