This is probably one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year if not in the last 25 years or so! Animosity' was released in '85 and although the follow-up album 'Technocracy' was also in the crossover punk-metal vein it was the previous album that really pushed boundaries and is regarded as classic. In fact I consider one of the first examples of, even if not intentional, of American crust-punk.
From there the band took a turn into left field leaving many of their early fans wondering what the hell just happened as the band plunged into Southern stoner rock or whatever they did for the next 20+ years with Pepper Keenan at the helm. I was one of the young thrashers left with nothing but my skateboard and 1 early album of messy hardcore punk, 1 masterpiece of crossover madness, and 1 ep of total raging skate-thrash.
As you can tell I didn't follow the Pepper years. From the comments on Blabbermouth it seems that the Pepper material has it's legion of fans that cant stand the pre-Pepper material. Last year COC threw all those dudes for a loop when they decided to tour without him and stick to the Animosity material. Hordes of Pepper followers were left with nothing but their bongs and worn out 'Blind' shirts while armies of old, balding, beer bellied, punks and thrashers from the 80's asked their wives if they could go out with a couple of old friends for a trip on a time machine.
The show was un-fucking-real and I even got a chance to talk to Reed after the show. He hung out outside for about an hour just yucking it up with the fans, taking pictures and be an all-around cool mofo.
I've listened to this album about 10 times now. I had to really let it sink in before committing my egotistical opinion to word doc. And so...This album is magical! It is a special creation that transcends genres and challenges the listener to either expand beyond hardcore or if, from the other direction, to accept hardcore into their punk challenged minds.
The album flows freely from some sort of 70's inspired witch-craft rock to heavier SABBATH influenced stoner metal while quickly jerking into an all-out thrash-core frenzy! Often times this happens within the breadth of a single song.
It's obvious that touring the Animosity stuff left an impression on COC as they entered the studio. The question I ask though is if the album was an organic blossoming of ideas and inspiration or an intentional effort to meld the two corners of their universe. The promo tracks I have linked to below are not the best overall example of what this album is capable of but they are a good taste. The deeper I got into the album the more accepting and mesmerized I became of their brand of rock.
My guess is that once I have the LP in my possession and I don't have to listen to downloads I will become fully consumed by this album and when the end of the year approaches and I am working on my top picks for the last 11 months I will most likely herald it as one of the best releases of the year!