Known for taking the heavy and abrasive early Metalcore sound and injecting it into Hardcore, Auckland New Zealand quartet Antagonist A.D. returned to a trio they know all to well for their latest offering “All Things” after the success that is their previous EP “Through Fire“. Recorded and mixed at God City studios by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou (All Pigs Must Die, Darkest Hour, The Dillinger Escape Plan) with assistant Engineering by Zach Weeks before begin mastered by Brad Boatright (Drain, WristMeetRazor, Year Of The Knife) at Audiosiege, this EP is one that the band have once again used to draw attention to some of the things that gone on in this World that humanity should be ashamed of as well as the good work of The North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency. After all, Antagonist A.D. are known for their often outspoken views on social and political issues from racism to sexism and animal welfare.
Harnessing the intensity of Hardcore with some early Metalcore riffs and a distinctive gallop from the very start of “The System Is Racist And Oppressive” makes for a classically styled cut but the venomously spat vocals is what burns a beast into a monster while the gritty integrity of the lyrics have feral rage to them. A Deathcore roar is a brilliant low moment and when the sample spins up about cutting the hands and tongues of those who have carried out certain acts, the sense of darkness shrouds everything in a black cloak which opens up the pit for “Blade Of Truth” with a sense of vigilante justice in defense of those who are unable to defend themselves. It’s modern Hardcore with Old School ethics and clear influence from genre pioneers like Earth Crisis and Martyr A.D. and the perfectly timed and executed breakdowns mean there is plenty of style to this substance. Have no doubt that these track have an in your face approach and attitude that tells it like it is, says things that need to be said, without compromise that others are simply too afraid to speak up about. It speaks volumes of the band as people that they are able to do this without fear of being shelved or pushed to one side by the industry. In Matt Honeycutt from Kublai Khan, Antagonist A.D. have chosen to work with a like minded individual for “Ten Of Swords” and the cut itself is a lethal dose. Vocalist Sam Crocker exposes his thoughts of inner struggle while maintaining a stone faced exterior before Matt Honeycutt brings the clenched fist aspect of that same inner voice with a call to arms to push through the pain and continue. Not only is it brutal but it resonates with anyone who has been forced to demonstrate the strength to overcome. The previous EP was entitled “Through Fire” but didn’t have a title track on it; instead it closes out this one and as a mid tempo battering ram it has some Sludge Metal sung vocal parts that sound like former Biohazard vocalist Evan Seinfeld is on the cut. An assault on the senses in the best possible way, Antagonist A.D. are a band who give you plenty to think about long after the music has stopped [8/10]
The System Is Racist And Oppressive
Blade Of Truth
Ten Of Swords (ft. Matt Honeycutt of Kublai Khan)
“All Things” by Antagonist A.D. is out now via Greyscale Records and available over at bandcamp