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Another great deathcore album from Animosity - 82%

Noktorn, May 30th, 2008

If you're familiar with previous Animosity albums, you'll know that they're a rather unique deathcore band, very much unlike others of the same genre. Instead of the normal breakdown heavy formula that you hear in bands like Waking The Cadaver or the tech death/metalcore fusion of bands like Despised Icon, Animosity employs a mid to fast paced combination of modern hardcore and pure death metal, making for a sound that isn't quite like anything else in the scene today. 'Animal' changes things up a bit by increasing the amount of death metal influences even further, with more blast beats and brutal riffs than before, along with an increased technical ability. While I'm not sure if it's quite as excellent as their material on the seminal 'Empires', it is an extremely solid album that most deathcore detractors would be wise to give a listen.

'Animal' is as a whole much faster and more openly technical than the band's previous works. While other Animosity albums had a certain level of complexity owing to subtle tempo and rhythmic changes, 'Animal' has a lot more openly technical riffs, even approaching mathcore levels at times. As previously stated, the band has amped up the level of death metal influence, particularly on the first half of the album, with harsher vocals than before and more aggressive drumming. It's certainly the sound of Animosity trying to make their music more intense than their traditional hardcore leanings would typically allow. Not to say that the hardcore feel is absent at all; if anything, its grown stronger but more independent, with passages composed of essentially pure Bury Your Dead-style hardcore popping up frequently with the band's traditional midpaced, back-and-forth rhythms as intact as always.

All the technical performances are top notch, as is the production, so no complaints on that front. If anything it's a bit noisy, with the instruments perhaps being too clear and sharp, taking away a bit from the core sound of the record. This is really a minor issue though, and little is able to take away from the songwriting talent and compositional skill evidenced here.

Overall, 'Animal' is another great installment from one of the best deathcore bands in the metal scene today. I definitely recommend this not only to current Animosity and general deathcore fans, but also those who feel that all deathcore has to feature constant breakdowns and pit riffs; you'll likely be pleasantly surprised.

Almost Orgasmic - 95%

m0rBid_Psych0sis, March 30th, 2008

Now, I'm not a big fan of the metalcore/deathcore scene by any means at all, but this band truely stands out from the rest. Animosity's barbaric yet technical brand of deathcore is like an assault of killer riff after killer riff that will leave you begging for more. You can actually hear the death metal influence and it's not completely reliant on breakdowns and annoying stereotypical metalcore eerie sounding chords.

The song structure here is just plain fucking great. Animosity keeps you on you toes with their arsenal of riffage, always keeping everything sounding fresh. Also they do some the fastest tremolo picking I've ever heard. The drums here are also quite impressive not completely reliant on blastbeasts, and really mixing it up. The only thing that I would complain about is that the bass isn't really very audible; I would like to here more of it in the future. Now the vocals, they are fucking amazing, this guy can go from a mid-ranged growl to a low guttering growl to a hardcore type yell, so quickly you would think there is four or five vocalist. Whatever he's doing it always complements the music and vise versa. These guys are true musicians; executing complex time signature changes and ridiculously technical riffs flawlessly. Never being repetitive, and also some of the most entertaining lyrics I've ever read, especially in "Bombs Over Rome".

The album at first might sound chaotic and unstructured, but after a second listen I found that it was the other way around: structured chaos. From the opening unison growls of "Terrorstorm" to the seemingly pointless four-second burst of energy "Evangelicult" and finally the shredding solo section of "A Passionate Journey". Overall I found this album to be very enjoyable, not quite orgasmic, but the point just before the climax. I recommend this album to anyone looking for a breathe of fresh air in an over-rated ocean of mallcore shit that threatens to drown us all, and I’m looking forward to another great release by Animosity (without the blue balls).

Savage American tech metal - 79%

Lustmord56, January 10th, 2008

I’ve always thought of Animosity as the deathcore/hardcore equivalent of Decapitated; they released their impressive debut, Shut it Down when they were 15 years old, and thought have not yet matched Decapitated’s outputs yet, with the slightly under helming and overly chaotic Empires, the band, with Animal, looks to be rising to the same level as The Red Chord, a band they share a large amount of stylistic similarities with.

On Animal, the age comparison with Decapitated is now added to musically by a larger technical death metal element. As with some of their peers, the ‘core’ side of things has been lessened in favor of a more complex yet structured form of angular vortexes, deeper vocals and more challenging musical delivery. Maybe it’s the addition of bassist Evan Brewer (of Prog metal act Reflux), or just the natural maturation of a bunch of angry teens to slightly more experienced musicians, but either way, Animal, is just that-feral, beastly and slathering at the jaws to tear your throat out.

After the brutal opening salvo of “Terror Storm”, which quickly and deftly cements some of the Decapitated/tech death metal comparisons, you can almost feel the band become more comfortable and confident as they flirt with an almost playful melody wrapping around the lurching “Tooth Grinder” or short lived solos on the title track and “Plunder Incorporated”. Otherwise, the 11 slabs of modern, grinding, jagged heft (with the exception of the rather needless bursts of “Evangelicult” and “Elucidation”), that’s neither mindlessly chaotic and screechy or reliant on breakdowns. Tracks like “Operating from the Ditch”, “You Cant Win”, “Progression in Defeat” and closer “A Passionate Journey” highlight a group of young men, who are skilled and confident, yet seem to be barely scratching the surface of their limits.

Rounded out one of Kurt Ballou’s (Converge) beefier productions and some cool Paul Romano artwork, Animal is a rabid shot in the arm for tired modern American metal.

By Erik Thomas (originally posted at http://www.digitalmetal.com)

Something new and not bad - 95%

purerockfury, November 14th, 2007

Animosity, while maybe not be a part of the poineering movement, still remains a tech-death band, but continues to challenge to sound when most of their contemporaries are content with junt, junt and more junt.

Never have these guys stuck to one sound. If 'Empires' was the bands transition from their hardcore roots, then 'Animals' is the bands new embrace of a more death metal oriented sound pretty much saying good bye to what we used to know them as.

While still very technical, the rhythms are not as jagged as 'Empires'. 'Aminals' comes close to a Cryptopsy style death metal; technical as fuck, yet not masturbatority. The band can still write a song that sounds good and not for the sole intent of showing off their chops.
They continue to keep their sound fresh without surrendering to their old tendencies. I cannot say that I am a fan of the genre but Animosity keeps me anticipating their next step, something most bands of their style cannot do.