Hard 2 Kill
There is a missed opportunity on I Am’s sophomore release. With the band holding on to the mantra of being tagged Texas Death, their opener is no less a subtle intro into a larger picture that should be fist gripping. “Texas Death” should be the larger picture. Like Exodus with “Toxic Waltz,” I Am should be extrapolating that song as their theme. Sure Exodus will go down in infamy for basically one song, but that one song is larger than life. And that one song is what many will dip their toes in for a long time to come.
Hard 2 Kill is a slow burn that sneaks up on you. The deliberate aggression that lyrically displays an act of defiance. For the band, that defiance is against the failures of life and the negativity that tries to ruin happiness and success. A song like “Peel Back The Skin” is so heavy that when the thrash drops, you cannot help but feel its shock waves. The weight of the song is invigorating.
I Am – Hard 2 Kill
One of the best tracks on the album is “Grindstone.” The song presents ritual to their rhythmic pulse, surrounded by the torturous howls of guitar squeals until it all come together with some of the more impressive riffage out there. It does not matter if the song is about the working force, society, industrialization, the weight of personal life, this song is monstrous in all of its value.
There is a degree of balance found within Hard 2 Kill. You find it within the context of death metal to the doomy sludge moments, from the internal to the external, the intro to the outro. The ying and yang of this album is what makes Hard 2 Kill worth the listen.