ANTAGONIST — Вечность Смерти (review)

ANTAGONIST — Вечность Смерти album cover Album · 2019 · Melodic Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
One of the many modern extreme metal bands to emerge from the vastness of the Russian Federation, this band ANTAGONIST comes from the far eastern city of Vladivostok and formed in 2017 with the members of Dmitry Strobykin (bass), Roman Kim (drums), Tatiana Markova (guitar), Andrey Primachenko (guitar) and Roman Kayukov (vocals). This seems to be a popular name for metal bands as there is a tech trash band from Wisconsin, USA, a California based metalcore band and yet another thrash metal band from Germany. While this was forgivable before the advent of the search engine, all i can ask myself is why would a band take a name that has been used in such abundance?

This ANTAGONIST for some reason uses an English moniker but has released its debut album Вечность Смерти (BYESH-na-ya SMYER-tee) which means “Eternity of Death” in the Russian language with all the track titles and lyrics in Russian. Whatever the case, ANTAGONIST is a ferocious band that performs a thrash metal infused mix of death metal and does a fairly decent job in cranking out ten strong tracks which hover around the 43 minute mark. This is pretty much by the books thrashy death metal with the emphasis on melodic hooks but done so bombastically with twin guitar ferocity and slower breakdowns between the rampaging riff monster attacks.

In fact the breakdowns are out of the metalcore playbook but for the most part the thrash metal riffing made more intense with blastbeats and other death metal elements dominates Вечность Смерти. The band is quite competent and performs this style of music like a champ but in the creativity department this is pretty mediocre as it sounds like a generic blueprint rather than a band that has found its own voice however ANTAGONIST doesn’t really sound like any other band particularly either. To my ears the rampaging metal style is more akin to tech thrash giants Vektor with some deathcore elements thrown in. Some thrash guitar solos also join in.

The guttural growling vocal style of Roman Kayukov is perfectly done but becomes a little monotonous as does the compositional one-dimensionality of this album. Not a bad listening experience when you just want to zone out to some kick ass death metal with thrash and core elements but there really isn’t anything on Вечность Смерти that invites a return visit. Perhaps a welcome live band for a remote setting such as Vladivostok but if ANTAGONIST wants to compete on the now global market, these guys need to step up their game a bit. The musicianship is certainly there.
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