Toiling the Polish Metal depths since 2000, ANTIGAMA are no strangers to the Grindcore scene. They’ve released five LPs, 11 splits (most notably with PIG DESTROYER and COLDWORKER in 2007), and now, in 2012, they’re releasing their debut EP, “Stop the Chaos.”
ANTIGAMA are not your typical Grindcore act. The band employs a huge mix of discordant guitar riffing of particular VOIVOD influence, while also not sounding too detached from spazzy Techcore acts like THE RED CHORD, PSYOPUS, and THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. The other distinction is the track listing. Sure, it’s an EP, but still, when you think Grindcore, you think tons of songs crammed into a duration that’s shorter than the time it would take you to drop a shit. The tracks on “Stop the Chaos” are short, but not NASUM, STRONG INTENTION, or WORMROT short, and this is just fine; the band allow their songs to breathe, to grow; what’s peculiar to me is that on an EP of six songs, the last and longest track, “The End,” is nothing more than an Ambient-Instrumental outro that acts more like a teaser than a satisfying conclusion.
Yes, ANTIGAMA are not your typical Grindcore act. They’ve got this quasi-Experimental, Avant-garde thing going for them, and for listeners hoping for something a little more straight-forward, perhaps a little less cerebral, “Stop the Chaos” may not leave the ravenous Grind-fiend sated.
On the whole, though, ANTIGAMA’s “Stop the Chaos” is still pretty formidable. The production is huge and impressive, and the songs, for the most part, surge ahead with rocket fuel, as can be aptly heard with a quick intro sample to the album opener “E Conspectu.” Manic tremolo riffing and blasting welcomes the listener, as do the searing vocals of £ukasz Myszkowski, whose appreciably clear lyrics sound very similar to the gruff blaring of MISERY INDEX’s Mark Kloeppel. “E Conspectu” melds into “The Law,” which acts as a brother-in-arms track, continuing the onslaught of the opener but with a slightly higher guitar tone and a cooler ending.
If it wasn’t evident before, the drumming by Pawe³ Jaroszewicz (LOST SOUL, ex-VADER) on the album-titled “Stop the Chaos” puts a stranglehold on the record; sure, the guitars are different and wacky, but the drumming is simply killer, and easily makes up for the odd clean vocal droning that infiltrates both this and the following track, “Find the Function.”
The album highlight, for sure, is the penultimate “Intricate Trap,” which acts as a quintessential ANTIGAMA track; there’s the off-key, stop-and-go guitar work, the pounding and elaborate rhythm section, and Myszkowski’s well-placed roars. From start-to-finish, it feels like the most polished and varied song on the album. Unfortunately, the mellowness of “The End” does far more teasing than appeasing; it’d be understandable to use this at the end of a grueling full-length where an exhaustive fade-out would seem more suitable, but it’s presence seems unwarranted – ANTIGAMA’s fans would undoubtedly prefer a pair of blasting tracks in its stead.
“Stop the Chaos” surely has its merits: it sounds great, there’s intensity, and it’s refreshingly unique. On the same hand, the album plays like three songs and one unnecessary intro masquerading as an outro. The violence and aggression and talents of ANTIGAMA are undeniable, but their style may be best suited for fans of more unorthodox and dissonant-styled music. It’s recommended, but this reviewer questions how such a gnarly Grindcore sound, EP or otherwise, can feel so incomplete. Leave us winded, not begging for more.
(Online May 1, 2012)