I Am The Law, from Nashville Tennessee, play Southern metal that blends dark themes with positive energy. Incorporating influences from sludge to metalcore, they have a distinct groove sound reminiscent of Pantera and Lamb of God. I Am The Law’s second album, Hymn Of The Vulture’, is out on October 5th, and in today’s instalment of 10 Books That Made Me, they talk science, the deep South, and how to live your best life.
Brandon Howard (Guitar/Vocals)
1. The Lesser Swamp Gods of Little Dixie, by Jonathan Raab. Think Supernatural the show but on cocaine and meth, and based in Oklahoma but as southern as it gets, with aliens, hell, the KKK and a sheriff with a local access radio show who is your only hope against the crazy shit in this small town.
2. The Hillbilly Moonshine Massacre, by Jonathan Raab. A story featuring the same sheriff but this time a crazy Moonshine that makes everyone who drinks it raving lunatics hell bent on killing, and of course occult stuff and other ritualistic stuff.
Brian Bradsher (Guitar)
3. The Demon-Haunted World: Science As A Candle, by Carl Sagan. Astrophysicist Carl Sagan lays out the scientific method and how skepticism and critical thinking skills are important. This was the first book of this type I read as I was transitioning out of religion.
4. The Blind Watchmaker, by Richard Dawkins. Renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins puts forth in Darwin-like exhaustive detail the theory of evolution by natural selection, and why he believes the evidence supports the idea that the universe exists by natural means alone. Much of Dawkins’ book illustrates his own groundbreaking work in the field of evolution.
Nic Lochbihler (Bass)
5. Dungeons &Dragons The Player’s Handbook, by Wizards of the Coast. This isn’t a story book but I have had great nights playing D&D with friends. D&D gives you the framework to create and make up your own stories and characters. The best part is since you create and play the characters yourselves, anytime you recall a moment that happened in your campaign it’s like you were there actually in the story and you had lived it. It’s a great creative exercise and if you haven’t played D&D yet, you should.
6. The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University by Kevin Roose. I actually listened to this on audiobook while I was working at a digital distribution company. It’s a really good memoir that gives great perspectives on how the secular community views the religious community and vice versa. In general the book has a nice balanced perspective with regard to its tone, and for me taught how look at someone else’s point of view with an open mind.
7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. Brave New World is a classic book and in a lot of ways kinda mirrors a lot of the darker aspects of modern society. Soma in the book has a strong parallel to modern day glorification of being high all the time. Also how consumerism left unchecked kinda devalues things, since nowadays it’s typically cheaper to replace something rather than repair it. Dating in the book kinda mirrors Tinder culture a little bit too. The main takeaway from the book for me is twofold; first that just because you were born into a less than ideal situation doesn’t mean you’re stuck there. In the book members are born into a caste and are expected to stay there, which is the antithesis of free will. You might need to go against the flow a little bit and look a bit weird but you can accomplish your dreams. Second takeaway for me is learning how to adapt. John, one of the main protagonists, has trouble adapting to the civilized world and it ends up taking a toll on him. It’s not that he has to change his core values, but failure to adapt and reconcile his values with modern society was ultimately his undoing.
8. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells. For me this book kinda has a Sith-like moral philosophy. A life without struggle can make you weak and complacent. Adversity and overcoming it is the process that makes you stronger and smarter.
Chris Lochbihler (Drums)
9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F@&$, by Mark Manson. It’s more of a alternative self help book. It’s kinda about finding your own ebb and flow of life. To do what truly makes you happy. It’s an interesting read but not for everyone.
10. The Darwin Awards, by Wendy Northcutt. This book is about how people eliminate themselves from the gene pool in comical ways. In short, a bunch of stupid people dying because of poor life decisions.
Thank you to I Am The Law, whose new album Hymn Of The Vulture is released on October 5th. You can discover their music here: