Heavy metal isn’t a lost art in France with relative newcomers Animalize. Cut from the same denim and leather-esque doorway poster as Sortilège, Blaspheme, Warning, and their global compatriots in Annihilator, W.A.S.P., and Loudness, the Lyon-based quartet cycle through all the cliche of the early ’80s metal scene. Yet, where others fail at their nostalgic procession, Animalize have the right spirit and sound to make it to the top. It’s clear they have the chops, original worn-out LPs, and white boots/sneakers for the journey.
New album, Meat We’re Made Of, hearkens back to a time less public, where magazines profiles, smoke grenades, and burning guitars ruled the day. This is New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal (NWOTHM) bright and bold, even down to the KISS-inspired name. But Animalize aren’t myopic in their axe-n-slash methods. They employ synth-based tactics as well, atmospheric in feel yet deployed without stylistic disruption.
OK, so Paul Stanley-isms (“Fits Like a Glove,” anyone?) won’t be found here. That level of cheese has been left in the cellar to rot. Animalize come the ’80s movie poster era. The horror (and slight cheek) in Evil Dead and Pet Sematary blend seamlessly with the dystopia of Mad Max and the wild-chrome fantasies of Masters of the Universe. This is a full-on buffet of VHS tracking problems, with Accept and Fastway peeking through the speakers on either side.
Say Animalize from a mint-colored Lamborghini Jalpa: “Hello mankind, welcome to the future!…
The time has come for the stars to align
For you to witness the purge of your mind
None of us will ever get enough
To feed ourselves the MEAT WE’RE MADE OF”
With explosions, barrel fires, and whips galore, Animalize bring slaughter to the party! Lock up your Betamax! They’ll steal it!