The Birmingham-based quintet I Am Terrified is a study in contrasts, always zigging when you thought you saw a zag coming. After six years of constant performing and forceful sonic development, the blazing metal core band serves up this self-titled 6-track EP from Mono vs Stereo as compelling documentation of their unique, spirit-driven journey.
Alabama continues its remarkable trend of turning out hard-driving players with serious southern grit. Founding IAT members Jeremy Folse (guitarist), Patrick Schefano (vocalist), and Joel Bailey (drums) knew each other from local schools and churches. Main songwriter Schefano, in fact, comes from a small, musically austere Southern Baptist Church that featured one woman on a tiny upright and a small choir. But all three members mined their church hymnals for spiritual perspective and sonic structure, the fruit of those excavations showing up years later in the innovative, experimental music of I Am Terrified. “Hymnals are a huge inspiration to our band,” shares guitarist Folse, “which you’ll hear in our lyrics, as that was what most of us grew up on.” Actually, I Am Terrified has traveled a great sonic distance from those early southern Baptist roots, but you will enjoy the stirring fire-and-brimstone component in their pounding hardcore sound. The band, performing for several years as Fixed Til Tuesday, was influenced early on by the tastes of emo-loving girlfriends who followed Finch and other screamers. Their worshipdriven message fit into a fresh rock format tapped right into the heart of Southern audiences, and the band quickly moved from performing for small groups of fans to selling out much larger area venues. Says Folse, “Without even trying, just having fun playing and worshipping, we were drawing out 800 to 1,000 kids. After a year or two, we couldn’t even play our favorite smaller venues because of capacity issues. It was a huge blessing, and it led us to see how far the Lord would take us.”
Apparently, pretty far. Joined now by bassist Dustin Carter and guitarist Brandon Henderson, I Am Terrified is driven, as Jeremy explains, “by the desire to give God straight-up worship, and to show the love of Christ to every kid we can possibly reach.” These motivations led them to change their name last year to I Am Terrified, ripped straight from Job 23:14-15: “He carries out his decree against me, and many such plans he still has in store. That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him.” Unabashed, truth-laden fire and brimstone. I Am Terrified offers up no apologies for this very biblical orientation, choosing instead to let their bone-crushingly heavy sound speak for them. Thick with scorching metal riffs and throbbing bass lines, IAT’s sound still manages to be clear and melodic, much of it due to Schefano’s thoughtful virtuosity.
Zigging rather than zagging, IAT enjoys surprising fans with the unexpected. The guitar-driven rock track “Some Glad Morning” morphs fluidly from howling vocal to soaring melody line, while the searingly aggressive vocals and tasty guitar riffs of “Heaven Knocking, Hell Rising” play out beneath expressive lyrics of deep adoration. “Velvet Thunder” astonishes with hints of classic rock rhythms under its growling vocal. Showcasing strong songwriting and brutal sonic chops, I Am Terrified introduces a southern quintet that will keep you guessing in all the right ways.
I am terrified.| Posted November 24, 2016
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