Release DetailsLABEL Selfmadegod Records
RELEASED ON 5/28/2013
...It might not be too early to hand 2013’s grindcore crown to Antigama.
It’s only halfway through the year, but it might not be too early to hand 2013’s grindcore crown to Antigama.
These Polish tech-grinders dropped one of 2012’s best EPs in Stop The Chaos – one which this reviewer must concede he underscored by a full point. Meteor is a logical progression from Chaos, with no major changes in sound or approach. It’s ultimately more of the same first-class metalcore-indebted, science-fiction-tinted grinding with the occasional burst of electro-noise. Between Sebastian Rokicki’s dissonant riffs and Lukasz Myszkowski’s Barney-esque blast-furnace bellow, Antigama ‘s attack often sounds like a mash-up of Napalm Death and Converge, the former’s sheer sonic bludgeoning with the angular riffing approach of the latter. Add to that some of Brutal Truth’s penchant for noisy experimentation, and in the crossroads lies Antigama.
Meteor opens strong, with its first four tracks as full-on ragers, ripping immediately through highlights like the blistering opener “Collapse” and “Prophecy.” With its squalling breakdown and robotic chant of “You are no longer human… You have nothing to say,” “Prophecy” is a perfect summation of Antigama’s grinding power, the confluence of their influences in two-and-a-half minutes of purely perfect pummeling. Rokicki’s guitars are stout and punishing; the drums bring the appropriate blast-happy thunder, once again performed by Pawel Jaroszewicz (Decapitated, ex-Vader), who joined the band just in time to Stop The Chaos.
For a band that regularly twists the conventions of grind and metalcore, it’s fitting that Meteor’s most unwelcome moment is its most conventional: “Fed By The Feeling” downshifts the grinding in favor of an almost straight-ahead metallic hardcore, with a bouncy main riff and a skanking second section that can only be described as “jaunty.” Tucked as it is between the grinding “Crystal Eye” and the stuttering interlude “Stargate” (a futuristic blend of machine-gun riffs and the band’s usual computerized voices), “Feeling” is Meteor’s most immediately accessible track, and as such, it’s among its least interesting, although it’s not at all a failure. (The three-minute drum-machine driven noise piece “Turbulence” almost stumbles into skip-ability, too, though it is redeemed in its final third by the sudden appearance of an actual riff and a… keyboard solo… that I sort of hope is a keytar. In my head it’s a keytar. Let me have my dream. Stop judging me.) Closing track “Untruth” is another high point, with a trudging almost-Killing Joke-like gait that gives way to more staccato riffing beneath noisy, seemingly random skreeks and skronks, before the whole thing crumbles to nothing and the computer voice signs off.
By taking a death/grind base and adding expert touches of unexpected elements, through six full-lengths now, Antigama has carved for themselves a niche at the top of the modern grind scene. They’ve mastered the push-pull art of writing quality grindcore, of creating memorable moments in their maelstrom, building tension with atonality and aggression and then allowing release through brief and well-timed shifts into groovy hardcore or drifting sci-fi soundscapes.
“There’s a message for you,” Meteor's robotic host declares early on. That message is this: Meteor is a great album from a killer band, and at least thusfar, it’s the album any grindcore outfit will have to beat for top honors in 2013.