I rather enjoyed the 2005 self released second album, Rebirth from these Cali deathcore mongers who have/had strong ties to All Shall Perish. However, a lack of productivity since the bands 2001 debut, the immense growth of the genre and numerous line up changes, put the band behind the eight ball as far as the genre goes. Much like Embrace the End, With Dead Hands Rising and The Classic Struggle, the follow up to an impressive debut a few years ago is simply hindered by these issues making, the follow up slightly less impactful, despite being a solid effort.
Days of Night fulfills all the genres requisites admirably; rumbling breakdowns, European melodies and solos all wrapped up in a semi death metal guise of brutality and urgency. It’s all here is spades and rendered with the tightness of the debut. Opening with the Suffocation -ish gait of “Terror”, its apparent Antagony are one of the many bands trying to be considered a ‘real’ death metal act, but then “The Truth Will Be Known” veers into almost All Shall Perish worship, and that’s more prevalent (and understandable considering the bands have shared multiple members) throughout the rest of the album, but truth be told, I’m preferring this to the rather disappointing Awaken the Dreamers. “The Ladder” and “The Voyage” however, show why this band has just a little more to offer than your standard myspace band with a far more epic, and ambitious sense of melody that surfaced on Rebirth before “Exhale Her Poison” delivers more death metal shreddage.
Guitarist Nick Vassallo’s interest in classical music arises for the cello driven “Interlude” which segues nicely into the dramatic standout “Undying Suns”. And the orchestration of the somber title track and piano outro all comes across as far better done than piece meal. As with Rebirth , there is a Spanish song in the form of the slicing “El Banquette”. Still, even with a pretty consistent quality across the board that’s better than comparable 2008 releases by With Dead Hands Rising, The Classic Struggle and Embrace the End, Antagony aren’t bringing a whole lot new to the table in 2009, and personally the high end screams (I’m not sure if is Carlos Saldana or Vasallo) border on grating. Still, Rebirth is better than the likes of other similarly styled albums I’ve been recently exposed to like Arsonists Get All the Girls, Sleep Serapis Sleep, Hiroshima Will Burn, Viatrophy, Here Comes the Kraken (though still pretty good), Fomento, Arise Horror and countless others.
Antagony is a perfect example of the fickle nature and ‘that’s how the cookie crumbles’ business side of metal; All Shall Perish are three albums into their career, on Nuclear Blast Records, on huge tours and regarded as one of the genres best acts. However, due to numerous issues, Antagony, who released Rebirth the same year as Nuclear Blast re-issued All Shall Perish’s Hate. Malice. Revenge (which was originally released on tiny Japanese label, Amputated Vein Records in 2003), is struggling to stay on the deathcore radar, and will be considered a poor mans All Shall Perish, despite this decent release.
Either way I’m glad guitarist Nick Vassallo has returned to metal after 2007s rather terrible foray into classical music, as he and whatever band he brings together seem to have the passion for it, it’s a shame the timing and adversity has hindered him and his cohorts.[Visit the band's website]