Exotic Animal Petting Zoo
I Have Made My Bed in Darkness


5.0
classic

Review

by ConcubinaryCode USER (21 Reviews)
July 13th, 2022 | 72 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A lesson you'll never forget

You will no doubt think Exotic Animal Petting Zoo sounds like one of your favorite bands. The Dillinger Escape Plan, Deftones, Fear Before, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, BATS, The Mars Volta, Failure, Converge, The Blood Brothers; all these bands that seem to elicit comparisons toward Exotic Animal Petting Zoo. However, the band name gives a big hint to the listener, as Exotic Animal Petting Zoo gathers the sounds of the most beloved bands in the larger -core scenes and not only displays them but crafts them into an entirely unique beast of its' own. If I had to narrow down their sound to a single genre, I'd say mathcore but even that does the album a disservice because so many genres are pulled from.

I Have Made My Bed In Darkness is creatively layered with a variety of styles that would capture the attention of even the most jaded listener, as it effortlessly sounds technical while retaining an evident fun factor. The album never stumbles from one idea to another, instead sliding into verse after verse, line after line like a twisting roller coaster swaying you through an always contorting track. You wont find any standard songwriting structures; I Have Made My Bed In Darkness eschews things like repetitive choruses and obvious verses altogether focusing more on things like buildingÂ* surrealist atmospheric songs such as the albums highmarks Every Waking Moment or These People Refuse to Believe That the Lake is Bottomless. Both songs highlight some of the best writing on the album between the more slower, somber buildups juxtaposed against frantic outbursts of energy that swell into a climatic crescendo. This is all without touching on this mysterious aura surrounding the songs aided in part by peculiar, almost occult lyrics indicating something more dwelling under the surface. The album is just a masterclass of ingenuity, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear someone having several favorite moments just in the same song.

I don't want to understate how talented every single band member is either, and with such a great mixing job everything is pronounced enough to be properly appreciated. The singer has terrific range and uses it often, and the harsh vocalist has great presence without commanding enough of a songs runtime to become mundane. The electronic components add an extra dimension that couldn't be carried by the drumming or guitar licks alone. Every instrument is incorporated in ways that add to the benefit of the experience leaving nothing superfluous. If you're a musician you will find something to appreciate here if not love. I dare anyone to say there isn't. Every song brings some new idea to the table with the players only bringing their best, so there's never a dull second which is a feat for an hour-long album.

I Have Made My Bed In Darkness honestly rivals some of my other favorite albums not just in the scene but in general, with such an incredible sound it never gets boring and I've always come back to it just to appreciate it more since this released all the way back in 2008. If this band didn't release a follow up album they could've been one of those more infamous bands that drop an absolutely mind-boggling release before dissolving away leaving only a cult hit behind to be appreciated a little too late. That's the worst thing about it all; this album makes you feel like we're missing out by not having the most unlikely people making some of the best music.



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user ratings (257)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ConcubinaryCode
July 13th 2022


7491 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Double post frick

ConcubinaryCode
July 13th 2022


7491 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks to mortimus for the look over in the proofreading thread, as he helped me buff it up quite a bit imo. Could be better in a few ways but this is the type of band that's hard to really pinpoint down and simply must be heard to be believed.

pizzamachine
July 13th 2022


26510 Comments


Da pos

MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2022


20942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Finally



Tree of Tongues better but this band was aces, I miss them every day.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
July 13th 2022


70239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tree of tongues is most certainly not better but it was a surprisingly worthy successor to an overlooked metalcore classic

MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2022


20942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought they were making a comeback when they played some shows a few years back, but I think they've just kinda drift apart at this point. Sucks.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
July 13th 2022


70239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh well, sometimes good things are better left alone

SteakByrnes
July 13th 2022


29470 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell yea this album fucks

MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2022


20942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Oh well, sometimes good things are better left alone"



Left two very good albums behind, I'll take it

ConcubinaryCode
July 13th 2022


7491 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The big factors for the band not being able to branch out more (to my knowledge) are the label they were on kinda fucking them over and just not able to afford being a band. I'll take two albums vs nothing but it does suck when a clearly talented band isn't able to be viable.



Their next album is just as good in a lot of ways to this one but I give the edge to this album because it's not afraid to brew a little more when it needs to.

MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2022


20942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn. These guys really were a unique force, it's a shame if that's true.

ConcubinaryCode
July 13th 2022


7491 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Two band members are brothers and I recall they just do basic bitch type work now but they did get to tour when #12 started back up which must've been an incredible show and I'm salty I wasn't able to see it.



this band is a 3 piece btw.

Mort.
July 14th 2022


24843 Comments


wait ive never heard this one? wtf

pizzamachine
July 14th 2022


26510 Comments


Da hell

MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2022


20942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mooooooooooort

Mort.
July 14th 2022


24843 Comments


yeh i just looked through the tracklist and i dont recognise any of it. must have only heard the second one . woops. saving the album for later

Lord(e)Po)))ts
July 14th 2022


70239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

“Left two very good albums behind, I'll take it”



Yeah. can’t think of a lot of instances of bands coming back from long hiatus’s without sullying their legacy. Or alternatively just making music for far too long past their prime and just adding a bunch of trash to their discography. I really appreciate when an artist knows it’s the right time to exhaust a project, and to leave well enough alone.

MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2022


20942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This has been a strange year in that regard, feels like a lot of projects that had broken up or were on a long hiatus have returned. Not sure how you feel about Gospel, but I think they pulled it off very well.



But that's definitely an exception to the rule lol

Demon of the Fall
July 14th 2022


32761 Comments


why haven't I heard this band? Maybe I should

MarsKid
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2022


20942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Only one of the best modern -core has to offer... no biggie...



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