EX ANIMO "Neverday" 2016
/Metal Scrap Records/

Tracklist:
1. Neverday 06:04
2. Aeons of Sadness 06:25
3. Soulglass 08:00
4. Spring Covered with Snow 05:17
5. Shattered Universe 07:16
6. The Memories of a Broken Man 05:29
7. Scream of Silence 07:28
8. Just Tired (outro) 03:54
Total playing time: 50:06

 

ex animo - neverday

 

 

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From Doom Metal to Gothic Metal, this Ukrainian band serves us up some romantic Gothic Metal. For Ex Animo this is their second full length in over 16 years since the band was formed, and is released through Metal Scrap Records. This is a band who have changed genre from Doom Metal to Gothic Metal, so I was very interested to see how they would cross over.
'Neverday' starts with a catchy pulsating riff. Double bass and synths work their way forward before the beautiful silky female vocals of Yulia Zhukova take lead. Growls entwine in between, before taking the lead, in the form of Andriy Lunko who also contributes guitar.
'Aeons of Sadness' is another solid track. Headbanger riffs at the start again set you in the mood. For me, by the third song - 'Soulglass' - something seems familiar to me like I have heard it before. It's a comfortable presence, the songs have a commercial side to them so this would probably be suited to a wider audience as well. The song still has some great catchy melodies to it, as does the album as a whole.
The album features synths but they do not play as huge part as I thought they might, and Ex Animo focus more on the excellent guitar work they have to offer. All the lead and solo work is of high standard. It's well put together and the harmonies and vocals blend effortlessly. The separation between the bass and guitars is also great.
For me in particular there is no real stand-out track, as they are pretty much all of the same standard, but if I had to pick one 'Scream of Silence' is a little gem. The vocal harmonies and the melodies on this song showcase Yulia's strongest points. Having only two album releases surprises me, as they clearly can produce good material. The mixing and mastering of the album is top notch. Like I said, this band can easily go mainstream if promoted right. It is easy listening, and a younger audience will definitely dig this kind of music. Fans of Nightwish and Evanescence will benefit from 'Neverday'.

8/10
Riccardo Veronese (http://www.doom-metal.com)

The female-male band from Ukraine first time got in my hands to I could listen to them and rate their work that to offer their album to other listeners. “Neverday” is the band’s second full-length album with a dark inspirational cover. The band formed in 2000 and is an active band on the music scene.
A disc contains eight songs. From the first and title track, the music seemed to me interesting. So, I was more eager to listen to more songs. The male line-up was supplemented in 2008 by a woman with an interesting, clean, singing vocal, whish gave the songs a climate of lightness. And I think it was accurate supplement to the band. Additionaly, the dark, hard-sounding, male vocal gives an aggressiveness and sharpness to the songs. Together, the both vocals sounds great. I’m a fan of NIGHTWISH with Tarja Turunen on vocals, so I like the music in this kind of male-female connection. And in addition in a good, professional performance is very delicious.
This band is really impressive. The interwoven male-male vocals fantastically build a tension and their permeation in the songs sounds like an interesting conversation. Such compositions and musical arrangements remind NIGHTWISH or THE GATHERING from the first albums.
Ukraine once again saved their music scene and proved their artistic professionalism, which is confirmed by the high quality of the tracks. The musicians have created a work of art and they can boldly conquer music scene with their Metal. This album has a rich, elaborate music, which in addition has interesting vocals and is exceptional. The instruments play fascinating and entrancing. This is a collection of outstanding sounds that give chills. The instrumental interesting introductions to the tracks, the extended solos, the dignified sounding keys make you are hungry, you feel desire for more.
I feel that I found another band for me and I already know that EX ANIMO without problem will find even more fans.

10/10
Pavel (http://www.metalcentre.com)

Обложка ATMOSFEAR 18Харьковская группа EX ANIMO ведет свой отсчет с 2000 года и даже имеет полноформатный альбом в своей дискографии. Но то было давно, и я его не слышал. Сейчас же 2016 год и харьковчане выпускают свою новую работу под названием “Neverday”. Стиль группы – готический металл с классическим дуэтом вокалистов «красавица и чудовище». Готический металл это, пожалуй, самый лояльный стиль металл музыки. Здесь никто не ждет никаких супер новшеств раздвигающих рамки стиля. Никому не нужна сверх скорость или сверх техничность. Нужно уметь придумывать красивые мелодии, вкладывать душу в музыку и записать свое творение в хорошей студии. В остальном никто не будет горевать или возмущаться, если группа будет использовать стандартные построения композиций и добротные, но не сложные рифы. А вот на голос вокалистки все обратят пристальное внимание. Сразу скажу, что экзамен на проф. пригодность вокалистка Юлия сдала без проблем. Ее вокал способен вести за собой музыку. Музыка красивая, качественно записанная и сыгранная с душой. Очень впечатляющий альбом.

8,5 / 10
Neophyte (ATMOSFEAR #18/2016)

Well, and there goes another female vocal band with tons of keyboard arrangements, progressive elements and guttural growls here and there. This band is not bad at all; it’s just that I’ve heard so many copies of Nightwish, Evanescence, Epica, etc, that definitely I’m not attracted to this style anymore.
Coming from Kharkiv, Ukraine, these guys have been active since 2000 or something, but this is the second opus since then, and I don’t know why they are not so prolific musically speaking, since all songs are good and well-conceived. Actually, all songs are very solid and contain excellent musical arrangements. Here you will detect excellent melodies forged in aggressive guitar riffs, “epic” moments, and high doses of modern elements. This band has clear what they want: a good mix of modern metal, melodic death metal and progressive structures. The result is brilliant and I’m sure many of young followers of modern metal are going to worship, if the band promotes this album properly. As aforementioned, I’m not very into this style anymore, but I admit that this band has everything to land in almost every big festival with “mainstream” big names. For those who like these bands above mentioned, this is for you.

Victor Varas (https://zombieritualzine.wordpress.com/)

Rockcor 52016Несмотря на то что новый альбом украинской группы не очень объёмный (восемь треков), после прослушивания остаётся впечатление, что ребята проделали большую работу и результат получился соответствующим. Грубо говоря, количество перешло в качество, и это большой плюс. Кроме того, музыка получилась очень проникновенной – под стать названию группы (в переводе с латыни – «от души»). В первую очередь, безусловно, такое ощущение создаётся за счёт высокого «хрустального» голоса вокалистки, но и в игре инструментов чувствуется некоторая эмоциональность, взять хотя бы вступление к песне “Soulglass”. Однако можно было бы назвать альбом «сопливым», если бы всё держалось на одной только нежности, но, к счастью, это далеко не так. Тут присутствует ещё и грубый мужской вокал, который особенно удачно звучит одновременно с женским, а также затяжные волнообразные риффы, добавляющие музыке думовый оттенок. Например, “Shattered Universe” начинается с мощных риффов и гроулинга, после чего звучат элементы симфо-металла, обеспечивающие плавный переход к женскому вокалу. Впрочем, ничего нового музыканты не сделали – игра на контрасте является основополагающим принципом творчества очень многих групп. Другое дело, как это всё звучит и воспринимается, а у EX ANIMO с этим всё нормально. Единственный минус, который удалось заметить, – женский вокал иногда чересчур тягучий, это может резать слух, даже если идеально подходит под стиль и настроение альбома.

Мария Орловская (Rockcor #5/2016)

Rock Hard 3502016Die Ukraine ist derzeit vor allem dank der Diskussionen um ihren „Eurovision Song Contest“-Sieg und des immer noch andauernden bewaffneten Konflikts im Ostteil des Landes im Gespräch. Doch die Ukraine hat auch eine vielfältige und vitale Metalszene, für die EX ANIMO als vielversprechender Abgesandter gelten dürfen. Das Quintett stammt aus Charkiw, der zweitgrößten Stadt des Landes, und macht Doom mit Elementen aus dem Death (aufgrund des extremen männlichen Gesangs) und Gothic (wegen der zahlreichen Orchestrierungen). Doch der wichtigste Faktor ist der abwechslungsreiche Gesang von Yulia Zhukova, die EX ANIMO zu ganz eigenen Facetten verhilft und „Neverday“ zu einer spannenden Platte macht.

STEFAN GLAS (Rock Hard #350/2016)

scream magazine 207Russiske Ex Animo I supplerte den mannlige vokalen med kvinnelig vokal etter det ferste albumet, og mus- ikken har i tillegg dreid fra mer death og doom-basert metal til mer gotisk metal. Det rasker og river fortsatt godt, men den fagre vokalen til Julia Orvell serger for at det melodiske ogsa fir plass i lydbildet Jeg finner egentlig ikke sä mye ä trekke fram som spesiett positivt ved dette albumet, ei heller noe som er direkte galt. Det er rett og slett altfor mange band som svergertil samme oppskrift, og jeg er redd Ex Animo aldri vil klare ä bli noe annet enn et russisk klubband med kun moderat suksess i hjemlandet

Hans Mikael (Scream Magazine #207)

