Antigama - The Insolent
10 songs (31:31)
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Goat

With the likes of Nasum and Brutal Truth passing into legend, the time seems right for Poles Antigama to step up into the premier league of grind. Having been active for fifteen years and seven albums now, the band are somewhere between Napalm Death and Pig Destroyer in sound, with an avant-garde sensibility that comes to the fore more subtly than other experimental grinders like The Locust. Antigama are definitely at the death metal end of the spectrum, with harsh growls and an explosive, blast-happy sound that pleasingly manages to be both violent and technical. The Insolent may not be their most experimental album, but little touches like jazzy drum fills (most notably on Foul Play) add to the charm, and as Charles pointed out in his review of the band's last-but-one full-length, Warning, there's an immediate enjoyability to the music that makes the band a lot of fun to listen to, even as the often subtle experimentality of it works its magic.

Antigama are clearly talented musicians, with a wealth of band experience between the members in the Polish extreme metal scene, but also talented songwriters, as the likes of Used To prove – initially driven by seemingly chaotic riffing with a very structured purpose, broken up with technical mini-breakdowns and drum fills, building into a torrent of guitar and growls akin to Napalm Death at its best, even with some clean backing vocals in the mix. It manages to create an atmospheric effect despite the track being barely over two minutes in length, and is endlessly replayable – this isn't merely one of those grind albums that you save for bad moods and cathartic outlet, but the sort of intelligent heaviness that the best extreme metal can provide. Each song manages to do something individual and unique, whether the angst-ridden nervous twitching of Randomize The Algorithm or the blistering rage of the title track, complete with a nicely short little proggy instrumental section exploring a riff.

It's the end of the album that really shows off the band's versatility however, with a series of longer tracks starting with the four-minute Sentenced to the Void which slows the pace a little but cranks the intensity right up. Out Beyond follows with a keyboard-driven atmospheric piece, very 70s prog in that spacey way, leading into the crushing Eraser and the seven-minute closing sludgy monster The Land of Monotony. Grind bands slowing it down hasn't been truly original in a long while thanks to the likes of Pig Destroyer and Cephalic Carnage, but it's always enjoyable to hear bands refashioning the heaviness that makes up their sound in this way, and Antigama do it especially well, a weirdly industrial pounding march to nothingness, monotonic yet compelling nonetheless. This might not be Antigama's best album, but it's a great introduction to the band if you're new to them.

Killing Songs :
Foul Play, Used To, Randomize The Algorithm, Sentenced to the Void, The Land of Monotony
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Antigama that we have reviewed:
Antigama - Warning reviewed by Charles and quoted 89 / 100
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