The Animal State – Genus: Album Review

Some jazzy prog rock on the debut album, Genus, from Col Mullins, also known as The Animal State.

Release Date: 8th May 2020

Label: Colmination Music

Formats: DL – Bandcamp

The Animal State, which was established in 2017, is Hampshire based multi-instrumentalist, Col Mullins.  Genus is his debut album and is firmly set in jazzy prog rock form.  Containing only five long tracks, the shortest being approximately nine and a half minutes, Col throws the kitchen sink at us to express his excellent virtuosity.

This forceful collection is never dull though and whether he is thrashing out splendidly vigorous riff-based guitar solos or backing with a wide range of complex bass and keyboard accompaniments your attention never wavers. Equally complex are the  bold  drum  rhythms, although not credited with the drumming Col has expertly recorded and mixed Genus in his home-built studio

Greek history and mythology are explored in Bucephalus (Alexander the Great’s notorious horse) and in Cerberus, guardian of Hades who, like Col, has multiple heads. The animal world is clearly the focus of his intense epic versewith

Col’s vocal talents are also many layered as he leads and provides backing singing on  Talon and Howl.

I found the music breathtaking and uplifting throughout and a complete listen is as adventurous as the exuberance of his elaborate music. The intensity and volume are relentless throughout although in the final track  Fawn, there is some melodic respite as we are warned of mankind’s vulnerability on the planet. 

To  give Col the final word, he claims that: “My writing process is constantly re-inventing itself and, though the core of my sound is retained throughout my work, each new collection of songs represents a new stage in the evolution of my music.” 

I look forward to that what enfolds as The Animal State is currently in the studio working on a follow-up EP and writing material for another full-length album.

Listen to Talon from the album here:

The Animal State online: Facebook / Bandcamp

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