Album Review :
I Am Not I Am - Dear God, We Must Return Fire

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Artist: I Am Not I Am
Album: Dear God, We Must Return Fire
Label: Tenfold Records
Release Date: April 3, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. How the North Finally Won the Civil War
2. The Real Reason the South Lost the Civil War
3. The District
4. We Want Our Ashes Spread in Jersey
5. Vocabularies

When Moses talked to God through the burning bush and asked whom he should tell the Israelites had sent him, God replied, “I AM.” With that in mind, “I Am Not I Am” is a poetic form of humility: “I Am Not Yahweh.” With this as a first thought, these five gentlemen from Maryland rock a technical/post?/experimental hardcore with obvious nods to the punk roots of their genre. As I sit here listening and typing, I’m starting to wonder if I’m making this part up because I’ve come to expect it, but the raw screams (a la Refused, The Redemption Song, etc) often move into clean vocals, but never sung, only shouted in a way that says Dallas Taylor of Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. Be this as it may, I Am Not I Am contains virtually no southern rock sound, making that vocal variation an interesting add to the mix. Occasionally they rock it a little heavier with some deeper growls and a bit of chugga-chugga just for fun. It’s a shame they went on an “indefinite hiatus” in June, because this band would have been a pleasure to see live.

6/10

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