Editor's Rating

Have a listen to "Perfectionist" and "Let All The World Believe"

Rating out of 10

American Head Charge – Tango Umbrella

Release Date: 25th March 2016
Napalm Records
iTunes: http://apple.co/1SmKqGC

Core fans of American Head Charge have waited ten long years for the metallers who fused nu-metal and industrial metal to release a full-length album. In that time Head Charge decided to split up in 2009, reformed in 2011 and released a taster EP for possibly future material called ‘Shoot’ in 2013. While that EP divided opinions, American Head Charge figured it would be a wise idea to start a crowdfunding campaign with the end result being the album we see today, ‘Tango Umbrella’.

The album starts off by appealing to the fans of old, ‘Let All The World Believe’ is a throwback to ‘The War Of Art’. Electronic and factory sound effects lead into heavy riffs and hard hitting beats reminiscent to ‘All Wrapped Up’. Cameron Heacock‘s vocals are as eerie as ever, while remaining fairly strong, mixing ominous cleans and rough shouts. His overall tone is somewhat similar to Marilyn Manson‘s in a way, the creepy atmosphere and metal attitude just fits.

Tango Umbrella’ aims to be more versatile and Head Charge try to push further away from the sound that defined them, towards something more ambitious, anthemic and atmospheric. Judging from the opener and various tracks that follow; the old elements remain and the nu-metal influence is a strong backbone, as well as the industrial and the typical NWOAHM sound. The music shifts from one extreme to the other; captivating Queen-esque clean vocals – with hauntingly smooth melodies – can be found on ‘A King Among Men‘. Then we have a track like ‘Perfectionist’ that focuses on the heavy; it’s a hard-hitting piece that reeks of anger.

Songs like ‘Sacred’ and ‘Suffer Elegantly’ push more boundaries on what we expect from Head Charge. ‘Sacred’ is full of atmosphere and heavy mysticism. Delicate tones linger in the background of Heacock‘s whisper-like vocals. ‘Suffer Elegantly’ is more of a thrash track, like a heavier Metallica, with military precision drum beats, crushing riffs and it contains a pinch of Hetfield attitude in the vocal style during the verse. A stand out track for me is ‘I Will Have My Day’. It showcases what I loved about NWOAHM a decade ago; it is angry and in your face, but it’s also fun and catchy. The energy is high and it’s a real pit starter. More of that please.

The band slaloms in and out of various genres and influences and, while that is interesting and brave, is never really satisfies. There are moments of creative brilliance, but the shifting around makes you want Head Charge to choose one direction or the other – be atmospheric or be brutal and angry. With songs like ‘Perfectionist’ and ‘Let All The World Believe’, the heavier side wins flat out.

For Fans Of: Coal Chamber, Mushroomhead, The Defiled