Subversion – Animi (Rogue Records America)Tuesday, 24th February 2015
Reading the release for Subversion’s second album, Animi, they were given the description of being a melodic technical metal band. Not having seen that particular description before, it seemed worth investigating. Would it be death metal? Melodic technical seems like a fancy way of describing something like Fallujah perhaps. Sadly, the best explanation for “melodic technical” is all too easily described by a term that is more and more frequently being referred to as a dirty word in heavy metal: djent.
Falling far too much in line with big guns like Periphery, Tesseract, and Monuments, Subversion dabbles in those alternating heavy chug/dreamy, emotive chorus waters throughout the ten tracks provided. If there is a positive aspect to this, the harsh vocals are a bit harder than what seems to be the standard and give the band a slight edge when they capitalize on the harder side of their material. This is something they could easily expand on in future offerings. The soaring clean vocal approach is also slightly less ear-grating than that of Periphery’s, so take that for what it’s worth as well. As for the rest of the music, it’s performed well enough for the genre, but it sounds so similar to the aforementioned bands that it has no appeal of its own. Despite a solid execution and production, there’s no shining moment that breaks out of the derivative mold.
For those out there that just didn’t get enough Periphery with the two albums that they released last month, Subversion is probably next on your list. For the rest of us, it’s safe to say that Animi is a release that will fall below the radar. If the band wish to take it to the next level, they need to put more of their own stamp on the material and broaden their horizons.