AWAKEN ANTAGONIST — Awaken Antagonist (review)

AWAKEN ANTAGONIST — Awaken Antagonist album cover EP · 2013 · Deathcore Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
AWAKEN ANTAGONIST is a band that formed in 2011 in Fairbanks, Alaska and has only so far released this one 2013 self-titled EP and a full-length follow up in 2017 titled “Shepherd of Plagues.” The lineup of Tyler Martin (vocals), Kris Larson (drums), Jesse Gill (guitar), Sean Pederson (guitar), Jacob Marcy (bass, vocals) and Mark Redinius (bass) has remained steady ever since.

This band skirts and often blurs the line between deathcore and melodic death metal. On the deathcore side of the equation, the bombastic focus is on the breakdowns and blastbeats and on the melodic death metal side there are beautiful guitar harmonies with melodic flows that keep the whole thing accessible. Lots of guitar chugging as well that has some thrash elements at times. Lyrics are grunted, shouted, spoken and also are growled in the typical death metal fashion.

Along with the core and death elements, there is also a groove element and an occasional atmospheric backdrop that adds some contrast. Basically AWAKEN ANTAGONIST is a little more varied than the average deathcore artist and this eponymous EP debut is quite the catchy little compilation of four tracks. The band makes use of staccato patterns, palm muting and while the melodic elements provide a hook, they are buried beneath the frenetic barbarity of the heavier aspects.

Deathcore is a style of metal that is very hit and miss for me but AWAKEN ANTAGONIST certainly found the right recipe for an interesting mix of different strains of extreme metal. While often debut EPs only serve as a mere demo for the full-album to follow, this one is a completely different set of tracks and is the perfect gateway drug into this rare example of an extreme metal band coming from the frosty northern regions of the US in the Alaskan city of Fairbanks.
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