Antagonist Zero - No Tears
Inverse Records
Melodic Doomdeath
5 songs (36'04")
Release year: 2015
Antagonist Zero, Inverse Records
Reviewed by Alex

Being Finnish Antagonist Zero have natural, DNA-embedded pedigree for melodic doom death. However, these young Finns do not pursue one of the classic type. Instead, they have an interesting mix of more traditional doomdeath without necessarily devastating heaviness of Swallow the Sun or Shape of Despair, pay homage to Sentenced melodies without really killing it on the melodic front, and certainly do not forget about the commercial aspect of the overall product, thinking or hoping for radioplay (Profound Oblivion). Adding in moody acoustic (title track) or brooding (Profound Oblivion) breaks into quite lengthy songs is a smart tactic when a lot of the guitars riffs on those two cuts are more of a chugging variety. Antagonist Zero extreme vocals are rather guttural, but definitely not the desperate bottomless variety, and the clean crooning has the stoner touch, yet can feel a little whiny at times (title track). Blending all of that into one mix with some gothic touches reminded me a little of Swedish Beseech, especially in the closing moments of the title track. Antagonist Zero themselves call their style “catatonic metal’. Whatever floats their boat, I guess. As I had to do a lot of travelling lately No Tears EP got stuck in my car player, and the band became an unintended beneficiaries of this circumstance, repeated spin-throughs leading to the music becoming rather palatable.

Yet it wasn’t until Suru, sung in a foreign (Finnish?) language that Antagonist Zero put it together for me. On that composition the melody began to really bite, stoned out clean vocals started fitting (or bothering me less), the whole matter becoming sadder and flowing more from the heart. Missa musuresi on is a cover of a song by a Finnish pop star singer Jenni Vartiainen. Not being familiar with the original, I can say that pop sensibilities and melody do well for Antagonist Zero. The Lachrymal Sleep is another cover, this time from Doom:VS, the project of the Draconian guitarist Johan Ericson. This one, more along the lines of pure doomdeath, is also another good effort by the Finns, even if they cannot take full credit for the beautiful painful melody which just keeps on flowing with sad determination.

Even if they did not make it to the frontrunner status on my melodic doom podium of bands, Antagonist Zero is a quite mature collective with a polished sound of their own and quality compositions. I just need a bit more convincing with the band’s own songs, since the best tracks on No Tears were of the borrowed/cover kind.

Killing Songs :
Suru, The Lachrymal Sleep
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Antagonist Zero that we have reviewed:
Antagonist Zero - Nighttime Harmony EP reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
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