After a dramatic quality tumble throughout most of the 00s, this long-running noise rock/metal institution hit fine form on 2011’s Pain Is A Warning.
Sure, there were moments where it seemed like guitarist/vocalist/captain of the ship Steve Austin was going out of his way to test the patience, but generally speaking there was a return to cohesive tunes, a coherent guitar tone and the sense that an actual band was at work, not just one dude trying to irritate everyone around him. Despite the departure of drummer Curran Reynolds and bassist Ryan Jones, a similar sensibility remains on their 10th album. That’s not to say that naked-lightbulb madness and challenging harshness has been eliminated as the album opens with the title track’s combination of driving noise rock, expansive doom-lite and serial killer vocals over an acoustic outro. Austin’s horrifying shriek’n’chant adds layers of uncomfortable discord to the hardcore hurricane of Discipline and Sick Of Your Mouth. And despite GodCrutch’s momentum-slaying and a few misguided middle-eights, Animal Mother continues to shake off the post-In The Eyes Of God doldrums.
Released via Southern Lord Records