Tue 13th December 2016
With no overblown trumpet blowing press bio to go on, the only preconceptions here are with the name. And it sure invites a few. Their slightly comical band pictures on facebook or bandcamp points to a band not taking life too seriously, further hints towards a purposefully satirical band name, a piss take of doom band nomenclature protocol perhaps, sticking two random words together, often drugs and animals. Drugs and Animals...ah. Good on them if so.
So is this going to be silly throwaway music? To my surprise, no. This is a solid, evolving record of mature doom. It carries a welcome hefty weight throughout, a density that is consistently appealing. The lead vocals are distinctly comparitive to Neurosis, leading on to wider comparisons to the Californian giants, into the musical structure and makeup. The effect, the production, both massive, a valley of amplitude bolstering their sound.
Beyond opener Quiet Tyrant's impressive welcome, The Burner arrives with a thrash philosophy, driving along later attuned to a nice Children of the Grave chugging engine. The slower-to-build Winter of Fear brings into play the post-metal comparison. Nurture performs this role more successfully, a thoughtful evolving form, whispered female vocals developing the mood. There are pointers towards latter-day just-pre-split Kylesa here. Where the Sun Dies most accutely displays a band with a presumed nod in the death/doom fan club.
While demanding your attention throughout, it never quite climaxes as you hope, never rising to the plain of 'essential'. I can't shift the Neurosis comparion as I listen, but I concede that may just be due to the vocal similarity I have stuck in my mind, and ultimately most bands would struggle to live up to that. And, after taking a time out and return, this is actually damn fine, a thick doom slab, with invention, attitude and riffs.