Throwback Thursday: “Trephanation” by American Head Charge from 1999

Industrial Metal self-release from 1999, just 12 months before American Head Charge landed their major label debut “The War Of Art” with Roadrunner Records. This album, “Trephanation” was were it all began and turned a lot of heads. Sadly rarely available in it’s original form, though downloads and streams are readily available. Peter Harmon was on drums at that time with Chris Emery playing keyboards and samples. The album is drowned in industrial bliss, a lot of which was stripped out or buried in the mix in the bands later releases. It has a beautifully raw nature, which you only get with self-release or demo albums. Spoken word samples are also much more frequent and bring the band more in line with a blend of Ministry and Faith No More than later releases as well. While the mix and quality is raw, the production value is high, as is the quality of the material. Original versions of “Reach and Touch”, “Seemless”, “Fall”, “Never Get Caught”, “We Believe”, “Fall” and “Pushing The Envelope” all appear here but these are vastly different to the versions on “The Art Of War” and have stood the test of time, appearing in the bands live set even now. The older versions sit well along side the tracks that were not re-recorded, all of which would have stood up on “The War Of Art” had they been re-recorded, such is the quality of musicianship and lyricism on display here. Shortly after it’s recording the band also recorded a version of the Ministry Classic “Filth Pig” for the Devilswork tribute which itself is an awesome version. American Head Charge may have had a combustable 20 years in the music business but every one of their four albums release has been one of quality.

“Trephanation” by American Head Charge

00:00 01. Reach and Touch
03:42 02. Different
07:23 03. Seamless
11:41 04. Fall
16:26 05. Never Get Caught
20:46 06. What
24:17 07. When I Failed
30:06 08. Stature
34:15 09. To Taste Acid
37:28 10. Feel the Curtain
40:44 11. We Believe
44:19 12. Desertion
49:33 13. Pushing the Envelope
52:50 14. Pretty Face

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