Antigama - _The Insolent_
(Selfmadegod Records, 2015)
by: Dan Lake (7.5 out of 10)
Two years on from breakout masterpiece _Meteor_, Antigama return with another punchy landscape-leveler in _The Insolent_. Without a single wasted moment, the band screeches out of the gate with the straight grind onslaught of "Reward or Punishment". By the time "Foul Play" gets into the game, you begin to hear the quality that most sets Antigama apart from the mouth-foaming pack: unchained percussive creativity. Full stops butt against high hat playfulness, then a slick swing beat peeks out of all the violence. The Franken-groove of "Used To" is just plain weird, and the band's tight control over its chaos is all the more admirable. "Sentenced to the Void" works an uncomplicated 4/4 rock tempo that is no less effective for its relative simplicity. "The Land of Monotony" locks down an apocalyptic pulse with thoughtful restraint. Even red-lined ragers like "Data Overload" and "Randomize the Algorithm" hide some throttle waggling and double-time flourishes that are truly impressive for anyone paying close attention. None of this is meant to steal any thunder away from the angular, arty-gritty guitar work on offer. Mangled note runs and ruined Rorschach-test chords complement Lukasz Myszkowski's commanding roars, and every element plays off the others in a pristine display of power.

Of course, a couple of trips through the record also demonstrate what sets _The Insolent_ apart from its predecessor: nothing here is quite as consistently enthralling or jaw-dropping as _Meteor_'s heat-glow revelations. As charming as instrumental "Out Beyond" is, its electronic spine and location late in the album feel like an attempt to recapture _Meteor_'s "Turbulence". Whereas _Meteor_ seemed to be zeroed in on a single focal point, _The Insolent_ comes across as a series of really good songs without a necessary through-line tying them together. That fact hardly makes the album unworthy of your attention, but it affects the way _The Insolent_ lands with _Meteor_ devotees. Nevertheless, Antigama remain one of the most vital grind entities in the game.


(article published 12/8/2015)

10/13/2013 D Lake 9 Antigama - Meteor
12/29/2012 C Drishner 5.5 Antigama - Stop the Chaos
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