Get ready for the deluge of comparisons to MASTODON when the topic of Chicago's AMERICAN HERITAGE comes up. And it is a pretty damn accurate comparison. Though "Millenarian" has more in common with MASTODON's earlier material and does not match the same level of arrangement adventurism, it is fair to say that if one likes MASTODON that one may very well enjoy AMERICAN HERITAGE, at least to some extent. One could also say that AMERICAN HERITAGE sounds like a Chicago band. Considering the album's sonically devastating Sanford Parker production and the volume-maxed, blue-collar feel of "Millenarian", AMERICAN HERITAGE certainly belongs with the best of the Windy City's heavy music collective.
What is in store for the listener is seven songs of fat, angry riffing, dynamic rhythms, a battering ram approach to drumming, albeit with tons of cool fills, and a shouting vocal style that sometimes erupts into franticness. MASTODON aside, fans of bands like SWARM OF THE LOTUS and to some extent KEELHAUL should get a lot out of songs like the fabulously titled "It's like Fucking a Napkin Full of Toenails". The music is aggressive as hell and compositionally accomplished. Several times through and the only real downside I can come up with is that no one song really grabbed and shook the hell out of me.
There is much in the way of blistering guitar work and sledgehammer rhythms on "Millenarian", but the same can be said of a lot of albums that boast a similar approach. Having already beaten the MASTODON thing to death, let's just say that AMERICAN HERITAGE is certainly not MASTODON, Jr. Stylistically similar, yes, but the Chicago boys have not reached that plateau of excellence on which their brethren has been perched for some time now. In the end what you will get in "Millenarian" is a quality product that is above average, but not groundbreaking, musically competent, but not inventive. Sounds like a 7 to me.