More often than not bands who try to mix as many genres as Exotic Animal Petting Zoo wind up sounding like the equivalent of a public restroom toilet during an outbreak of dysentery. There's distinguishable pieces here and there but for the most part, it's mainly shit. Odd it is then that this groups bizarre amalgamation of varying genres and spazzy technical playing somehow creates something more engaging than it should be.
For you see, while Exotic Animal Petting Zoo would probably give nods to groups like Mr. Bungle and Nuclear Rabbit, they would also seemingly give gestures of equal measure to dredg and the Deftones. Wisely they tend to follow the latter for structural guidance and in turn concoct immense melodic passages expansive enough to give ascendance to their erratic tendencies. Rare is it that a screamy grindcore outburst can organically segue into a beautiful dreamy soundscape, but that's just what happens here.
These ethereal passages are incredibly lucid and emotive, making for a soothing proverbial anchor to the groups more spastic metallic tantrums. Indeed this dynamic plays out well for them as they also develop the songs opposing elements against each other, proving that they are indeed taking their Ritalin. That said "I Have Made My Bed In Darkness" is a melting pot that does contain some sour elements that do spoil a track here and there. But unlike the slop many similar groups have tried to pass off before, this album is far too tasty overall to be written off as mere sustenance.
(3.5 / 5)