Album Review: ANTIGAMA The Insolent
When you think of Poland and music, your mind probably drifts to something like Vader or Behemoth. If you play video games and think Poland it's probably The Witcher. However if you think grindcore and Poland, your mind might move to the mighty Antigama.
Antigama have been pushing out tunes to destroy speakers since 2000. The band has been through a plethora of lineup changes but has settled in with Łukasz Myszkowski on vocal duties, Paweł Jaroszewicz (ex-Vader, ex-Thy Disease) on drums, Sebastian Rokicki on guitar, and Sebastian Kucharski on bass. And now with their latest album, The Insolent the band continues to establish that they are a prominent force in grindcore.
The Insolent would sound perfectly in place picking up where something like Pig Destroyer's “Scatology Homework” or “Dead Carnations” end. Antigama offer the listener no quarter, mercy or time to adjust as the band gets straight to the gritty. What's more is that the forces and sheer grind influences the band conjure weave immediately into the sound. Once they hit, you know what you're getting.
The chain snapping magic behind Antigama's sound is that they all at once sound like Antigama, and yet on another level sound like all of their contemporaries. It's like they threw Pig Destroyer, Gridlink, Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, and Nasum and just hit the puree switch. What's more is Antigama sound like they could play to any one of these bands' individual sounds and give them a run for their money. “Data Overload” sounds like something stripped from Smear Campaign whereas “Used To” and the title track wouldn't have been out of place on Longhena.
It's easy to play the compare this to that game though and while Antigama inspire plenty of comparison, they are absolutely a band that can stand on its own two feet, as they prove over and over. Riffage and composition-wise, Antigama are nothing short of A-list for the genre. “Randomize the Algorithm” bounce as much as it grinds and even throws in a crushing breakdown. The band likes to chop more than it likes to crush. Many of the songs tend toward a schizophrenic beat, favoring disproportion and out-of-step structures. And without being annoying about it.
The Insolent is never much of a straightforward album. It's something that gives over to grindy speed bumps…for the first half. The Insolent actually offers up two very different sides of a coin. The first six tracks aren't really straightforward but rather geared towards a less experimental path. In fact the most straightforward Antigama aims is with “Sentenced to the Void.” A very hardcore/punk inspired track that pushes forward with smoother riffs. Once you reach “Out Beyond”, you really are out and beyond what you might have been expecting with this album.
The final three tracks bring more of a science fiction flavor out in the band. Something that screams variety beyond the black eyed and bloodied nature that was so prominent only moments ago. The aforementioned “Out Beyond” sounds like a space trip through dimensions that one might have found during the technicolor ugliness of the 80s (mind you, the track itself isn't ugly). The closer “The Land of Monotony” takes the album out slowly, but with aggression. At seven-and-a-half minutes the track is sometimes literally ticking down to its final seconds.
The Insolent offers not a single boring track. The split feeling of the album also gives it some merit concerning balance. The first six are pure slices of aggression and the last four play around a bit, sometimes sticking with a smoother approach, sometimes getting experimental. Nevertheless, this album is heavy as hell. The drums sound powerful and the guitar and bass sound boast a sharp metallic twang. Myszkowski's vocals are powerful and thundering. The Insolent is one of grindcore's best records this year. No mercy. No quarter. Pure, blistering destruction.