Antagonist A.D (Auckland, New Zealand) are a band that have embraced the on-going success of the Australasian metal scene. Touring with the likes of The Ghost Inside and Emmure, as well as label mates Northlane and The Amity Affliction, Antagonist A.D have certainly made a name for themselves, playing internationally here in the UK, as well as across the pond in the USA. We take a listen to their second full-length offering, ‘Haunt Me As I Roam’.
On February 18th, the band released a video-accompanied single from the upcoming album. Taking a step away from the traditional hardcore background that the band has always welcomed, it is clear to see that the band is taking a more melodic and less aggressive-sounding approach with their latest release. To the positive reaction from fans, the anticipation is high and questions are left unanswered about the melodic approach heard in the single and if this will continue throughout the rest of the album.
Antagonist A.D have matured massively since their last release back in 2012. It is clear to see the band is stronger than ever, and is producing solid tracks that flow well and allow this album to be a very listenable release.
Vocally, this album is brilliant. Punishing lows that are phrased to perfection. Matching riff by riff, as the intensity of the instruments increase, so do the vocals. Elements even bringing old memories of UK band, TRC… a similar style of punishment anyway. ‘Dogs Blood’ is a prime example of the band’s maturity through the use of both growls and spoken word to give the track different dynamics and levels of attack. A catchy chorus section never goes a miss, and this track features one that is a treat for any listener. Featuring JJ Peters of Deez Nuts, this track stands out for me as one of the best on the album.
From start to finish, this album has the intention of being nothing short of an assault on the ears. Starting with a haunting opening, to set the tone, and leaving the rest to speak for itself. There are plenty of experimental features throughout, with clean ambient sections accompanying what could be another stereotypical hardcore riff, but one that has now received refreshing revitalisation, meaner, tougher and heavier than ever. The riffs just keep coming. As we progress through the album, the tracks only get tighter and more aggressive. But it’s hardcore, you should expect nothing less, and it certainly does not disappoint.
For Antagonist AD this is going to be a massive release, and one that will hopefully see them touring over here, in Europe, once again. A very easy listen, and one that I would highly recommend. Even if hardcore is not a style that you would normally pay attention to, this is well worth a listen. These are definitely the kinds of tracks that you listen to before a gig. They get the blood pumping, and prepare you for an assault upon the pit. That hardcore mentality but also that mind-set of an aggressive, but passionate, united front is clear throughout the album.
‘Haunt Me As I Roam’ is released in Europe on April 13th vis LIFEFORCE Records. Be sure to pick this up when it is released, it is not one to miss.
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Review by Siôn Roe]]>