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 Subversion - Animi (2015) Album Review

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Subversion - Animi (2015)
Rogue Records America/Incendia Music Management
Running Time - 43:24


I'm really hoping that you readers out there know by now that I try to be as honest as possible about the albums and gigs that I review and not to purposefully be rude or obnoxious, but of course, that honesty relies very much on what my personal preferences are, as it should be with any reviewer. We cannot all like the same thing and a review is just one persons opinion!

With that in mind, there will be many people out there who love Kent, UK based tech metal band Subversion, alas I'm not one of them. Now, that isn't because the songs are bad, some of the riffs and passages on their second album 'Animi' are actually quite groove laden and catchy! It's also not because musical ability within the ranks is lacking. What irks me so much is the total and utter over production that Subversion deem necessary. Bands such as Meshuggah, Periphery and TesseracT have led the way in Technical/Djent Metal and whilst it's not my favourite genre those bands, especially TesseracT, have produced material that I do find acceptable even though I know a certain amount of fiddling goes on in the recording studio!

Unfortunately, Subversion have taken that computerised, mechanical feel so far that if it wasn't for the screamed vocals I could describe the music as Techno not Technical! Nothing on 'Animi' sounds remotely real and I do wonder that if I turned up to watch the band at a gig whether the Marshall or Orange Amps (other makes of amplifier are available) would be replaced by a wall of computers and midi disc players. To me that isn't Metal, as heavy as the music might be! I'm all for experimenting and I do have a very wide taste in Rock Music but even I have to draw the line somewhere and Subversion haven't just crossed into the next County/State they've emigrated to another country completely. It's an album and sound that just couldn't have been made in the days of analogue tape because there would have been too many splices to actually render the master playable. I'm afraid to say that even the harsh vocals of Jay Shields sound one dimensional. I've always said that harsh vocals should still be tempered with variety but many modern 'vocalists' seem utterly devoid of that ability sounding more like they are just trying to angrily shout louder than another person in an argument!

If you are a fan of the aforementioned bands then there will, more than likely, be much here for you to enjoy, likewise if you are a reader of modern day Kerrang & Rock Sound magazines or a watcher of Scuzz TV and have been brought up on a diet of Modern Metal then you will also like this! I'm sure Subversion are lovely guys and I applaud them for forging ahead with what they want to achieve. but as an old fashioned metalhead' 'Animi' leaves me utterly cold and emotionless and my score has to reflect that!

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Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

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