Fire from the Gods - "American Sun" Album Review
This is a comprehensive music review for the album "American Sun" - Fire From the Gods
The cover art for the album American Sun, produced by nu metal band Fire from the Gods
From the metal world, up and coming band Fire from the Gods has been garnering the attention of not only their fans, but big name acts as well. Just ending off a tour with The HU, Megadeth, and headliner Five Finger Death Punch, the five man hard-core metal and hip-hop fusion band have gone straight from performing to the studio working on their third studio album Soul Revolution, to be released on October 28th of this year. Described as "rap metal" and "metal-core" among other genres, their politically and socially relevant music has grasped their fans and left us all wanting more since the release of their latest album in 2019 entitled American Sun. Covering heavy subjects such as technology overstimulation, political unrest, and mental anguish caused by the modern world, the heavy rhythm sections and energized guitars provide the foundation for lead vocalist AJ Channel to switch effortlessly between a hip-
hip flow to grittier metal vocals to express disdain for what the world has become, and to encourage unity and personal strength. He is supported by lead guitarist Drew Walker, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Jameson Teat, drummer Richard Wicander, and bassist Bonner Baker in being a powerful five piece band. Their message seems to be reaching a wide audience, with over 660,000 monthly listeners on just Spotify alone, and a 6th place ranking was given to American Sun for Best Heatseekers Albums in its debut year.
American Sun begins with a strong start in Truth to the Weak, a song about self-empowerment and going from a place of pain and feeling worthless to breaking one's limits and "speaking the truth to the weak". The use of a simple hip-hop beat and a rap flow that can only be described as "modernized" leads into a heavier, hard-rock chorus that modifies the original drum line while still maintaining part of the
hip-hop timbre to fit with the rest of the instruments as the band proclaims "giving up ain't an option". Right Now and Trust feels like calls to action, declaring that the status quo needs to be changed and not trusting in the liars who try to divide and spread messages of hate. The titular song American Sun feels the most hip-hop inspired, with what sounds to be a
trap-inspired beat at the beginning
From left to right: Bonner Baker, AJ Channer, Drew Walker, Jameson Teat, and Richard Wicander
of the song before devolving into a heavy breakdown, while the rap talks about becoming a new person and being the dawn of the future. They Don't Like It, Fight the World and Victory are personal exclamations of living life against all odds and pushing oneself towards self-improvement, and continuing on after being knocked down. Fight the World fits perfectly into the modern metalcore scene, while Victory seems to be inspired by nu-metal with its combination of rapping and screaming, along with a simple snare-led beat tuned with the rest of the band in a metal style.
One trait some of these songs share are that they start one way and evoke a certain feeling, before changing musical genres while keeping parts of the original for an infusion. A few more great examples of this is Make You Feel It and All My Heroes are Dead, where Make You Feel It starts off with a piano and All My Heroes are Dead begins with another trap beat that wouldn't be out of place in the modern trap hip-hop scene, yet lyrically the song couldn't be more different. Survivor's Prayer Interlude is a short yet fun break within the album, that contains only a drumbeat, the vocalist, and some sound effects that allow for the listener to feel 'elevated' as if they were floating while feeling the excitement of success and coming out the other side of adversity as a better person. Out of Time and Another Level talk about being deceived by leaders and negative voices, while once again perpetrating the idea of self strength and being open-minded to others and the world as a whole. The album ends with Break the Cycle, lamenting about a never-ending war for freedom, peace and understanding and that we as a human race continue to make the same exact mistakes without choosing to "break the cycle". This song doesn't contain the rage or pain of most of the other songs, but it ends the album with a somber yet hopeful tone for the future, of not only the United States but the world as a whole.
It's not hard to see why this album was commercially successful, as it flawlessly combines the modern rhythm and flow of rap and hip-hop with the angst and power of hard rock and metal. The lyrics are empowering and can be felt by any listener, allowing for the message of unity to wring clear throughout the album. American Sun stands as a solid addition to Fire from the Gods' discography and tells anyone who would listen a tale of self discovery, personal and community strength, and a call for change so that we as a human race can get through the hard times, and come out of them stronger together. With the album Soul Revolution only a few weeks away from release, the future looks bright for Fire From the Gods and even brighter for their fans!