The name is Animosity Kills and if the Norwegian band can realise the open potential rifling through their debut EP Manipulative, it could be a moniker you will become very aware of. The four track rumble of metal wears its influences firmly on its sleeve, inspirations from the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, and Testament clear and familiar attributes, but that does not stop the introduction to the Askøy quintet being charged with fresh and tenaciously modern enterprise. It is a thoroughly enjoyable encounter making a potent nudge on ears and awareness.
Animosity Kills began in the October of 2013 and consists of rhythm guitarists Stephan Høgtun and Rupert Notøy Rødland alongside lead guitarist Mats Bruland, as well as vocalist/bassist Erik Lindelid and drummer Sindre Høgtun Gjelsvik. There is little more we can reveal about them except that on good authority they are one mighty beast live, a suggestion easy to go with going by the energy and intensity of the songs within Manipulative.
The EP opens up with Thermic Vision which is immediately badgering ears with a horde of rugged riffs and a wonderful carnivorously dark tone from Lindelid’s bass. With the crisp swipes of Høgtun Gjelsvik’s sticks on skin adding to the already volatile mix, the track is soon into a predatory stride bred from thrash seeds. Swiftly a busyness to the sound and songwriting of the band grabs ears, the creative web as clear as the spices sparking their sound, Pantera and Metallica the obvious references to the imposing and compelling opener. The track continues to prowl and roam over the senses, never exploding as it hints it might and thoughts hoped it would but still providing a captivating and combative persuasion sparking a keen appetite for what is on offer and yet to come.
To come is first of all Lord Of Darkness, it also tall and muscular with fiery guitars and thumping rhythms ridden by the strong vocals of Lindelid. As its predecessor, the song also keeps things turning and twisting with creative regularity, the trio of guitars creating a weave of individual and united resourcefulness which just licks at ears as the rhythmic side of the band tempers their adventure with a bordering on bestial contrast and threat. It is an accomplished and richly satisfying proposal but quickly outshone by the following Ballistic. Even with its firm tempting of riffs lined with slim hooks there is a new air of variety, and so it continues as the song expands into an enthralling stomp of rich contagion equipped with a virulent swagger. There is a touch of Volbeat and Grumpynators to it, the same kind of swinging infectiousness they are known for fuelling the addictive power of the chorus and the rousing riffs leading into it especially. With blistering melodic craft and endeavour pouring from Bruland’s guitar across the similarly gripping adventure sprung by Høgtun and Høgtun Gjelsvik, the track is a show stopper, or should that be inciter.
Manipulate concludes with its title track, a song riding thrash cultured torrents of compelling riffery and pummelling rhythms, including another hypnotic bass snarl, and twisting them into a blaze of instinctive heavy/classic metal. It has the old school air you might imagine but the fire of the track flames with touches of alternative and groove metal as well as simply a bruising and healthy dose of raw rock ‘n’ roll.
It is a fine end to an impressive first taste of Animosity Kills, a band with the promise and tools, not forgetting invention, to forge their own distinct and rich place in the metal scene sometime ahead.
The Manipulative EP is out now @ http://animositykills.bandcamp.com/releases