Written by: EW on 11/04/2009 20:33:33

Visiting my ears with all the subtlety of a Soviet train crashing into a military tank under a low bridge (I may or may not have just been watching Goldeneye), Antigama are here to rip you, ahem, a new bottom-hole as some like to say, with a thoroughly grind-influenced attack on our glorious death metal. Not to me sounding 'Polish' in the vein of Vader and Behemoth, they are however very much a Relapse Records band - all well executed, well produced and well played but in the process sounding a little like too many other Relapse bands to hit me where it counts. Why?

"Warning", the bands' 4th full-length in a discography littered with split releases, serves as an admirable notice to anyone not adjusted to blastbeats and hoarse growling, because baby, this a journey through the wastelands of Brutal Truth's tendency for the blast, the chaos of Pig Destroyer and the insane rhythms and speed of Origin and Cephalic Carnage. Melody, you ask? Next aisle. Sweet happy chorus? Next floor up. Fringes? Get out my shop.

Telling the end of one song from the start of the next is a challenge sometimes as difficult as working out the discordant riffing that's found a home in songs like "Heartbeat" and the hyper technicality of "City". I'm sure the guys in Antigama love the hyper-speed-total-mindfuck of Cephalic Carnage as strong elements can be found in "Preachers Pray" as well as the bemusing humour of their fellow Relapsians in "Paganini Meets Barbaplex" - probably the first song ever to combine trip-hop, jazz polyrhythms and what appears to be, bongos. And yes, overall the abilities of the band are very admirable, but think about this: you will often hear technical bands claim they write complex yet listenable songs, always suggesting many others don't without ever actually naming them. Well I'm going to: Antigama's "Warning" is very fast and very heavy but when listening to "Jealously" or "Nightmare" I wonder, is this a well constructed song, or just an excuse to display some serious musical chops? And just like some of the other artists on Relapse's largely impressive roster, I find the answer is more leaning towards the latter, preventing the album from being one to provide much lasting enjoyment.


Download: City, Nightmare
For The Fans Of: Brutal Truth, Origin, Cephalic Carnage
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date: 09.03.09
Relapse Records

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