Enter The Killzone

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There have been so many different bands (metal and otherwise) named Anima -- some from Europe, some from North America, some from other parts of the world -- that it is hard to sort them out. This Anima is the German deathcore band that gave us Souls of the Decedents in 2006 and The Daily Grind in 2008; these moshers are known for going for the jugular, and they continue to do exactly that on their third album, Enter the Killzone. This 2010 release is full of familiar deathcore clichés; Anima open the 40-minute disc with an excerpt from a campy horror movie (which isn't exactly unheard of in deathcore), and they continue to pour on the camp with a caustic yet darkly comic blend of death metal and metalcore. Anima, like countless other deathcore bands, get a lot of inspiration from early-‘90s grindcore. But instead of trying to sound exactly like Carcass or Cannibal Corpse circa 1991-1992, they also employ metalcore elements -- although the metalcore influence (screaming vocals, breakdowns galore) is musical rather than lyrical. The angry, dead-serious introspection of Hatebreed and their countless followers is nowhere to be found here; instead, Enter the Killzone's lyrics recall grindcore's goofy horror/slasher themes. And those lyrics are delivered in two extreme vocal styles: a guttural Cookie Monster growl and a piercing shriek that owes something to metalcore's screaming as well as to black metal's rasp. In contrast to a lot of the death metal, black metal and folk metal from Scandinavia and gothic metal from Italy, Enter the Killzone doesn't pretend to be artsy or deep-thinking; Anima's only concerns are over-the-top entertainment and harsh, skullcrushing bombast. Of course, many other deathcore bands have done this type of thing -- and in some cases, with more memorable results. Enter the Killzone has its moments, although there isn't a whole lot to separate Anima from a long list of similar bands in the increasingly crowded deathcore field.

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