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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