Another album that managed to slip through 2014 unreviewed by myself is Prolapse by American Heritage. Being as busy as I am is both a blessing and a curse. In this case more of a curse as I could have been listening to this bruiser for months. And on an even more distressing note, guitarist/vocalist Adam Norden has left the band which could very well spell their demise.
If this does end up as their swansong at least it’s a fierce way to go out. Featuring six originals and three covers, it spans a wide range of tempos and energy levels, from the hardcore terror of “Mask of Lies” to the mid-paced and epic “Constant and Consuming.”
Their technically-inclined sludgecore sounds as caustic as anything and the music found within as disgusting as the cover (which found its way on to our Worst Album Covers of 2014 feature). Makes sense though as on tracks like “Blackbird” their loud and fuzzy riffs burrow their way deep within your body and burn like acid.
As muscular and pissed as American Heritage are on this recording one can’t help but be affected by how technical their noise is as well. Moving through riffs like a hot knife through fatty tissue, they channel all the rage and hardcore energy into dazzling displays of corrosive guitar work.
At times they sound like a mathier, more scorned Red Fang complete with Norden’s bellow coming across as a gutter punk version of Aaron Beam. No matter what you choose to compare them to, rest assured Prolapse will stomp and bludgeon with no remorse. Adding in dynamics, groove and even some prog leaning similar to but different from some sludge heavyweights makes American Heritage a band that impresses more and more over multiple listens.
They do good work on the covers too. They cover “Hurtin’ Crue” by the Descendants, “Thirsty and Miserable” by Black Flag and “Bulletproof Cupid” by Girls Against Boys. These tracks sound different enough from the other material that you know something is up, but AH make the songs their own while still paying homage to the originators.
If you’ve never heard American Heritage before Prolapse is as good a place as any to start. But I wouldn’t bank on future material. As it is Prolapse leaves long time listeners and newbies alike wanting for nothing.
(Released November 24, 2014 on Solar Flare Records)