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Anonymus > Instinct > Reviews
Anonymus - Instinct

The commercial US-friendly instinct - 82%

drjuyss, May 12th, 2021

After two great technical thrash metal albums, Anonymus decided to go on another direction with their third album : Instinct. Like a lot of young promising bands who wish to make their music reach a wider audience, Anonymus decided to record something with a more mainstream sound and oriented towards the English language in a hope to reach the US metal scene. While being a decent album keeping their classic raw straightforward sound, I think that the band lost itself a little bit on this record.

First of all, I can say that Instinct is a well produced album and the instrumental still sounds great. It contains two types of songs : firstly, you have the fast short songs like Out of Breath and Garde-fou (Madkeeper) with a crossover thrash feeling, and secondly, the groove nu-metal kind of songs represented by tracks like Feed The Dragon, Goal and High-Tech Resurrection. Both approaches togheter results in a good contrasting balance between raw underground songs and more acessible heavy metal. Add to this a bilingual slow paced song in the name of Tierra, and a Stress-like song like Que le diable m'emporte (May The Devil Take Me Away), and you have a frankly complete album made to attract every type of listeners. Like mentionned, Instinct is far less technical than the previous albums, focusing more on short accessible songs tainted with speed and a grungy atmosphere, but it's not a bad transformation musically speaking. Vocals and drumming are still in your face and blasting. In the bass/guitar department, the parts are more at unison, but it increases the heavyness. In fact, Instinct contains a lot of slower heavy breaks like the ending of Virtually Insane. To summarize, Anonymus is still a powerful band even if they focused more on a foreign language lyrically speaking; a proof that the band was not only famous locally for singing in French, but also because they were able to put out great music, witch Instinct provides in abundance.

The major problem with Instinct is that it's obvious and audible that Anonymus were not active English speakers and songwriters at the time. Their very strong English accents, especially in Souto's case, blended with their signature shouting vocals make it almost a joke, it's hard to take them seriously. It makes a part of the material a bit meaningless and past Evil Blood, it begins to feel bland until you get to the final French song. Speaking about French, a lot of songs would have been more efficient and convincing if they were written in this language. Proof is that the two French-written songs of the albums are the most memorable, Que le diable m'emporte still being a recurring live track. This song has this old energic meaningful rage feeling harder to find on their third record. I would also have expected a more straightforward Spanish song, and an artsier Italian song instead of a strange bilingual (and a little bit cliché) track.

Instinct is not a bad album, the truth is that no Anonymus albums are bad, but while the instrumental is still great and raw in a good way, the bland themes and the meaningless lyrics does not make every songs stand out like in Stress. As far as I like the English language, Anonymus did not use it greatly in this album and unfortunately it makes the difference between an excellent and an above-decent record, Instinct being the former.

Favourite songs : Impact is Imminent, Garde-fou (Madkeeper), Evil Blood, High-Tech Resurrection, Que le diable m'emporte (May The Devil Take Me Away)

“Trust Your Instincts; All Else Will Follow Suit… - 60%

bayern, August 20th, 2018

… handsomely”. Bullshit. The album reviewed here wouldn’t have been such a disappointment if it hadn’t arrived after two fabulous displays of technical/progressive thrash dexterity that were the band’s first two showings. The style on those two was a potent blend of the old and the modern school (more old than modern), heavy complex, monolithic affairs bringing sweet memories of Metallica’s more technical (1986-88) exploits and 90’s meisterwerks like the French Aleister’s “Tribal Tech”, to give one prominent example. What distinguished the band from the 90’s pack was also the excellent, very tasteful use of melodic licks, both in the lead and riff department, those giving their repertoire a characteristic, catchy vibe comparable to the one the Americans Tourniquet epitomized on their later works (think “Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm”, above all).

Job very well done, but comes this effort here and the cards get reshuffled in a not very attractive way I’m afraid. The whole album is sustained in a somewhat jocund, carefree manner the serious intricate lustre of the earlier recordings very thinly covered, replaced by direct thrashcore shenanigans that sound strictly modern for most of the time. Uplifting, more optimistic tones had already sneaked into the guys’ repertoire on the preceding offering, but here they have taken nearly the whole space, not giving too many chances to more seriously executed shredders like the volatile “Virtually Insane” and the officiant Meshuggah-esque stomper “Hi-Tech Resurrection” to breathe. The majority of the cuts are explosive angry bashers finally matching the staple shouty hardcore-ish vocals, and the pogo will by all means be guaranteed, not to mention a couple of tracks (“Garde-Fou”, “Evil Blood”) where shades of melo-death boldly enter the picture, this particular additive later playing a much bigger role on subsequent recordings. Reminders of the more technical approach of old are placed towards the end where one will totally savour the nostalgic, semi-balladic officiancy of “Terra”, and the more intricate walkabouts on the headbanging delight “Que Le Diable M'Emporte”, the only number sung in French here.

Not a complete throw-away, this opus couldn’t quite convince anyone that the main Annihilator rivals for the Canadian thrash premiership during the 90’s were ready to lead their home scene through the stirring at the time old school revival campaign. Again, retro metal this isn’t save for a few isolated moments, the abrasive production stifling those lofty attempts, keeping the setting within the noisier, vociferous parametres. The guys just bash with vigour with little restraint, and this is probably not such a bad thing, if you think of it, as following your primal instincts can’t be the worst idea in the world…

it’s just that the guys never returned to their early, more technical feats; “Daemonium” was a mish-mash of all kinds of influences, from power to death metal and everything in-between; and "L'Academie du Massacre" was an experimental collaboration with the Canadian folk-rock singer Mononc' Serge, an interesting listenable mixture of laid-back folk-ish motifs and more hard-hitting shredding. "Chapter Chaos Begins" introduced death metal more prominently the guys embracing the Gothenburg standards whole-heartedly to mixed results again, the established formula dominating the next few outings including the other collaboration with Serge (“Musique Barbare”). Not as instinctively executed anymore, the guys’ recent works continue making the rounds, semi-handsomely at least, keeping the fans in the vicinity without promising any more elaborate feats in the near future.

Anonymus deserves a major label - 95%

Thrash_Till_Death, September 19th, 2002

From the opening track, you know what your in for. While they are labelled as speed metal, thats just the best guess. There are too many elements to define them correctly. The first few tracks will bring you into their world and by the end of the cd, you will be happy you came.

Most of the tracks on this cd are of the same style, which is fast. I don't want to be totally misleading, as this isn't slayer fast. The first track, Virtually Insane, is a pretty good track, which has some cool double bass licks and some good guitar work. The only thing that might take awhile to get used to is the singing. Its in a yelling style, not quite like the haunted, but still hardcorish. After the first track, the cd speeds along. In Impact is Imminent, there is a moment that sounds like Iced Earth. Other songs bring to mind bands like the haunted, a few megadeth type riffs and much more.

All in all, this cd is awesome. Its fast, its under 40 minutes and you'll enjoy it. They utilize all three languages they are familar with, mainly english, 2 french songs and one spanish song. Standout tracks are Impact is Imminent, Garde-fou, Evil Blood and Que le diable m'emporte