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ANIMOSITY
ANIMAL
METAL BLADE

San Francisco quintet Animosity return with their ridiculously heavy third release, the 11-track ANIMAL. Displaying an impressive technical prowess much like their peers in The Red Chord and Between the Buried and Me, this act worked hard to rise beyond their deathcore roots without sacrificing an ounce of brutality thanks in part to working with hardcore guru Kurt Ballou at his God City recording compound. Weaving snippets of melodic solos within blistering riffs and cranium-cracking rhythms found on "Operating from the Ditch" and "Toothgrinder", Animosity shows the ability to grow without diluting their potent mix of grindcore, death, and thrash. While you'd be hard pressed to keep up with the abundance of time signature changes and rapid-fire machine-gun guitar riffs spit out by the volatile twin guitars on tracks like "Bombs Over Rome", there are points (albeit rare on ANIMAL) where you can catch your breath for a brief time before the carnage continues. The Slipknot-esque breakdown found on the resounding "You Can't Win", one of album's more accessible tracks, and the collection's closer "A Passionate Journey", a whammy-bar Pantera tribute that disperses into a solo drum outro, stand out here as such examples. Nonetheless, if you seek a disc to reach out and beat someone senseless to, all signs point to ANIMAL as the go-to album to pick up.
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- Mike SOS