ROCKHARD34Co to tu mäme... dobry zvuk, slus- ny hudobny pred- nes...asi nejakä tlacovä chyba, odkiar je kapela!? Myslia to väzne! Myslfm.zepre Me¬tal Scrap Records super ulovokvpo- dobe tejto mladej kapely. ChviTami som mal pocit, ze pocüvam EVANESCANCE v tvrdsom prevedem. Po- smutneny nädych, podobnä farba spevu... Nadsenie a näpady urcite tejto kapele nechybaju. EX ANIMO narn pripravili osem temnych a smutnych skladieb, ktore väm urcite nezlepsia näladu, symfonicke kla- vesy, prelfnajüce sa s tvrdym zvukom gitar, jemne- hospevuJulie Orwell, sem-tam prekryvajuceho sas growlingom Andrewa Lunka. EX ANIMO hrajij styl, v ktorom sa vefa takychto kapiel nepohybuje a da sa u nich najsf nieco svojske.

4/5
PAVEL MADOLA (Rock Hard #34)

LEGACY103Ganze zwölf Jahre liegen zwischen der Veröffentlichung des ersten und zweiten Albums der ukrainischen Female-fronted Zusammenkunft, doch offenbar hat das Warten sich gelohnt, und mit „Neverday“ kriecht das Quintett um Julia Orwell aus der Versenkung. Mit elfenhaftem Stimmchen führt die Frontlady durch acht lange Songs, die zwischen Gothic und Doom tänzeln und stellenweise an die Anfangsphase von Lacuna Coil oder Theatre Of Tragedy erinnern. Gitarrist Andrew Lunko würzt den Sound nicht nur mit düsteren Riffs, sondern auch gelegentlichen Growls,und durch das schwermütige Grundtempo gelingt EX ANIMO ein angenehmer Kontrast zu den üblichen Speed- und Quietsch-Einlagen des Genres. Auf jeglichen Kitsch wird verzichtet, und auch wenn Tracks wie ‘Soulglass’ nicht das Beste aus Julia Orwell herausholen und manchmal noch der Eindruck entsteht, Musik und Gesang laufen getrennt nebeneinander her, werden die Vocals doch nie zum Drama und versemmeln den Rest der Musik. Hier können die Ukrainer sich stets retten, dafür gibt es aber auch immer wieder Songs, die einfach nicht recht zünden wollen und das Bedürfnis erwecken, nebenher das Geschirr zu spülen. Ein Meisterwerk hat das Quintett nach diesen zwölf Jahren leider dann doch nicht auf die Welt losgelassen, aber auch von Enttäuschung kann auch nicht die Rede sein. Wer also etwas düsteren Gothic Metal mit schleppendem Doom-Tempo sucht, wird hier positiv überrascht, denn viele Bands mit diesem Stil gibt es aktuell nicht. www.exanimo.com.ua.

8 Punkte
ACS (Legacy #103)

 

LEGACY103Nach zwölf Jahren haut das zur Band gewordene Projekt EX ANIMO sein zweites Album heraus – zwischenzeitlich erschienen eine Single sowie eine EP – und ist bei einer seltsamen stilistischen Mischung angelangt: Gebräuchlichem Gothic Metal mit Frauengesang und Metalcore-Pathos, was sich insbesondere im kehligen Geschrei von Mitbegründer Andrew Lunko äußert. Seine Muse Julia ist hinterm Mikro sattelfest, wenn auch mit nur wenig Charisma gesegnet, und die ausladenden Songs wurden mit Verstand konzipiert. Der progressive Anspruch des Quintetts lässt Doom- (‘Aeons Of Sadness’) und Modern Metal-Bezüge (Titelstück) zu – letzteres ohne Überwiegen der artifiziellen Komponente (Synthesizer) gegenüber den harten Gitarren –, wobei nie der Eindruck entsteht, die Band wisse nicht, was sie will. Das kleine Epos ‘Hourglass’ dürfen sich die Musiker als Visitenkarte einstecken, wenn sie über Vorderasien hinaus auf Label-Suche gehen. Nach so langem Bestehen mit so viel Potenzial sollte in Sachen Erfolg mehr drin sein, wozu lediglich ein, zwei Hit-Anwärter im Programm fehlen.

8 Punkte
AS (Legacy #103)

 

Ex Animo are a band from Ukraine that plays a mixture of dark, goth, doom and death metal and this is a review of their 2016 album "Neverday" which was released by Metal Scrap Records.
A very symphonic keyboard sound starts off the album and also mixes in with the heavier guitars a few seconds later while also using melodies at times and after a minute female vocals and clean playing are added into some parts of the songs and death metal and black metal screams are also a very huge part of the recording.
All of the musical instruments on the recording have a very powerful sound to them and when the music speeds up a small amount of blast beats can be heard and the solos and leads also stick to a melodic musical direction and some songs bring in a small amount of spoken word parts and one track brings in a brief use of spoken word parts and some of the tracks are very long and epic in length along with most of the music sticking either to a slow or mid paced musical direction and there is also a brief use of violins and acoustic guitars on a later song.
Ex Animo plays a musical style that takes goth, doom and death metal and mixes them together with a touch of black metal to create a musical style of their own, the production sounds very professional while the lyrics cover dark and depressive themes.
In my opinion Ex-Animo are a very great sounding mixture of goth, doom and death metal and if you are a fan of those musical genres, you should check out this band. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Aeons Of Sadness" "Shattered Universe" and "Scream Of Silence".

