Animal Drive are a hard rock band from Croatia formed in 2012 by singer/songwriter Dino Jelusic. The bands debut album 'Bite!' was released in 2018 and is a hard rocking blend of (early) Whitesnake and 'Slave To The Grind' era Skid Row.    
With over thirty years of listening to heavy metal and hard rock music, am having a little difficulty finding another band that combine the nineties sleaze metal genre with early eighties blues influenced (Whitesnake sounding) heavy metal...maybe there isn't one? Animal Drive launch their debut album with the swaggering 'Goddamn Marathon', merging heavy blues infused riffs, with the power and energy of sleaze metal. Throw in a lick or two from the Stoner rock genre, and there you have the sound that the Croatian rockers are making all their own. Foot stompingly heavy, 'Tower Of Lies (I Walk Alone)' is a thundering swash buckle, as it strides on tall and proud. Heavy riff driven, with a pulsating rhythm, Animal Drive are heavy rockers, displaying enough force in the albums opening two songs to demolish buildings and raze them to the ground. Bringing a more melodic feel to the album, 'Had Enough' echoes the feel and vibe of Swiss metallers Gotthard, as it heavily rumbles on its way. A sparkling guitar solo adds to the infectiousness of 'Had Enough', with 'Bite!' beginning to turn in a feel good party anthem feel.    
Lowering the intensity, and marching on at a foot stomping, mid tempo pace, 'Hands Of Time' strides across the genre border into power ballad territory. A one hundred percent catchy and sing a long able chorus break, will have fans singing along at the tops of their lungs. 'Hands Of Time' also features an emotion fuelled vocal performance. Upping the tempo and heavying things up a bit too, 'Lights Of The Damned' is a punchy, hard hitting slab of melodic hard rock. The catchy chorus is an instant hit, the blistering guitar solos are mesmeric and overall, 'Lights Of The Damned' is the best song so far on the album... 'Time Machine' takes on the role of majestic, anthemic style heavy rock. Feet will be stomping hard as 'Time Machine' marches on with purpose, making the ground shudder with every stride it takes. All mellow and fuelled by acoustics, 'Father' is a lighters in the air moment, with a resounding amount of both passion and emotion oozing from every where. Eleven songs on offer across nearly fifty five minutes is great value and will definitely be worth the investment.    
'Fade Away' is too heavy to be a ballad and too light to be metal, it's actually a hard hitting slice of heavy rock, with streaks of Stoner and blues thrown in to the mix. Animal Drive are showing themselves as a versatile band, striding effortlessly through a number of differing genres, delivering their own blend of catchy and infectious melodic heavy rock. 'Carry On' is a stripped down, mellow meandering ballad, fuelled by passion. A top notch vocal delivery, 'Carry On' is the best ballad on offer across the album. Straight out of the nineties sleaze metal genre, 'Devil Took My Beer Again' easily stands tall with anything released at the turn of the nineties, when the sleaze metal genre was flourishing, with the likes of Skid Row, Faster Pussycat and Ratt leading the way. The album is brought to a close with the more progressive metal sounding 'Deliver Me'. Animal Drive appear to be a band not afraid to experiment with their sound, not pigeon holing themselves into one musical style. Their debut album is a memorable journey, one that will appeal to a wide ranging audience.    
Overall, a unique blend of melodic heavy rock, Stoner, and a touch of the blues, 'Bite!' is an interesting and addictive journey of varying influences.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV