Antagony – Days Of Night (Deepsend / Clawhammer)

According to the world wide propaganda machine Antagony have been around in one form or another since 1996 but I’ve never heard of them. But then, they haven’t heard of me either so we’re even. Regardless of past adventures or misadventures I can only go from what I hear with this, their latest album, and I like what I hear.

I don’t know who Antagony claim as being their influences, and nor do I care.  This is fast, hard but very melodic death metal/thrash with clean guitars, a sense of space, powerful rhythms; and, at barely 35 minutes all up, perfectly timed.

Opening track Terror hits hard with the guitar running rampant, the death rattle screams of vocalist Carlos Sandana and relentless drums care of Brian Camara making for a powerful start to the album.  The Ladder opens with a simple, quiet melody before the build-up of military precision drumming and second guitar drags you in to kick you in the teeth.

Then there is the sheer ugly of Exhale Her Poison with its smash-your-face-brutality and thrash hard drums all built around some complicated guitar runs that don’t quite sit still.  Title track Days Of Night opens with an acoustic intro, lulling you into a false sense of security before the vampires descend to feed on your blood.

It’s a short, sharp album, just ten tracks. One of those is an interlude, another the outro, but they still manage to fit a lot in. Melodic but powerful, this is a grower.  It might not grab you first up (although opener Terror most definitely will) but with repeated listens you’ll soon find yourself discovering more and more substance behind the brutality.

However, whether there is an audience for them in this day of sound-bite and quick-fix is another thing altogether.

Antagony's Days of Night is out now on Deepsend/Clawhammer.