The Pitch: Animus Complex is a progressive metal/rock band out of Pheonix, Arizona. They are currently working on a new release due later this year, but we trecked back to 2015 to explore their previous release, Immersion. FFO: Novallo, Good Tiger, Binary Code
What I Like: Immersion should excite people who appreciate this more recent wave of young progressive bands like Good Tiger. Animus Complex deliver the same impressive musicianship and soaring vocals I've come to expect from these higher tier acts without major label support. They're also among the select few progressive bands out there sticking mostly to clean vocals that still manage to maintain my attention. So take note, even if you tend to prefer screaming to singing like myself, that is no reason to turn away from this album. Matt Turkington' performance on the microphone is powerful, dynamic, and filled with genuine emotional expression; and he's not alone either. Jeremy, Stephen, and Michael all do their part to craft atmospherically diverse compositions brimming with impressive musicianship and strong interplay between each other. I'm particularly fond of the prominent bass grooves ("Within Earth") and additional saxophone accompaniments that pop up on a few songs.
Critiques: There are a few dips in quality here and there. Certain tracks, for better or worse, come off as kind of drab and depressing ("A Distant Shore"). Others take a few missteps in terms of both writing and performance, as with the poorly implemented harsh backup vocals on "Within Earth." I think that the band really hits their stride best on the very The Mars Volta-ish "Infinite Conclusions."
The Verdict: Immersion is a solid album that should be accessible to fans from all walks of life, from metalheads to prog rockers. Animus Complex are clearly very talented players and songwriters. I am excited to hear what three more years of performing as a group brings us later this year, and I hope to hear them cultivate the more energetic side of their sound.
Flight's Fav's: Infinite Conclusions, Breathe This Life, Calypso
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
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