Animal Flag - Void Ripper
Review by Shannon Shumaker
Although it can feel very dark and desolate at times, Animal Flag’s new album, Void Ripper is filled with light and hope. Through songs that tell a story of finding meaning and purpose in life, Void Ripper feels like a push and pull between succumbing to feelings of hopelessness and rising from the ashes to find something worth living for. Incredibly raw, both sonically and emotionally, this album will rip you open before making you feel whole once more.
The songs that make up Void Ripper are unconventional, but incredibly cathartic. Giving listeners a little taste of what to expect is the title track, which comes early on in the album and feels dark and draining before exploding into something beautiful. Moments like this and the songs that follow make for a very diverse listen. While songs like “Candace” are explosive and aggressive, “Stray” and “Flair” are stunning sonically. Lyrically, “Stray” uses the metaphor of a stray dog wandering the streets to paint a painful picture of trying to navigate life and find your place in the world. This contrasts with “Flair,” which takes a more literal approach.
The only downside on Void Ripper comes in the raw quality of the production. The drums can be a bit overpowering at times (especially in songs like “Candace”) but thankfully, it doesn’t take long to become accustomed to the gritty sound and really focus on the most powerful aspect of the album - the lyrical content. At times, you might find yourself wishing for a more refined sound to the album, but the raw sound is actually quite poetic and even reflective of the journey depicted in these songs. It is also really stunning in tracks like the stripped down and intimate, “Lord of Pain.”
“Why” is definitely the climax of Void Ripper, both sonically and lyrically, wrapping up the themes of the album in lines like, “You’re a speck of dust on a floating rock / You’re the fastest hand on the smallest clock.” It also continues to pose the question asked time and time again throughout the album - why are we here? How can we find meaning in this life? And by the time that “Why” and the stunning final track, “Five” come to a close, you might feel a bit closer to answering those questions. If nothing else, you’ll at least feel comfort in knowing that Animal Flag are still figuring it out, too.
LISTEN TO: "Stray" or "Why"
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