Anima: The Daily Grind

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Anima: The Daily Grind
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Anima: The Daily Grind
Deathcore
Metal Blade Records
September 2nd, 2008
Release length: 33:19
Myspace
Website
The Daily Grind is the second full-length release from the German Deathcore act Anima, and it’s one of those releases that managed to slip under the radar due to the quickly expanding amount of bands that are just filling this style. While this group may not be the most original of the bunch out there, taking some slight influence here and there from such bands as The Black Dahlia Murder and Through the Eyes of the Dead, this release is a much more mature offering that many acts in the Deathcore scene simply cannot deliver. This makes The Daily Grind a solid and highly enjoyable experience.

Anima have crafted an album that is full of intense guitars and equally matching drumming that in it’s self would make for a very good album. It appears the band has a good grasp on the Death Metal aspect of their music, but of course, like many Deathcore bands, there have to be breakdowns in every song, which is saddening as some have a great natural flow that broken up by breakdowns that really just feel out of place, but, luckily, not randomly thrown in. The breakdowns are still consistant with the type of music being played, and not just a part in the song that seems to give everyone in the band a break with a random cymbol crash to a specific beat far slower then the material it’s interrupting with the occassional guitar string plucked or chord played once in a while. While this is a nice plus to the album, the breakdowns just don’t quite have the same drive as some of the songs do, and can often appear more then once, such as in the case of “There is Something Vicious” which has two breakdowns, both being a bit bland but still retaining the same musical consistancy as the rest of the song, with the latter being a little slower then the first.

As far as the music goes on here, it’s a pretty well crafted mixture of Death Metal, which is the more dominant driving force on this release, with a hint of melodic hooks thrown in where needed, with some often well performed drumming. Outside the typical drop in speed during the breakdowns, especially during the closing breakdown of the title track “The Daily Grind”, many of the songs stick to a somewhat faster and driving mid-tempo pace that often relies on the drumming to really push the music along. The real problem is that The Daily Grind starts to get repetitive most of the time because of this. While some songs will change up the flow into a slower or faster style of music, such as “A Wrong Person to Trust In”, which is one of the better tracks of the release, there’s just too many songs that start to sound alike on here due to the band really not trying to change things up that much musically from song to song. It’s great for your first run through the album, as songs like “The Daily Grind”, “Isolated” and “Ravaged by Disease” really do pull you into the album and get your blood pumping, but after a while you’ll notice that many songs share the same kind of musical structure down to the same kind of drumming used through a good majority of it.

The closing to The Daily Grind is really where the band shines, having some tracks that really do break some of the already mentioned issues the album has, starting with the instrumental track “The Interference”. The guitars on this track sound absolutely punishing and come at you at the typical pace of much of the album, but have a good amount of intensity behind them before bleeding into “Isolated” which really has a good amount of musical changes throughout and the only track that really introduces a more Metalcore inspired sound to the mix thanks to the guitars and two stepping drums used at times which completely changes things around for the album. “Ravaged By Disease”, however, is the cornerstone of the entire album as it’s the most intense and fast paced track on here with very impressive guitars and drumming. This track will also infuriate you with the simple fact that this song is so much better then a good chunk of what is offered on the first half of the album, and there’s only one track of it on here in the first place.

For those who enjoy Deathcore, no matter how much more then the other, there’s plenty of solid material on The Daily Grind for fans to enjoy. While not everyone will look at this album and proclaim it one of the best the style has to offer, it shouldn’t be overlooked so quickly. The only problem is that the lack of anything really moving or powerful causes this album’s replay value to drop rather quickly, so be sure to sample this one first as a simple precaution. Who knows, perhaps you’ll see something special in this band that you hope they will expand uupon one day.

01. Behind the Mask – 3:37
02. There is Something Vicious – 3:29
03. Sitting in the Wardrobe – 3:02
04. The Daily Grind – 5:03
05. Dismembered – 3:10
06. A Wrong Person to Trust In – 4:54
07. The Interference (Instrumental) – 1:01
08. Isolated – 4:08
09. Ravaged by Disease – 4:55
Overall Score: 6/10


Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.