If you understandably missed the limited regional release of the Fall of the Elite EP last year, Scottish metallers Animus have provided another chance to immerse in its tempest with its deserved nationwide unleashing. Consisting of four savagely aggressive and rivetingly varied slabs of sonic provocation, the band’s introduction is a mouthwatering onslaught providing a well of satisfaction as deep as the promise also rampaging through its sinews. Its sound whips up an antagonistic fury from a brew of progressive death metal and djent with technical and groove metal, creating a predation which is equally recognisable and innovative. Fall of the Elite certainly suggests this is a band still evolving its presence but one with major expulsions ahead you easily feel.
Hailing from Dundee, Animus was formed in 2010 by drummer Poul Thomassen and guitarist Sam Gilmour. It was not long before the pair was joined by second guitarist Graham Brown and Gavin Holloway on bass. The first couple of years saw the band playing around Scotland drawing strong support and responses but it was with the addition of vocalist Aaron Fawns in 2012 that it could be said a spark ignited within the band, the quintet finding that something bringing everything into focus and vital explosiveness. A further rampage of shows ensued, including sharing stages with the likes of Bleed From Within, To Kill Achilles, Here Lies A Warning, Heights, Silent Screams, Chronographs, Hero In Error, Our People Versus Yours, and I Divide, all only increasing the stature and reputation of the band. The final weeks of 2012 saw Animus enter the studio to sculpt their debut Fall Of The Elite, influences from the likes of After The Burial, Suicide Silence, Bring Me The Horizon, Whitechapel, and Tesseract spicing up their own distinct toxicity. After a well-received first unveiling, the EP is now poised to work on the rest of the UK with its ravenous and creative intensity.
Drawing a single breath whilst a groan brews in the background, opener Damnation announces its presence with an intriguing air accentuated by sirens and an apocalyptic ambience. With the scene set, the track emerges from the anarchy with forcibly twisting grooves and percussive provocation speared by vicious rhythms skirted by predatory riffing. The vocals of Fawns snarl and growl with bile soaked animosity, his direct intent sharing enough variety to engage whilst musically the band lashes and entices the senses with a masterful and bold invention. The song is not the most malevolent and violent proposition but holds an intimidation and intensity which leaves knees buckled and ears scarred as its imagination captures that of its recipient with ease and enterprise.
The following DB8666 follows suit but instantly uncages a lethal groove and commanding swagger which leaves its predecessor in the shade. The swinging contagion of the track is clad in a threatening musculature upon a djent inspired spine whilst it’s flailing sonic arms and acrid melodic adventure provides the most compelling hues to potently ignite the imagination. Every move and twist of the song is pure infectious bait, at times almost too involved in itself but never relinquishing the tightest entrapment of thoughts and emotions. As all the tracks upon the EP, there is plenty to discover with each subsequent encounter, certain underlying textures and touches unveiled within the increasingly persuasive tempestuous engagement after numerous excursions.
The following Home(less) is a bestial display of maliciousness but one aligned to the most creative progressive enticement yet. The guitars sculpt simultaneously uncompromising and seductive endeavours whilst bass and drums carve out bruising lures which also only beckon and threaten. Once again the song is a cascade of innovative manipulations which flirt with indulgence and chaos but only to tease and taunt within its skilled and deliberately devious craft. That dramatic and alluring enterprise is pushed further with the closing title track, its bewitching opening progressive design of melody caressing keys wrapping the ears in a transfixing coaxing before being joined by staccato riffs and splintering rhythms within a brawling cast of sonic causticity. Carnivorous in its stalking and guitar endeavour whilst magnetic in its continually evolving melody induced progressive searing of the air, the track is a smouldering rampancy which seizes an instant lingering submission for its ruinous nature and assault yet slowly burns an even greater seduction in the passions over time and multiple unions.
The outstanding climax brings a similarly impressive release to a close leaving anticipation and appetite for Animus a greedy hunger. Certainly the release shows that the band is yet to find its truly unique presence but that is only a matter of time with, on the evidence of Fall of the Elite, stronger dramatic triumphs destined to follow. This is an immense exciting start and base for their horizons and the open doorway to eager recognition countrywide.
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