By Lane Oliver
Last year, Antigama left me salivating at the mouth with their brief but sweet Stop the Chaos EP. After the previous three year silence, those six songs on that EP packed enough punch to rekindle my initial fondness for the band’s intense, complex grindcore stylings. The Polish grindcore squadron has returned again this year with the follow up to Stop the Chaos, the ever blistering Meteor. Though only a half hour, these eleven new tracks further prove that Antigama are on the cutting edge of grind.
To be completely honest, Antigama do not break any new ground with Meteor. That being said, you do not necessarily have to reinvent the wheel, just roll it well. In Antigama’s case, they absolute annihilate said metaphorical wheel. Eleven tracks may surprise some grind fans who are accustomed to longer track lengths, but I assure you the power of a twenty-two track, blood soaked grindcore record is harnessed within these eleven songs. The drumming is ridiculously chaotic and on point, adding a much needed frenzied feel to the overall chaotic nature of this band. This chaos can obviously be heard the most in the virtuosic guitar work. Antigama roll out high speed, rhythmically defying riffs that spiral out of control and crash land upon the listeners skull in a heap of shrapnel. The metallic guitars rip through track after track with domineering complexity, atrophied, atonal riffage and an overall intense feel. Then comes the ferocious, barked vocals that only add to Antigama’s menacing presence. These musical attributes, as always, allow Antigama to rip through tracks like “Collapse” “Prophecy” and “Meteor” in a sadistic blur of intense grind and leave you breathless. But of course it wouldn’t be a true Antigama record without a little experimentation, variety, and sci-fi sound effects. Their obvious affinity for science fiction can be heard throughout the album in the forms of space like sound effects and sound clips, especially in the instrumental number “Stargate”. Then there are tracks like “Turbulence” that take it a step further. The first half of the track is a droning, ambient number verging into noise territory that sounds as if you are floating inside the remains of an abandoned space ship in zero gravity awaiting the attack of some hulking, alien menace. The track evolves into more of an electronic, trip hop like track while still adding layers of oddness on top. But Antigama come in with the grind during the track’s final moments and even end it off with a trippy keyboard solo. Little quips like these set Antigama apart from the pack, obviously. Some of the experimenting is a little less extreme, however. Antigama try their game at straight-forward, groove laden hardcore on “Fed by the Feeling” and do a damn good job at it. But don’t ask me about the goofy, random scat section near the end. I can’t explain that, but I love it. Finally, Antigama close out the album with the sprawling, nearly five minute “Untruth”, which destroys everything in its path with its hugs sludgy chugs. The track gets a little repetitive but Antigama close it out strong with a whirlwind of noisy riffs and palm muted chugging.
So Meteor is your “typical” Antigama album, which is of course a good thing. These guys have a good, original sound that doesn’t need much tweaking to keep my interest. I honestly prefer this new record’s sound over that of their classic Warning album. I know, call me crazy. Meteor left me with the same desire for more that Stop the Chaos instilled in me. Thirty minutes of this futuristic tech grind is not enough to quench my blood lust. Antigama end this album with the words “goodbye”, but we all know they’ll be back again to grind us to bits some more soon.
Release Date: May 28th, 2013
Favorite Tracks “The Key”, “Prophecy”, “Fed by the Feeling” and “Stargate”
For fans of: Gridlink, Crowpath, Brutal Truth, Pig Destroyer and Rotten Sound.