Animosity

Shut It Down

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    7
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Animosity's first full-length is surprisingly mature, considering that some members were only 15 when recording the album. The group hadn't yet grown into the technical death metal behemoth it would become, but its identity was already evident. Shut It Down mixes atonal death metal with hardcore punk breakdowns and a strong thrash influence, the latter perhaps a product of the band's Bay Area origins. The production is crisp and clear, but a bit light. Thus, the speedier passages are more effective than the breakdowns, which tend to drag. Songwriting isn't a big priority, but riffs are, as the guitarists peel off pick squeals and Suffocation-esque machine gun breaks with ease. The drumming is speedy and occasionally colorful. Leo Miller's death growl hadn't fully developed at this point, so here he sticks mostly to mid-range screams. His idealistic, socially aware lyrics avoid death metal's usual blasphemous tropes: "Our nation constantly instilling the fear/To prolong this war another ten years/But we won't give in to your fight/We'll fight for what is right." This is a solid opening salvo from hardcore punks disguised as metallers.

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