Antigama – The Insolent Review

Originally written by Chris Redar

Didn’t Antigama just drop a phenomenal album a short while ago? ‘Heads should still be whiplashing their necks to 2013’s Meteor, which still feels as fresh and vital as the day it came out. The thing about a band as focused and on-point as are these Polish gentlemen is that striking while the iron is hot, so to speak, tends to yield a shitload of razor-sharp daggers instead of a broadsword that takes years to cool. Why sit around and wind up for a one-hit kill when you can stab a thousand times before your target hits the ground?

The Insolent achieves much in a rather short amount of time: it out-rottens all but the most rotten Rotten Sound, surfs the waves created in Spazz’s wake, and still manages to maintain a sense of flow and groove, all while remaining distinctly an Antigama album. As a matter of fact, this could be looked at as two separate EPs meant to be played in tandem. The first half-dozen tracks stay squarely in the grind-length corner, the longest of which doesn’t touch two-and-a-half minutes (“Randomize the Algorithm”). This is where the band gets nasty, and gets incredibly weird whilst doing so. “Foul Play” in particular weaves in and out of being an actual song so many times that it’s still unclear that it actually is one. It’s grindcore’s version of a Benny Hill chase scene.

After the title track, this ship capsizes and sinks under its own weight. “Sentenced to the Void” wouldn’t be out of place on a Blood Duster album—it immediately conjures thoughts of the barroom brawling classic “Drink, Fight, Fuck”, which is to say it rules. Closer “The Land of Monotony” doesn’t betray its title—at over seven minutes and nearly singular in both riffage and pace, it’s one of the heaviest songs to exist in this calendar year so far. All doom/stoner/sludge/garbage bands should be ashamed of themselves in a post-this song world for not writing it first.

If there’s a snag on The Insolent, it’s definitely instrumental track “Out Beyond.” It’s not that it sounds bad, it just doesn’t fit where it’s placed, and it’s difficult to imagine it would have had a place anywhere else on the album, either. It’s basically montage music for a twelve-year-old to build a robot to, and it’s a bit too corny to coincide with the weird that the rest of the album brings to the table.

Aside from that snafu, The Insolent is a true AAA in a year that so far has seen a dearth of quality (and I’m sure the comments will not jibe with that statement, but y’know, potato potato). It has, essentially, something to please almost every metal fan in some way, though it’s careful not to pander to any single one. Antigama definitely has another bona fide classic on their hands. And barring nine other albums coming out that are even half this good (spoiler: that won’t happen), this one’s an automatic top-tenner.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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