Antigama- The Insolent

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Thursday, May 14, 2015

Antigama’s become one of my favorite grind bands over the years, as each of their releases has found them further honing their songwriting and exploring some territory slightly outside of the norm. For the better part of fifteen years the Polish group has been putting out material on a regular basis, and by this point they’ve become a finely tuned machine capable of putting together tight grind mixed with some bursts of oddball experimentation. 2013’s Meteor was a perfect example of this, as it offered up spastic riffs not unlike modern day Napalm Death but threw in sudden bursts of jazzy guitar and electronics that shook things up. Antigama’s followed that record up two years later with The Insolent, which takes a very similar approach but finds them returning to some longer track lengths. It’s yet another killer addition to their discography, and a mandatory pick up for grind fans everywhere.

If you’ve followed these guys for any period of time you should have a good idea of what you’re getting with The Insolent, as the core of their heavy hitting grind hasn’t changed that much from one album to the next but the nuances they add over it are different each time. This definitely isn’t a bad thing, as the instrumentalists are masters at what they do and can hit listeners with all-out blasting and mid-tempo sections that have some real groove to them. Compared to many of the others in the genre who are content to go for the same patterns on each track, Antigama’s always taken on a more fluid approach and shaken things up within the confines of two to three minute track lengths. The title track is a great example, as the band wails away with blasting drums and frantic riffs before settling into one of the grooviest pieces they’ve ever written. The Insolent front loads its shorter pieces, saving the longest pieces for the last four songs. This could have backfired if it was another grind band, but Antigama’s able to pull it off better than they have in the past. “Out Beyond” moves away from grind completely and places spacey electronics over a jazzy drum beat that feels like an expansion of the more experimental moments on Meteor. Shortly after that, “The Land of Monotony” closes things out with a slower sludge riff that still maintains the same level of intensity as the faster pieces. Unlike on Zeroland, the lengthier ending track is much better utilized and it’s clear that the band is much more capable of pulling it off now than they were in the past.

With the exception of 2009’s Warning, Łukasz Myszkowski has been the band’s vocalist on all of their releases. His style has remained consistent over the years, and the lower pitched scream that makes up the majority of the performance continues to be as intense and in your face as ever. Antigama once again utilizes a production that puts Myszkowski right at the front of the sound, and his abrasive pitches absolutely tower over the instrumentals. One of the differences I noticed this time around were some slightly higher pitches that popped up on some of the tracks, and this seemed to happen a little more often than I remember when compared to the band’s previous discography. There’s such an immense amount of energy and aggression in every word that it makes this record hit twice as hard, and it always impresses me that Antigama can pull it off with relative ease from one album to the next.

In many ways The Insolent feels more like an expansion of Meteor rather than a release that radically switches things up, but considering how strong that album was this isn’t a bad thing at all. Antigama has kept the bursts of electronic and unpredictable breaks into jazzier and progressive territory mixed together with their technical grind, and once again they’ve written material that you’ll want to crank up and listen to for quite some time. Fifteen years in it seems like these guys still have plenty of juice left in them, as they’ve put out two of their best releases of their career in a short amount of time.

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