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)