Saturday, February 15, 2014

Animator: Blacklisted (2013)

In the pantheon of possible thrash metal names, "Animator" is somewhere near the bottom, especially when considering the fact that they used to go by the name Heresy, which is cliche, but more appropriate.  I am not sure of the meaning in regard to a metal band name.  "Re-Animator" would make sense, after the Lovecraftian movie.  "Animator" does not.  Nevertheless, there have been bad band names before and there will continue to be bad band names.

Animator is an Irish thrash metal band.  Ireland does not have a real large metal scene, but the country has developed some decent groups, including Gama Bomb, a pretty good thrash metal band in their own right.  Animator is a bit more underground than Gama Bomb, without nearly the exposure that that band has.  But that does not mean anything with regard to quality.

The sound of Animator is typically fast-paced and energetic, bearing a strong similarity to East Coast thrash metal acts like Anthrax and Overkill.  There is a highly infectious punk rock energy to the band's songs.  There are some pretty strong riffs on here as well.  Animator slows things down once in awhile, particularly on "In God We Trust", which is more of a mid-paced cruncher.  The band is a little bit better when they are playing balls-to-the-wall fast.

The vocals are really nothing to write home about.  Typically shouted without a lot of dynamics or range.  The band does make use of gang vocals on occasion, another obvious punk influence.

I enjoyed this release.  It was not particularly groundbreaking, but it was a fun listen.  Not bad for a debut.

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