Demo EP

The kids these days just seem to be much more musically advanced at this stage in their lives compared to when “the glory days” were, right? It seems like every day some new band full of teenagers (or dudes in their early-20’s) are popping up all over the place and ripping off intricate riffs, dazzling solos and complex drum patterns. Technical prowess was something that usually manifested itself by around Album #3 or so for most bands “back in the day” but not today.

Unfortunately most of the young kids – regardless of musical chops – simply don’t know how to craft actual songs. Rather, they tend to go overboard with a whirlwind of technique but by the time their albums are over, almost nothing resonates within the listener’s brain. The ability to create memorable songs, ones that will be embedded in the collective memories of the metal world, is an ability that is proven difficult to harness.

Enter New York’s Animist (not to be confused with the newer band from Malaysia of the same name) and their debut EP. Animist is loaded with young dudes who likely have to wait until they’re 21 in order to finally taste beer for the first time and their ability to play the hell out of their instruments is made abundantly clear as soon as opening track “Here Our Highest Good is Pleasure” spreads its wings.

The quintet plays a progressive form of melodic death metal, but they aren’t some lousy Opeth clone, not even close. Animist’s members clearly have a diverse taste in music as their myriad influences shine throughout the EP’s three songs. They range from blackish mayhem to wondrous melodies to sweeping atmospheres to thoughtful riffs, and that’s just the first song. After repeated listens, Animist has unquestionably taken their sweet old time in creating every note for each of the tracks and for good reason: these songs are rollercoaster rides of emotions and song craftsmanship, each as good as the last.

Listening to each of the songs, which total 33 minutes, is like journey unto itself because of how many paths the band takes. But while Animist openly enjoys a multi-forked road almost every minute, their tempo changes never feel tacked on. Everything they’ve done has been painstakingly contemplated, resulting in one silky smooth transition after another.

It’s damn near impossible these days for a band to sound entirely original. Animist hasn’t reinvented the wheel because every note they’ve played on their EP has been done from one band or another at some point in time. They can’t help that. But even though uniqueness isn’t their strongest point, Animist certainly know how to construct one hell of a song in a manner that it sticks out ahead of the majority of what their contemporaries are doing.

Animist are open-minded enough as a band to where even if they never change their approach to song writing for the next 20 years, they’ll likely sound as fresh as ever because they fuse so many different musical influences together into their cauldron. These kids have massive amounts of musical ability and they know how to create passionate, emotionally-drive metal songs. What more can you ask for, aside from more material?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mike Sloan
April 15th, 2013


  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    This is killer- one of the best demos ive heard in a while

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