REVIEW: ANIIMALIA – SILVER LININGS (2022)

Sometimes, you have the obvious staring you in the face, so let’s just do it, shall we? Aniimalia won “The Deal” to get their record deal with Marshall Records. A national competition that saw the best unsigned bands in the UK battle it out for a chance. I assume this was a little bit like the 2015 Metal2TheMasses in Wolverhampton that was judged by yours truly amongst others, saw Conjurer compete and lose on the audience vote, and a band that thought they were the Prodigy mime through their act….

Whatever, the four piece have emerged from the South West via way of UK tours including MV faves Kris Barras and Virginmarys. “Silver Linings” is their first EP, but clearly, given their rapid ascent (they only formed in 2020) there is a weight of expectation about all this that you don’t normally see.

Now, the silver lining to “Silver Linings” as it were, is that they meet this head on with a record that is so full of ambition and scope, that its hard to imagine it’s a band that has so little experience.

It’s there in the first riff to “Alien”. This is modern metal, but its not trying to be achingly hip – and thankfully there’s none of the growling that a lot of this stuff does (and puts me off!).

Instead Kira Beckett uses her incredible voice to great affect on “Alien” and the likes. Able to reach up high, and still deliver the likes of the title track with a real menace when it suits. All the lazy Amy Lee comparisons apply I guess.

It is clear that there is a real real maturity here. It’s all over the choruses (they have a pop sensibility) but there’s the occasional breakdown where this has a whiff of real heavy stuff going on.

Indeed, the opening to “False Enemies” could, should and no doubt will involve moshpits being started. Raven Age and the likes would be all over this.

“D.O.A” is one of the highlights. Throbbing, pulsing and ready to explode. When it does, its hook is an assault on the rock charts. It’s the one that most convinces this is a band that in ten years will be playing places big enough to match their ambition. Romesh Dodangoda has done his customary incredible job, for sure.

“Haywire” is another that wraps itself around a big, modern, arena rock sound and only which – only if you peel it all away – do you realise how bleak it is. That’s the bands stated aim for the five tracks too. They are balking against the fact that “you’re expected to find “silver linings” in life rather than see the world for what it is.”

The perfect world view for 2022 might just have its best new rock band. It’s as obvious as the intro this review started with.

Rating 8.5/10