I hope Abacus Recordings, Lifeforce, Nuclear Blast and Metal Blade are reading this because considering the recent releases by Embrace the End, Animosity and All Shall Perish, California’s rumblemasters Antagony are every bit as good within the confines of the so called death-core genre.
Most will groan at yet another mix of death metal lurch and hardcore groove, but personally the genre has me enamored, and Antagony, for an unsigned band deliver the goods in spades. Plus, for a demo Rebirth features a full on professional presentation and a burly Zach Ohren production. Shit, all a label has to do is put their stamp on it and distribute it.
If Antagony have anything to set them apart from the beatdown-obsessed masses, they are epic; an eleven-minute title track, lots of melodic solos and acoustic segues (“Last Days”, “Cultivate and Collapse”). It’s all been done before, but Antagony have a solid grasp on the elements needed to make them memorable. Of course though, the focal point of the album is huge breakdowns and pummeling grooves. Opener “The Awakening” pretty much sets the tone for the whole release; thunderous pace, nice harmonies and it bleeds effortlessly into the eleven minute title track, making for an impressive 17 minutes of heaviness. As mentioned earlier, there isn’t much new going on here, but it is heavy and entertaining. Tracks like “Hybrid”, “Abre Los Oyos” and “Beneath the Black” show a level of death core competence that certainly deserves a record deal. Especially considering the current musical climate. Not as technically obtrusive as Animosity, Antagony are close relatives (by band members) of All Shall Perish, so if you enjoyed Hate. Malice. Revenge, this is an easy recommendation.
Lyrically, past “The Awakening/Rebirth” and the unique Latin take of “Abre los Oyos”, Antagony are no Chaucer, but they get the job done. Growler Carlos Saldana has an adequate bellow, but he gets an awful lot of help from guitarist Nick Vasallo and a host of guests; Eddie Hermida (Gunmetal Grey), Ben Orum and Craig Betit (All Shall Perish), Ben Caragol (Hack Saw to the Throat)-all bands that have former ties to Antagony, so Antagony’s pedigree is certainly solid.
Unfathomably unsigned, Antagony are another solid addition to this year’s death core onslaught.