Red Animal War
Black Phantom Crusades (Deep Elm Records)
By: Alex Steininger
More complex and ferocious than their debut, Breaking In An Angel, Austin's Red Animal War's sophomore effort, Black Phantom Crusades ups the ante and answers the call. It denies typical emo convention with vocals that are neither whiny nor nasally, instead preferring a deep throated, brooding voice that conveys each and every bit as much emotion as your standard, redundant emo singer. Better than the musically, too, the band avoids the soft-to-loud formula in favor of more level performances throughout, keeping the songs loud from start to finish, if they want, as well as crafting mid-tempo songs that reel you in and find you sinking in their sorrow. I'll give this a B-.
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