Well over two years ago, Norwegian outfit Animosity Kills stole attention with their first EP, Manipulative. It offered up a rousing mix of heavy and thrash metal, a fusion nurtured in the influence of bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, and Testament but as fresh and bold as it was familiar. It was fuelled by inescapable potential and suggestion of bigger, bolder, and more individual things to come; a suggestion more than partly realised by the band’s debut album, Severance.
It is probably fair to say that the Bergen hailing quintet still has some way to go to find their truly unique sound and character but with releases like Severance there will be no irritation at the wait. The eight track release is a magnetic beast of a roar with songs which just glue to the memory as greedily as they do ears. Formed in 2013, Animosity Kills boasts a three-pronged guitar attack all geared to stir up the listener in body and spirit; an intent as forcibly and inventively matched by the band’s rhythmic enterprise. Manipulative was an ear catching introduction to Animosity Kills; Severance evidence of a band destined to be further widely embraced.
The album opens with Black Death, gently luring in the listener with an opening melody. It is soon backed by a towering wall of riff and rhythm, one still controlled but swiftly springing a ravenous charge of raw riffs and rhythmic biting. Its thrash instincts are to the fore, driving through ears as eagerly as the swinging incitement of drummer Eirik Nilsen and the brooding tone of lead vocalist Erik Lindelid’s bass. With an underlying rabidity to its charge and a predacious restraint to the invasive bait of guitarists Stephan Høgtun, Rupert Notøy Rødland, and Mats Bruland, the song tempts and teases in between ravaging the senses, promising more ferocity than it unleashes but benefitting in that manipulative suggestion.
It is a potent and enticing start Dead On Arrival continues with its bristling and irritable but fiercely infectious attack. Leading up to its virulent chorus, the song commands eager attention but grabs it like a puppeteer with a focal point which has neck muscles and fists as involved as vocal chords. Around that beast of a chorus, the guitars weave a web of enticement as rhythms again prowl and pounce with anthemic prowess, the track real evidence of the band’s growing and evolving sound whilst stirring up the senses and attitude with prime thrash volatility.
The following Lord Of Darkness looms over ears from its first breath, riffs and grooves colluding in thick enticement as rhythms firmly rap the senses beside Lindelid’s vocal growl. As it grows, the song twists and turns, the guitars weaving individual and united resourcefulness with almost lusty appetite as beats and bass continue to bring threat and intensity to the inescapably catchy challenge.
Its success is swiftly matched and eclipsed by that of Thermic Vision, a track which instantly gripped personal appetites with its snarling opening riffs and a gnarly carnivorous bassline to drool over. Captivating grooves entwine the dark intent and temptation, the rapacious edge to Lindelid’s vocals adding to the alluring menace of the song. Its thick thrash nurtured riffs are an equally predatory incursion aided by the thick slaps of Nilsen’s beats, it all together creating a track as sonically stylish as it is barbarously intrusive around a volatile heart.
The album’s title track is next, instantly pulling ears into its torrents of compelling riffery and pummelling rhythms with an addictive touch which seeps into the following Pantera scented prowl of voice and song. It is a predacious trespass broken by Metallica-esque twists and flames of metal varied rock ‘n’ roll, groove and alternative traits among many. With a mouth-watering hook which infests the psyche, the song grabs a thick urge of participation before Revolutionary Suicide saunters in with a feisty and imposing swagger. From its first breath it swings as it harries the senses, its contagious instincts complimented by a more composed but just as tempting exploration which leads to a mercurial passage of melodic and progressively scented enterprise.
The mighty Ballistic was a major treat on the band’s first EP and again hits the spot with its grooved entangled rock ‘n’ roll. With something of Grumpynators to its virulent swagger and ravenous swing, the track is a quickly addictive incitement which only escalates its individual lures and united contagion by the groove, rhythmic swipe, and vocal snarl.
Invictus completes the release, its opening riffs preying on ears and appetite with a predatory intent before taking it into its blossoming prowl of thrash discontent and heavy metal fire which in turn expands into melodically cast suggestion amid bolder adventure. Though the song did not grab as vigorously as others, its enjoyable individual endeavour suggests a sound already evolving with an imagination to really anticipate ahead.
Certainly Animosity Kills has a sound which is not the most unique but as Severance declares in a roar which leaves ears richly pleasured, it has freshness and potential which is only heading in one direction.
Severance is available now @ https://animositykills.bandcamp.com/album/severance
Pete RingMaster 08/03/2018
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