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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.