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Music / Animosity

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Animosity was an American deathcore act. One of the founders of a controversial genre, their mix of death metal, grindcore, mathcore, and hardcore has nonetheless made them a well-loved underground act that never got its due and whose fanbase still loves them even as the former members do not.

Formed in San Francisco, California in 2002 by Leo Miller (vocals), Frank Costa, Chase Fraser (guitars), Nick Lazaro (bass) and Lucas Tsubota (drums), the band played scattered local shows but otherwise wasn't able to do too much, as most of the members were under the age of eighteen. The Hellraiser demo was released in 2002, though Fraser and Tsubota left around that time as well. Lazaro switched to guitars, while the Koperweis brothers (Sean and Navene) joined in as the new rhythm section. Shut It Down, their first full-length, was released in 2003, and they quickly started to become a name in the underground as one of the creators of deathcore. At some point between 2003 and 2005, they signed with Black Market Activities, while Nick Lazaro and Sean Koperweis left in 2004 and were replaced by a returning Fraser and Dan Kenny, respectively. Empires was released on Black Market Activities in 2005 and was greeted with a warm critical reception as a band to watch out for. The band began to tour, though Kenny was gone by 2006. In his place came Evan Brewer, and after several more tours, Animal dropped in late 2007 on Metal Blade Records. After several more tours, a remix EP done by Aaron Berlin (aka Drumcorps) was released in August of 2008. After a tour with All Shall Perish, Job for a Cowboy, Hate Eternal, and Annotations of an Autopsy concluded at the very end of 2008, all activity ceased.

After a year of silence, the band finally called it quits around the end of 2009, stating that they had done as much as they wanted to with the band and felt that it was time to move on. Koperweis went on to start a myriad of projects; Fleshwrought and Animals as Leaders came first, followed by Navene-K (his solo electronic project) and, later on, Entheos. Brewer, meanwhile, started a solo project and joined The Faceless, and Fraser started Son of Aurelius and later joined Decrepit Birth, in addition to forming or helping form Continuum, Conflux, and Scour in the following years, while Costa eventually went on to form Entheos with Brewer and Koperweis before having to leave due to personal issues. Lastly, Miller left music altogether and moved out east to go back to school. A reunion has been called for by many people, but there has been absolutely no talk of it and the likelihood of it ever happening is virtually nil. According to Miller, there had been some behind-the-scenes discussion about a few one-offs in the mid-'10s, but his lack of availability killed off those hopes in the moment, and Frank's falling-out with Chase and Navene around the beginning of Entheos' career more than likely killed off all future hopes as well. A preorder for a one-time limited run of Animal pullovers on IndieMerch will most likely be the band's final flicker of life before they die for good.


  • Hellraiser (2002) (demo)
  • Shut It Down (2003)
  • Empires (2005)
  • Animal (2007)
  • Animosity & Drumcorps: Altered Beast (2008) (remix EP)


  • Child Popstar: They were all teenagers when Shut It Down was recorded, with some of them being as young as fifteen.
  • Creator Breakdown: By his own admission, the years between Empires and Animal were some of the worst of Leo Miller's entire life, and numerous tracks on that album ("Tooth Grinder", "Animal", "Operating from the Ditch", "You Can't Win", "A Passionate Journey") chronicled his then-shitshow of a personal life and desperate attempts to hold it together.
  • Deathcore: Along with The Red Chord, Despised Icon, Antagony, and Deadwater Drowning, they were one of the Ur Examples of the genre, though their particular style was very different from the style that became popular.
  • Grief Song: "You Can't Win", apparently. As per a poster on r/deathmetal, Leo's direct reference to "September 2005" was because his then-girlfriend was hit and killed on October 1, 2005 on her motorcycle by a driver who was not only drunk, but high as a kite on coke and meth, and the poster's wife was the sister of Leo's girlfriend.
  • Grindcore: Had heavy deathgrind elements on their earlier material, though they moved more and more towards death metal with each album.
  • Heavy Meta: "Progression in Defeat" was Leo Miller's examination of the band dynamics, or, more specifically, of the rampant dysfunction circa Animal, complete with some veiled allusions to (if not outright threats) his potential departure if they didn't get their shit together.
  • Lead Drummer: By the end, Navene Koperweis was responsible for a sizeable portion of the writing and creative direction of the material. He also takes a central role in Entheos.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "TERRORSTORRRMMM!"
  • Metal Scream: Leo Miller was able to pull off Types 1, 2, and 3, but generally settled on a mix of a Type 1 and a Type 3 that was a hoarse, raspy shout.
  • Miniscule Rocking: "Saved" (1:31), "Elucidation" (00:34), and "Evangelicult" (00:04).
  • Protest Song: Their main lyrical theme for Shut It Down and Empires, as well as a few songs on Animal ("Terrorstorm", "Bombs Over Rome", "Plunder Incorporated").
  • Religion Rant Song: "Holy Shackles" and "Bombs Over Rome".
  • Screwed by the Network: Alluded to, if not outright stated by Leo.
  • Sibling Team: The Koperweis brothers (Sean and Navene) for the brief period that Sean was in the band.
  • Special Guest: Animal had guest spots from Robert Meadows (A Life Once Lost), Travis Ryan, Kurt Ballou, and Guy Kozowyk.
  • Start My Own: Navene started Fleshwrought and Navene-K as solo projects and also helped found Animals as Leaders, Brewer started a solo project of his own, and Fraser started Son of Aurelius, Continuum, Conflux, and Scour, the latter two being bonafide supergroups. Navene, Costa, and Brewer also helped found Entheos, though Costa was asked to leave not long after Primal was released.
  • Technical Death Metal: Had shades of this that were expanded upon with Animal.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Frank (performer) and Chase (technician) had this dynamic, with Frank playing the dirty fuzz and wah-drenched stoner rock leads and Chase playing the technical shred leads.