8/10
OccultBlackMetal (Doomed to Darkness)

This first encounter with the band Ex Animo, hailing from Ukraine, is a windfall. This collective has been around since 2000 and one can hear that we are dealing with experienced, talented musicians. In 2004 they released their debut album ‘Solitary’, but then it became silent around the band. They evolved from a doom metal band into more gothic allied music. That means more accessibility and the recruiting of a female singer. Their sophomore album includes three older tracks from the demo ‘Soulglass’, but they are rearranged and re-recorded, in order to sound as it was meant. The album is completed with five new tracks.
Fortunately there is still a firm amount of dark doom heaviness in the music of Ex Animo. Indeed, when female singer Julie Orwell sings her lines, the whole thing is smoothened, but founding member/guitarist Andrew Lunko often adds his juicy rough death grunts. The guitar rhythms have momentum in opener and title track ‘Neverday’, while ‘Aeons Of Sadness’ slowly enters the room and then cuts loose in ponderous mid-paced tightness. The soaring keyboard layers are assimilated into the music in a wonderful manner and the band really impresses with its melodic, fervent guitar solos that illustrate their love for classical heavy metal. Whispered passages add a kind of mysterious flavour to the lengthy compositions and we kept on listening with excitement. This is highly recommended for doom/gothic metal fans of the older, yet excellent and proved recipe.

81/100
Vera (Lords Of Metal)

Best Doom Metal Cover in April 2016 by BDP Metal /Indonesia/

necromance 04 16EX ANIMO es una banda ucraniana que nació en el año 2000, la banda tiene un estilo en el que predomina ese doom gótico que hemos podido ver en bandas como KATATONIA o ANATHEMA, pero en esta ocasión también podemos observar rasgos provenientes del death metal melódico e incluso del metal sinfónico, lo que favorece en la creación de piezas con grandes toques emocionales y por qué no decirlo, con toques bastante épicos.
EX ANIMO nos presenta en esta ocasión su nuevo LP “Neverday”, su segundo larga duración y el primero de la mano de Metal Scrap Records.
En “Neverday” el elemento predominante es la voz de Julia Orwell, esa voz increíblemente melódica que con los guturales de Andrew Lunko a caballo entre el black y el death darán mucho juego en cada pieza de la obra, los teclados por su parte se acercan más a un estilo sinfónico mientras que el juego de guitarras, generalmente lentas y melódicas nos dan esa esencia doom, también en la obra hay espacio para ritmos más animados pero serán los menos predominantes.
El álbum comienza con la homónima del disco titulada también “Neverday” La cual abre con unos teclados sinfónicos que darán paso a unos riffs de guitarras que sin ser de lo mejor que veremos nos pondrán en situación, además en el momento que entra la voz de Julia el tono de la canción cambia dando ese toque épico y emocional que caracteriza a este estilo de música.
Pistas como “Aeons of Sadness”, “Shattered Universe” o “The Memories Of a Broken Man”  lograran ponernos los pelos de punta, con una apartado compositivo coherente y bien ejecutada con grandes cambios que nos mantendrán atados al álbum en todo momento.
“Souldglass” Es el tema más longevo de todo el disco, las voces de Andrew Lunko en esta ocasión entran en contadas ocasiones, usadas a modo de coro de esas voces melódicas que hacen un efecto muy bueno aumentando la épica del tema en ciertos momentos.
“Spirit Covered With Snow” y “Scream of silence” podríamos considerarlo como las baladas del disco, más lentas y armónicas que el resto del conjunto, de estas dos, la segunda mencionada tienen un toque especial, otro de los temas que merece un punto y aparte, con un trabajo instrumental excelente en todos sus aspectos.
“Just Tired (outro)” es la pieza que cierra la obra, una pieza breve respecto al resto del conjunto, que sirve más que como canción, como pasaje instrumental para finalizar el disco. Una pieza bonita, instrumental que nos dejara un buen sabor de boca.
EX ANIMO nos deja una buena obra, sin ser una propuesta demasiado arriesgada, agradará a todos los amantes del metal más melódico y emocional.

8/10
Héctor Hidalgo Arévalo (NECROMANCE #04/16)

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