Antagonist A.D finally usher in the second-part of their EP trilogy with the ‘All Things’ 7″ arriving March 26th.
First came the fire, then came the flood. Last January, Antagonist A.D released their robust 7″, ‘Through Fire,’ the first in a series of three EPs the New Zealand hardcore vets had created in 2019. But then, alas, all of 2020 happened. However, new year, new music, which now sees Antag finally revealing the second piece of this EP three-parter: ‘All Things,’ out March 26th.
Vocalist Sam Crocker talked about this new EPs themes of mental health and political issues being further exacerbated from the events of last year, and how us, the common folk, look to leaders and elites for assistance only to bet met with silence, indignation, or half-measures that fix and address very little, sharing that:
“The second EP highlights mental health issues as well as political issues that have come to the forefront of the media throughout 2020. Nothing makes the highs of true joy and happiness feel sweeter and more incredible than experiencing how low true pain and sorrow can take you. Artistically ALL THINGS represents a great flood coming to wash away the survivors of a burnt world. (through fire the first EP). There are women and children drowning and the upper echelon is praying rather than saving them. “
The closing song from this upcoming four-track EP, new single ‘Through Fire‘ (sharing the name of their last EP) was also released today. Following up three new songs – ‘The System Is Racist And Oppressive,’ ‘Blade Of Truth,’ and ‘Ten Of Swords‘ (named after a Minor Arcana tarot card, which will also guest feature Matt Honeycutt of Kublai Khan) the band labelled this new single as a side-step from their usual style. Which is apt, yes, but don’t expect anything that different.
‘Through Fire‘ is a burlier hardcore and “metal” take on Antag’s metallic metalcore sound, with sludgier riffs and slower BPMs making for an indomitable sound, as Sam aims for a more pitched singing technique in the choruses – over the top of some decent Euro-metal melodic leads – to better help drive home the message of personal strength. It’s nothing new, obviously, and I don’t really think it sets the band’s output on-fire ironically enough, but getting new material from these legends is always welcome.
The songs text-to-speech sample intro – clearly outlining how one must be the change they wish to see in the world, how life is beautiful and worth living, how self-hatred is a waste – isn’t at all subtle and is really quite blunt. (An automated voice usage also used before to bridge together ‘Gates Of Hell‘ and ‘Pure Fear‘ on their 2020 EP.) It’s all about going through that “fire” – i.e. those mistakes and tribulations – and then choosing how you come out of the flames. Then again, Antag has never been a particularly subtle band, have they? No, they have not. Though that’s something I actually like about them a lot: they put a variety of issues to the forefront of their music, keeping it real, and call it exactly how they see it. They don’t bullshit you or insult your intelligence as a listener. On ‘All Things,’ they’ll do all of that honest commentary once again. And yeah, I’m down for more of that.