Review Summary: So apparently not all teenagers end up sounding like the Jonas Brothers when they're put together in a band.
Over the years Animosity have managed to climb up to the top of the deathcore scene alongside such genre giants as All Shall Perish and Job For A Cowboy, and looking back at their first full length release, it's no surprise how. Shut It Down
has a much more noticeable influence from metalcore than their newest releases, but this is hardly a bad thing. After the intro track finishes up, we get thrown into Grey Skies
, an in-your-face blast of impressive guitar work, groovy beats, and heavy bass, made even better when you realize that nearly none of the members of the outfit were even 18 at the time this release was made. Shut It Down keeps itself separated from most groups that some how manage to get record deals nowadays with the lack of any emotional ballads, acoustic wankery, or tracks that have been gimmicked over, it's all ferocious metal from start to finish. While this may seem like a bad thing to some of you tight-pants-wearing-long-ass-fringe-having scenemo kids, the rest of us will take this as a plus. Again separating themselves from the legions of overly brutal clones focusing on nothing other than gore, porn, and death are the political and socially aware lyrics:
"Where to turn when the whole world's at war
We will be smart but we won't be passive anymore
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"
An impressive start to both Animosity's career, and their debut album. Leo Miller's vocals are somewhat repetitive throughout the release, while higher pitched screams and screeches do come out on occasion, his inexperience tends to keep him with lower pitched screams and growls. Buildups for tracks are almost nonexistent here, so the intensity is there from start to finish. The longest track in the album is just over 3 minutes long, showing that while Animosity wants to melt your faces off, they weren't going to overstay their visit. Fake Blood
soon comes into play and showcases one of the few actual buildups of the album. Nick Lazaro starts out with some chugging, followed almost immediately by Navene Koperweis adding some heavy-as-hell blast beats. The rest of the band follows in this fashion, and right as you think the buildup is over, Leo Miller starts growling and the song slows down for a split second until everything speeds up even more and Miller showcases one of the few times where he actually breaks away from his growling and changes to an almost Bannon-esque scream. This track also showcases breakdowns done right, while there is more than there really should be, they are pulled off without every single member trying to get as deep and guttural as possible or trying to start a mosh even though every second of the song up to that point would have been enough to start one. The songs slow down, get a little deeper and showcase even more of the talent the band has been using up to this point. Right as you think the album will start to slow down and ease up a bit, Anti-Kingdom
comes up and greets you with more great guitar work, heavier bass, heavier beats, and even more growling than before.
Do yourself a favor and get this album. Close the windows, lock the door, invite over some friends, and start a mosh pit in your mother's basement if you have to, just don't miss this, or any of their other albums. Shut It Down
a short but solid release, and unless you're absolutely sure that hardcore is dead,
Actually, you'd be crazy to pass it up even then.