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Album Review: Antagonist A.D. - 'We Are The Dead'

14 January 2009 | 12:05 pm | Staff Writer

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On their second full-length record - the first being These Cities, Our Graves which received an Australian release through Trial & Error earlier this year - New Zealand purveyors of mosh Antagonist A.D. have upped the metal and delivered one of the most crushing efforts of 2008.  Where the group’s previous effort was a collection of various recordings, We Are The Dead is a far more cohesive listen, one that greatly benefits from the added focus that piecing together an album (in the truest sense of the term) can give a band. 

In their own words, Antagonist A.D. write “raw and sincere metalcore that isn’t musically watered down or commercialized”, something that opening anthem “Twelve Twenty Two” proves beyond any doubt, the track perfectly balancing the band’s trademark grooves with a healthy dose of speed and precision. “Wolves And Cowards” follows suit in a similar fashion, the Kiwi five-piece again working to their strengths utilizing a series of metallic riffs and heavy breakdowns.  

Keeping things short and sweet is “No Regrets”, a song that packs more of a punch in it’s 1:36 running time than most acts can muster across an entire record, while the devastating “The Golden Years” and “This Gun” make for a powerful one-two combination. It’s not often that a band’s live intensity is captured on tape, however Antagonist A.D.’s passionate delivery and obvious enthusiasm for their music has ensured that their recorded material is every bit as powerful as the live experience.  

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From the instantly catchy guitar work of “Beached” through to the bouncy tempos of “The Twilight Years”, our Anzac brothers do a fine job of walking the constantly blurred line between metal and hardcore, with the album’s title track delivering one of the heaviest breakdowns in recent memory. Sticking to what they know best, Antagonist finish off with the fast-paced “Celebrity” and bottom-heavy “Misery”, both tunes closing out what is a near-flawless slab of metalcore. 

After a successful Australian tour in late 2008, Antagonist A.D. are back here for a national run with The Red Shore and As Blood Runs Black (USA) in January and February, make sure you check out a show and see what all the fuss is about. 

  1. Twelve Twenty Two
  2. Wolves & Cowards
  3. No Regrets?
  4. The Golden Years
  5. This Gun
  6. Beached
  7. The Twilight Years
  8. We Are The Dead
  9. Celebrity
  10. Misery