Originally released as a limited-edition CD by Tucson's PitBall Records last year, this debut album by Phoenix cyber-metal trio American Gods only recently became available digitally, and it's a monster. What a shame the genre's high-water-mark (Static X, Rob Zombie) receded years ago, because this band is good.
There's much to admire here—primarily the band's high-quality, mountaintop-lopping production and the avalanching drum rhythms crafted by Scott Truelove. Dude sounds like Hannibal's synchronized elephant herds descending into the valley to crush the enemy with extreme prejudice. Check out the absolutely pulverizing, robotically enhanced "Machina," complete with prog-metal synthesizer verses courtesy of Chris Eckhardt, and boasting vocalist Steve Kowalek's soaring melodic hook.
The miserably titled "I Am Piss" is a relentlessly up-tempo, riff-mongering, computer-propelled beatdown that would've been ideal for the TRON: Legacy soundtrack. "Prefix De" dive-bombs listener ears with devastatingly loud, insanely climbing guitar fretboard calisthenics. The speed-metal disco-thrash of "coDa" won't make you any lasting friends should you blast it on a stereo while company is over, but the electro-metalheads among your visitors will totally love it.
If you're needing a thick slab of slamming cyber-metal—and honestly, what metal fan doesn't need a little now and then?—check this band out at www.americangods.net. Hopefully this band will be performing live in Tucson very soon. PitBall is my new favorite super-indie metal label, Arizona-based or otherwise.