Antigama – Depressant Review

Man, that cover is golden…

The red pill there… with the hook… for all the fools who fall for that…

But that’s outside the scope of my review, and possibly outside the meaning of the artist…

So disregard that: I’m here to talk about the music.

And of course, this is Antigama, so if you’ve been keeping up, then you should be beyond excited for a new EP, because Antigama has never been anything less than strong, and over time, they’ve achieved greater. Zeroland laid the groundwork a long time back, and then these Poles jumped from their home-country label Selfmadegod to grindcore-friendly label Relapse in time to release two strong but not amazing records. Returning home to Selfmadegod, Antigama laid waste to everything with 2013’s utterly stellar Meteor. They followed that up with another staggering effort in 2015’s The Insolent, and somewhere between Meteor and Insolent, they found themselves as the most interesting, most effectively destructive grindcore band on the planet.

Compared to those last two absolute ragers, Depressant does seem a bit more by-the-numbers, but take that with all the grains of salt in all the world, because that criticism is anything but a bad one. “Empty Paths” is heavily redolent of Napalm Death, which is also anything but a negative. That opening number, like the rest, is built around dissonant riffing and Lukasz Myszkowski’s Barney Greenway bellows, and the whole of it just brilliantly pummeling, with one exception: the midtempo, Swans-y trudge of the title track, which serves to break the tension between the album’s first section and the utterly blistering closer “Shut Up.” If there were an award for Grindcore Song Of The Year, my vote would go to “Shut Up” – it’s just plain perfection: a vicious beat, a catchy vocal hook amongst the screaming, an absolutely aces skronky riff, the whole package coalescing into one two-minute evisceration.

Rewinding a bit: Do not, under any circumstance, underestimate the staggering “Division Of Lonely Crows,” from the swing of its almost stoner-metal intro into the absolutely leveling pulse of the bulk of it — it’s further grind greatness, And that one leads into the pure chaos of “Now,” if you needed further proof…

Grindcore is and always will be about the visceral, the physical… It’s not always about variation, about expansion. And yet, the grind bands that matter most are those that master the slight variations that fit, those that master the ability to expand upon the blastbeats-and-screaming template… And the fact is simply this: I am aware of no band in grindcore that has mastered that variation, has completely grasped the expansion better than Antigama. They’re the grindcore band that non-grind listeners can love because it’s more than that – it’s just plain great, whatever it is, ugly and heavy and fast and loud and damned vicious and just plain awesome.

They’re the best grindcore band around, and this is why.

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you, you sick bastard?” asks the disembodied voice after “Now.”

And the answer? Yes. Yes, absolutely. Without a doubt.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *