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Subversion: Animi

UK tech metallers continue their ascent with second album.

If you’re crazy about Camel, fanatical about Floyd and like your prog like your coffee – smooth and subtle, well-rounded and most definitely not in shot form – then it’s fair to say that Subversion’s second album probably won’t be up your street.

But if ingesting tech metal through your earholes on a rainy Sunday afternoon sounds like your perfect weekend, you’ll probably be in for a rowdy, raucous treat. This record’s racing heartbeat is found in its slabs of Meshuggah-esque, RSI-inducing guitar riffs, with opener Born Of The Sun jarring and lurching simultaneously with aplomb. This isn’t a perfect record, and its arid, metallic sound can leave you feeling icy and disconnected, but it’s a fun ride, with pinpoint djent-ish ups and downs peppered with just enough melody. Prog fans will get their kicks out of the jagged time signatures – try the discombobulated Revelation, for instance – while a smattering of soundscapes and keys elevate Animi into something worthy of your attention. It’s a step up from Subversion’s last full album, 2010’s Lest We Forget, and it makes you wonder what’s next in store from the Kent quintet.