You often hear the term ‘controlled chaos’ bandied about in metal circles. But what does it really mean? What exactly is the sound of a world collapsing in upon itself, of a chaotic whirlwind bundled into a tightly knit contained area? What best represents the sonic expression of everything you hold dear tap-dancing on the brink of complete and totally annihilation, only to instead explode inward within itself? The newest closest approximation of ‘controlled chaos’ lies within the seventh full-length album from Polish grind masters Antigama.
It’s almost hard to believe that Antigama have been at it as long as they have because at no point in their career have they sounded like they’ve entered the stagnant wading pool of mediocrity that so many artists eventually succumb to. On their newest album, The Insolent, this again holds true as these four musical maniacs rip through ten tracks of forward-thinking, and at times, experimental grindcore of the highest order. To say that this music is violent in nature would be a drastic understatement. It’s played out like a rabid and injured animal, backed into a corner and fighting for its sheer existence. At times raw and feral, and at others sleek and insightful, Antigama have penned an album that could almost be defined as ‘progressive grind’ as they combine both the artistic and the bombastic into a cohesive package.
From the opening notes of the aptly titled album opener “Reward or Punishment” Antigama begins an aural assault, let loose like the hell hounds of war upon an unsuspecting populace. The grinding punishment dished out is as real as a throat bunch in a brawl and continues throughout the album with tracks like “Foul Play” and “Eraser” – the latter of which includes a pit-inducing breakdown that should absolutely explode every stage this band touches this year. Yet like a hurricane there exists this serene eye amidst all the mass destruction. “Out Beyond” is a space walk of an interlude where Antigama are astronauts floating amongst the wreckage of a ship that will never take them back to Earth. At other moments they tone down the riot act they’ve been reading us just long enough to channel influences from outside the grind pantheon. Album closer, “The Land of Monotony” is a mammoth, thunderous, doom-soaked affair (and not just because it clocks in at over seven minutes either). Meanwhile, “Sentenced To The Void” is a galloping circle pit through the fields of punk rock.
Antigama have proven time and time again that they are not a band afraid of experimentation. They are not afraid of taking their brand of piss and vinegar fueled grind and injecting it with whatever new venom they need to run this machine. When it’s all said and done it’s another in a growing cavalcade of albums taking a refreshing look at one of metal’s most extreme genres.
The Insolent will hit the streets on May 7 via Selfmadegod Records. You can check out the video for the track “Used To” over at the Selfmadegod YouTube channel.