Duane Warr (all instruments and vocals), Ron Sparks (session percussions)

format: LP Side A:
  1. Animals
  2. Cannabinol: The Function
  3. That Deadly Night
  4. Are You Real
  5. Chocolate Mescaline
  6. Ghost Lovers

Side B:

  1. Just Keep Running
  2. Evil Lures
  3. Lonely Space Traveler
  4. Time
  5. Heavy Vibrations
  6. Electric Shock
  7. Lucky Star

year: 1986
country: USA
label: Brand X Recordings
#: -
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 7/10


OK, so here we will move in the outermost backwaters of what is currently considered 'Metal Music', but ultimately it would be more ridiculous to claim that DWARR had nothing to do with Heavy Metal than the opposite. I would also imagine that most people visiting The Corroseum are fans of this lovely little sub-genre known as Doom Metal, correct? Well, are you in for a treat or wot!

"Animals" is indeed a foaming, rabid ANIMAL of screaming feedback guitars, totally doped out, reverberating vocals and sludgy Doooooohhm-riffing from the fiery depths of the netherworld. It owes plenty to the 60's/70's, like Hendrix, HIGH TIDE, SABBATH, FLOWER TRAVELING BAND, early PENTAGRAM etc (I believe 'Heavy Metal' was the term they used back in those days), but you don't get the impression that Mr. Warr was aiming solely for a "retro" sound when recording this. "Animals" sounds more like it happened out of sheer luck/accident when the man just tried to do the heaviest music he could ever imagine while the means to do so were primitive to say the least. The outrageous cannibalistic cover art must also have raised an eyebrow or 2 back in the days, considering that it came out years before the Death Metal/Gore Core-explosion started numbing our senses.

Beginning with some totally outrageous, screaming moog feedback, the title-track sets the tone for the rest of the album. At this moment you'll either cover your ears and start to whimper, or smile and think 'this is a ride I'm really going to enjoy...'. If you are of the latter category you're one of the good guys. Personally I find their darkest, timeless Doooooohm-stuff the most compelling, like the fantastic 2 minute epic "Evil Lures", the stomping manic monster "Ghost Lovers" and the quite mental Spoken Word Horror-Doom of "That Deadly Night". I cannot lie, it's yum-yum Doom-food for any Gloom fan. On the other hand there's the quirky, spaced out pieces that could only be described as Acid-prog, like "Cannabinol: The Function", "Chocolate Mescaline" and "Time". They all drag the music away from the narrow Metal path, but they also provide some welcomed contrast and eerie X-factor. In-between these 2 extremes come plenty of doomy highlights in a more 70's SABBATHic style - or rather The Sabs after raiding the drug cabinet of MELVINS or BUTTHOLE SURFERS. The silly named "Heavy Vibrations" is as brilliant as it is cliché. "Are You Real" sound so much like the SABBATH debut it's downright surreal to imagine it coming out of the mid-80's (even the mid-90's would make more sense!). And so forth...

Mr. Warr may have been a less than lackluster musician at the time, and totally clueless about how to produce a record, but it's still a hell of a lot heavier and more entertaining than his previous album. Yes, "Animals" is actually the 2nd album of DWARR-music, but Metal purists should take note that the '85 debut "Starting Over" is not even close to Metal, even if its primitive, gloomy cover art would suggest otherwise. Sure, a few songs tangent the Doom on "Animals", but musically this it softer, weirder and even more primeval. Fans of phreaky psyche/folk and "real-people"/incredibly strange-music might get off on it though. I know I did when momentarily turning off my Metal super-senses.

The legend has it that Mr. Warr burned all his gear, mastertapes and remaining copies of the records shortly after the release of "Animals" and became a newborn Christian, but I've recently heard rumors of 2 more CDs from the early 90's in existence. Also, there seem to be both a 'proper' reissue of the 2 first albums available from Black Widow records (the distro or the label, don't remember which) as well as a pretty professional looking double-CDR bootleg ("Cannabinol - The Bootleg") circulating.

Listen to this record here. (provided by the Vibrations Of Doom webzine)

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