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Worship Metal Album Of The Week – Animus – Men Into Memories

The kind of modern metal album that lingers long in the memory....

Source // Animus

Listening, as we have been, to a lot of new bands over the Christmas period, today was a reminder – stark as a ball of compacted ice right in the face-hole – that you don’t need to search the planet for world-class prog metal. Sometimes, it transpires, extreme talent can lie just a few miles up the road. So, with an album that we believe has the potential to put Dundee on the global metal map we are incredibly happy to have stumbled across Scottish tech-metal upstarts Animus. Promisingly, their modest looking – but professionally assembled – debut album Men Into Memories claims common ground with Tesseract and Meshuggah. Yet, from the skittering dissonant chords that kick off “Influence“, it’s clear they very much have their own voice. And that voice is loud!

Vocalist Aaron Fawns comes on like a younger, less jaded, Randy Blythe and the toiling rhythms that underpin every single track owe as much to the groove of classic-era Korn as to the technicality of Meshuggah. But make no mistake, this band ain’t that straight-forward. They don’t just bat you over the head with a tree trunk and drag you back to their cave. Oh no, Animus light candles, throw down a table cloth and whip you up a romantic seven-course taster menu of rousing yell-alongs, Periphery-beating djent and panoramic choruses. Once they have you in their wicked clutches, the sheer sophistication of the whole package unfurls amid guitar figures that twist and spin-off into death-metal workouts and thrilling syncopated rhythms.

You might be forgiven for thinking that this all sounds a little uncompromising, intimidating even. Well, fear not lightweights, there isn’t room to swing a cat on this record without hitting the nearest finely crafted riff. So much so, that the word ‘catchy’ becomes an overused superlative. Just check out the steaming “dB666” for ample proof; it made our shoulders jerk involuntarily, spasmodically and violently up and down. Seriously.

We won’t lie to you, Men Into Memories is heavy, it’s title and the bloody hand on the sleeve doesn’t attempt to delude you otherwise and in places – not least on the righteous “Slaughter the Suits” – Animus’ fury is palpable. Yet, we are reluctant to call them extreme metal. They are simply too disciplined, their song writing and ear for a hook too astute. Like another, not too dissimilar band we reviewed recently – The Hudson Horror – Animus have the potential to hold their own in the big leagues.

There are tens of thousands of bands worldwide trying to pedal this kind of technical, genre-spanning metal, but honestly, how many of them can open for the big-boys? How many can shift physical albums? How many can break in a hung-over crowd on Saturday morning at Download? The truth is, not many.

Animus could.

They have that special something that differentiates professional metal bands from enthusiastic amateurs who, at the end of the day, will probably go back to their day job and carry on dreaming while they try and pay off their mortgage. Are Animus the greatest metal band ever to come out of Dundee? Well, we’re hopeful….let’s see what they do next! 9/10

About Stuart Bell (55 Articles)
I was born in 1975 with a pile of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple vinyl next to my cot. I ate off a sheet of ply-board propped up between two Marshall cabs and shortly after I learned to read and write I learned the E minor chord and the pentatonic scale. One day my Dad bought me Iron Maiden's first album. Metallica's Ride the Lightning followed. Then, things got serious. I have held almost every rank in the Army of Heavy Metal: Fan, drunk fan, roadie, guitarist, producer and label scout. My Wife knows what Mastodon's Crack The Skye is about and my child can play Breaking the Law on piano. Go figure.

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