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Empires

Animosity

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Album Review

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 f*****g 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.

Biography

Formed: 2000 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

San Francisco's Animosity have been combining the growl of death metal with the scream of hardcore and thrash metal since 2000. All the members were in high school and some were only 15 at the time. Three years later they would release Shut It Down on the Tribunal label, then in 2005 they would move to Black Market Activities and release Empires. The growth that had occurred between the two albums was noticed by the high-profile Metal Blade, who signed the band in 2006. Before they began working...
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Empires, Animosity
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