Vera : 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.