Animosity

Empires

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Animosity's second full-length is a big step up from debut Shut It Down. The band's signatures are not only intact, but also more fully developed. Death metal, thrash, and hardcore punk (though in lesser proportion now) mix seamlessly in this ball of aggression. The guitars mesh more cohesively with the rhythm section, and technical chops are on full display. The most significant addition is Southern swing à la Pantera -- see "Commoditism" and "Holy Shackles." The result is more melody, as guitars stretch out, if briefly, with wah-wah fueled leads. The bluesy grooves also carry more space, though they're offset by relentless death metal passages. Leo Miller compounds the urgency with frantic vocal patterns that defy traditional verse-chorus structures. He's still full of defiant idealism: "Live my life, the way that I am supposed to, as a human, not as a fucking drone." The two years since Shut It Down have deepened Miller's death growl, to the point where he can viably compete with death metal's elite. However, he often toggles between low growls and mid-range screams. This and the bluesy death metal contrast create a strong push/pull throughout. The result is a bit breathless, and songs are hard to pick out of the fray, but Animosity more than earn their name here. Famed artist Paul Romano appropriately contributes artwork full of torsion and physicality.

blue highlight denotes track pick