Antagonist – Exist

Band: Antogonist
Album: Exist
Genre: Metal
Label: Prosthetic

1. Bomb Shelter
2. Exist
3. Amnesia Ln
4. Marana
5. Failure on Repeat
6. Immaculate Misconception
7. Final Words For an Unknown Friend
8. Angels
9. Awake
10. So Let It Rain

Oh boy, we may be in trouble here. It seems we have a stereotypical metalcore band name (Antagonist) from a stereotypical metalcore place (California) playing what most will assume is stereotypical music from this poor, stepped on and made fun of genre. Any other reviewer may cast this band aside, but fortunately you’re stuck with me, the softie on criticizing music, and I have good news: This band, which has all the potential to be written off, puts forth a satisfying effort on their newest album, Exist, and does their very best to not be the same old thing you keep hearing.

The amazing thing to me about Antagonist is how I can hear so many different bands in their songs. Not copycat riffs, but merely influenced sounds that mold to the overall pattern. Sure, Exist stays true to the their own style of traditional thrash speed combined with the darkness of hardcore guitar tuning and drumming, but the band somehow clobbers together a whole bunch of different methods of music that somehow works. The title track opens your eyes right off the bat with guitar sweeps that harkens back to the guitars of All that Remains, while the melodic chorus just makes me think of very old Shadows Fall. The rather technical opening of “Amensia Ln.” kind of reminds me of August Burns Red. Once again, these are all very good bands to model after.

Woah now, don’t stop reading just because I listed some bands they sound similar to. Antagonist still brings a lot of their own game to the table. The band does a good job of not repeating the same old sequence in every song. For example, “Bomb Shelter” contains melodic vocals in the chorus and a rumbling breakdown near the end. However, this routine doesn’t repeat through every song, as each track switches up its elements. The biggest switch up occurs on “Immaculate Misconception,” where the band slows down enough to grinding speed and the singer tosses up his throaty vocals for gut busting screams, a surprising turn of events for a speed band but still a sweet twist.

All in all, the band’s strength relies on the breakneck pace it maintains, staying true to the thrash genre. The song “Angel” is a good example, clocking in at just a few ticks over two minutes. While I am not a huge fan of the singer’s Southern-influenced vocals or how his clean vocals don’t really bring me in, I still commend the band for producing deliciously fast metal for a modern listener: short tracks, solos, breakdowns, and even some crazy pig squeals for the death metalheads out there. Give Antagonist’s Exist a spin or two, you may gain an accelerated heart rate and some crazy adrenaline from the experience.

*Written By: Jacob Kanclerz*
Grade: 7.5/10

James Shotwell
Latest posts by James Shotwell (see all)
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Antagonist – Exist”

  1. Antagonist fan says:

    Very well said~!

  2. amazing stuff thanx :)

  3. lond says:

    thanks for the great review!