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Animus Divine - "Sorrow" (CD)

Animus Divine - "Sorrow" CD cover image

"Sorrow" track listing:

1. Sorrow (3:47)
2. Swagger (4:26)
3. Audry II (3:38)
4. Who Shot Ya? (3:36)
5. Fuck Off (4:24)
6. Divinus Infestus (2:56)
7. Death Captivity and the Pursuit of Sorrow (4:15)
8. Please Forgive Me (I Killed a Man) (4:43)
9. The Tight Ropes Burn (3:58)
10. Soldier's Creed (3:52)
11. Bitch Made (3:52)

Reviewed by on February 7, 2011

"Death metal elitists can leave their grim looks and crossed arms at the door, because Animus Divine is a band that intends to get its audience moving and isn’t afraid to cross genre boundaries to do so."

Death metal elitists can leave their grim looks and crossed arms at the door, because Animus Divine is a band that intends to get its audience moving and isn’t afraid to cross genre boundaries to do so. With a huge focus on groove and head-bobbing melodies, the band’s debut release, “Sorrow,” is an album that is fun to listen to, even if it does draw some elements from dubious influences.

From start to finish, “Sorrow” is consistently heavy and directly in the audience’s face, basing the music deeply in extreme death metal. Animus Divine doesn’t ever remain rooted in that base however, drawing in sounds from a wide range of less brutal and more melodic styles. One of the most immediately obvious influences comes from Rage Against the Machine, as the band frequently uses yells and shouts in the vein of Zack de la Rocha to supplement the death metal growls.

Samples and electronic sound effects are also a staple of just about every song, and not always just as the intro. “Swagger” starts off with the tongue in cheek sample of an official sounding voice declaring “Due to adult content, parental discretion is advised.” That sort of semi-serious declaration is typical of the attitude found on the album, which is exceedingly heavy, but not afraid to play with humor.

While a lot of the non-death metal influences add something to the album, there are a few aspects that won’t sit well even with more open minded metal fans. Anyone who thinks Limp Bizkit should have stayed dead will be disappointed with a few of the tracks, as they do occasionally cross over all the way into rapcore, using hip hop based vocals and rapped melodies. The lyrics are also sprinkled liberally with “faggots,” “bitches,” “pussies,” etc. “Divinus Infestus” is the main culprit here, as the band even drops into that staple of club rap music: reminding the audience vocally which band they are listening to, as they probably don’t have attention spans long enough to remember.

Those few misses don’t kill the album, as there is always something interesting going on worth hearing. “Death Captivity” is one of the main selling points, with impressive guitar work that is intensely frantic and massively chaotic. The large bass presence on the album and overall fun attitude ensure that the music would most definitely cause instant mosh pits anywhere it goes. An ability to enjoy (or just simply look past) rapcore and alternative sounds are required to get the full effect from “Sorrow,” but just about any death metal fan who likes some groove should be able to head bang along with the whole album.

Highs: Extremely heavy from start to finish, lots of frantic and chaotic guitar work, some fun humor

Lows: The rapcore elements won't sit well with plenty of death metal fans.

Bottom line: The melding of nu-metal and alternative with death metal isn’t going to work for anyone, but it’s a great choice for anyone who wants serious groove in their brutal metal.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)