Antagonist Zero - Nighttime Harmony EP
Post-ish Dark/Death Metal
3 songs (19:53)
Release year: 2012
Antagonist Zero
Reviewed by Aleksie
Surprise of the month
Founded in Porvoo, Finland back in 2010, Antagonist Zero is an interesting five-piece that describes its style as “catatonic metal”. Beyond the apparent Katatonia-namedrop, I’d say this genre term is pretty accurate. They serve up a melancholic mixture of death metal and melodic dark metal that also incorporates the occasional slice of doom, a little melodeath and perhaps even some hints of post-metallic droning. Although the band members are seasoned workers in the Finnish underground, this is Antagonist Zero’s debut EP. As such, the showing is quite promising.

The tunes are most of all punctuated by the double vocal attack of lead singer Ville Siikamäki who brings the nicely edged clean vocals plus a few throaty screams while guitarist/composer Ben Pakarinen provides the rough death metal growls. The dynamics between the two work together really well. Hopefully they will continue to utilize this multi-pronged vocal method to a great extent in the future.

The 3-song package is musically a quite diverse bunch. The opener AZ comes in with some seductive clean guitars but turns into an effective mid-tempo churner pretty quickly. Great drumming from the beatdown to fills from Aleksi Tervo. Some proggy leanings are audible as well, especially with the Opeth-vibe middle section with a slight flamenco-influence. Killer widdlywoo guitar solo to seal the tune. The title track speeds things up just a little to guve some double bass drum room too. Much more straightforward piece than the opener despite running past 7 minutes. Best showcase of the band’s vocal dynamics as well. And finally there is Fading, the EP’s heavy ballad. Some solid crooning and acoustic atmospherics are found before the distortion kicks in for a hint of old school Amorphis, a tad slower though.

All in all, three really good songs with the record opener crossing the line into killerdom. The production job is a bit raw yet solid and everything stays very well in balance, even if the treble can get a bit much before getting used to the mix. Something a little chunkier in the low end might do wonders, even if I suspect that such a statement wouldn’t fit right away with the genre I’m facing tonight. Antagonist Zero is definitely a group with a wealth of potential and a good aim at a sound of their own. For all readers out there who dig your melancholy metal with a nifty amount of spices, Nighttime Harmony is strongly recommended.
Killing Songs :
Aleksie quoted no quote
Other albums by Antagonist Zero that we have reviewed:
Antagonist Zero - No Tears reviewed by Alex and quoted 78 / 100
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