Friday, February 24, 2023

Unanimated - Annihilation EP (2018)

In 2009, Unanimated had...animated itself from the dead and given us In the Light of Darkness, arguably their strongest album to date, but the idea of a productive, new phase of their career seemed to fold as the years rolled forward without much happening. Thankfully, this wasn't the sign of a new break from the band, and nine years after that damn solid effort they returned with a new EP in Annihilation, which shows no loss of energy or momentum from where they had been prior. There's a subtle air of modernity to the material on this, still a brazen hybrid of death and black metal, but they incorporate some different tones and melodies, and a little bit of atmosphere through the synths in the close of "Adversarial Fire", helping to round this new material out so that it sums up to something more than a blasting slugfest.

The production is virile and fresh, the performances on point, I believe they had just one new guitar player different than on the last album, and he fits seamlessly with their collection of blackish chords and evil melodies. Ander Schultz of Unleashed continues to hammer away behind the kit, and the trio of veteran members sound as invigorated as you're going to get, considering they were all playing in the 80s and early 90s. It's a shorter recording at around 20 minutes, with one of its four tracks an instrumental with lots of atmosphere, acoustic guitars, and such, but as a proof that the band was still very much alive, this would certainly tide us over, even if it's not their best. Song-wise, they remind me a lot of Necrophobic here, although not as catchy as that band's last two full-lengths, but if you're a fan of the one, or of Diabolical, this is directly within that category, and if you're somehow familiar with In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead, or your interest in Unanimated stopped there, treat yourself to everything they've done since.

Verdict: Win [7.25/10]

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