Release DetailsLABEL Catalyst Records
RELEASED ON 12/1/2003
posted on 1/2006 By:
Typical Melodic German metalcore where zie only thing thicka dan zie accents ah da fucking BREAKDOWNS!!
Maroon have cleverly exploited our policy of reviewing everything that comes in our mailbox by sending us an album that is nigh four years old. Oddly enough, I reviewed Antagonist's follow up, Endorsed by Hate, over a year ago. I basically pointed out that this was a solid but unspectacular band with plenty of room to improve. Those same criticisms can be applied here as well.
Can I just say that reviewing this album just feels really awkward for me? It's like filling out a birthday card for my ex-girlfriend. Can I really convince anybody that I really give a damn about such a dead issue? I'll try. For what it's worth, I actually think the songwriting here is more compelling than on Endorsed. It's predictably trashy with cut and paste melodies and breakdowns, but it's also performed with that seat-of-pants urgency that attracted me to this genre in the first place. I've never been the kind of reviewer to get down on my knees and moisten the loins of originality, so the fact that I've heard all these riffs before doesn't really bother me. In fact, the unrepentant predictability is probably Antagonist's strongest attribute. Some bands impress by opening the listener up to new ideas and ways of thinking about music. Others just follow up a catchy riff with an enormous breakdown in a way that's just a bit more ... comforting. That's what Maroon does on songs like “Still Believe in What Has Fallen Apart” and “An End Like This.” At the same time, I can only stomach so much chug/trash/chug/tremolo/breakdown/spoken word/harmony before I feel like I'm stuck in an episode of the Twilight Zone where I, the protagonist is punished by being forced to listen to the same song over and over again for the rest of his life.
This is definitely a niche album. People who are into the earlier work of Heaven Shall Burn, Cataract, or Caliban might want to check this out. It's raw-edged, melodic and chest-poundingly tough in all the ways you'd could wish for. Just don't expect to be challenged or surprised in any way. This genre has become a joke to most people's ears lately, but I think this album reflects a time when the bands might not have been the most talented, but at least they sounded like they were trying. So, I leave you with this. If you buy only one four-year-old third tier German metalcore album this year, make it Maroon's Antagonist.
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