For this EP, the Polish tech-grinders in Antigama are back on former label Selfmadegod, following two full-length releases for Relapse. Former vocalist Lukasz Myszkowski returns after sitting out 2009’s Warning; one-time Vader drummer Pawel Jaroszewicz takes over behind the kit; and bassist Michal Zawadski is also new to the group, signing on last year. Still, even with a new home and only one quarter of the band remaining in place from the last record, administrative shifts mark the only real changes in Antigama’s plan – beyond those, Stop The Chaos is the logical expansion of the same twisting metalcore-leaning grind that these guys have been perfecting for years now.
It’s important to note that, in the sentence above, “metalcore” is intended to mean the good kind, not the emo-tastic girlie-britches kind. Off-kilter and dissonant riffs, mathy rhythms, jumbled song structures, frantic grinding, jazzy chord voicings… They all float through much of these fifteen minutes, with the ambient closing track as a counter-balance. Somewhere near the intersection of Converge and Brutal Truth lies Antigama, and Stop The Chaos expertly manages the difficult task of being both complex and engaging within the framework of abrasive extremity.
Chaos’ production is sharp as hell – the guitars bite; the drums punch hard; the vocals are just a hair low in the mix, but this is grindcore, and in the long run, they’re just another screaming piece of the pummeling. Of the five actual tunes, the pounding pace of “The Law” and the dissonant riffage and haunting clean backing vocals of the title track are the best on hand, but none of these five falls short of quality tech-grind by any stretch. Antigama is nothing if not good at what they do. In the spirit of their last Selfmadegod release, 2005’s Zeroland, they stop the Chaos with an ambient piece, nearly four minutes of a Pink Floyd-ian drifting electronic number, far better executed than the nearly ten-minute track that closed Zeroland. “The End” serves as a grand wind-down for the previous eleven minutes of angular grinding.
“All systems are functional,” declares the placid robotic voice that crops up here and there throughout Chaos, and that’s the truth – Chaos is what Antigama creates, and a damn fine chaos it is.