May 152019


It’s not uncommon for bands and labels to re-release older records. It’s less common, but still not unheard-of, for bands to re-record older songs in a way that burnishes their sound or updates them in other ways. Sometimes these things work, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes die-hard fans will grab up re-releases and re-recordings for the sake of having a complete collection, or because they’re so die-hard that they’ll reflexively seize on anything their idols might do, even if the music sounds like a relic of a lost age. For more discerning and less slavish listeners, whether such projects are worth the time (and money) depends on how well the music has held up over the passing years.

The Bay Area band Antagony, who carved their place in the history books of metal over the decade from 1999 to 2009, have embarked on just such a revival project. Older, wiser, and (it must be said) more skilled as performers, the original line-up has come back together again after a decade spent in other projects since Antagony’s disbanding. On their new album Ashes, they’ve re-recorded a selection of tracks that all date back to demos and EPs released from 1998-2000, plus one new song that shares the title of the album. Having listened to the album (which will be released on May 24th), the verdict for this writer isn’t a close call: This is one of those revival projects that is an extravagant success. Continue reading »

Apr 172019


Five notes, one minute, a medley of blast-beats, and scorching vocal fury. Those are the key ingredients to “Useless Fake“, though the impact is far greater than such a simple description might suggest. But there’s something else about the song that’s almost equally important, and that’s its historical significance — so let’s begin there.

Useless Fake” first appeared on Expect the Worst, the first EP and second release overall by the Bay Area band Antagony, who became one of the pioneers of deathcore, integrating elements of death metal, grind, and hardcore in ways that really hadn’t been done before. After a decade of making music (from 1999-2009), the group disbanded, and its members went on to form or join such bands as Oblivion, All Shall Perish, Hacksaw to the Throat, Suffokate, Oblige, Misericordiam, Connoisseur, and more.

But now Antagony has risen from the ashes, with a line-up that includes all original members from that first decade of the band’s existence, and they’ve recorded a new album named… Ashes. The album includes new recordings of a selection of tracks that all date back to demos and EPs released from 1998-2000, and the title track, which is brand new. But even the old songs sound new, in part because the performances have now been executed by a veteran group of musicians, and in part because of the power of the production.

Antagony are unveiling one new song every week, concluding with the title track “Ashes” on the day of their album release/comeback show May 25, 2019, at the Oakland Metro Operahouse, and we’re happily presenting this week’s new song — that righteous blast named “Endless Fake“. Continue reading »

Jan 282013

(In this post, guest writer Graffiti Petey provides a look back at California’s Antagony.)

Metalhead A: “Suicide Silence. White Chapel. All Shall Perish. Job for a Cowboy.” 
Metalhead B: “Yup, heard of all these bands.” 
A: “How about Despised Icon? Animosity?” 
B: “Yeah, I think I remember them.”
A: “Okay, what about ANTAGONY?”
B: “Who???”

Chances are if you are reading this you have never heard about the seminal Bay Area-based metal band–Antagony (circa 1999-2009). Their story is a tragic account of bad timing and bad luck. Why is this band still relevant? Well, it’s been almost 4 years since they disbanded but their loyal fanbase is still passionate about what they did and what they could have been. To put it simply: Antagony mixed elements of Death/Grind and Hardcore before all of the aforementioned bands. Now you know this. If you are familiar with Hollywood tragedies, a good analogy would be River Phoenix: an experienced actor who influenced his generation but never quite hit stardom. After his untimely death–fellow actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, and his brother Joaquin have gone on to super-stardom. This is the pattern we’ll see with Antagony.

Reading over Antagony’s past members is like reading a who’s who in the modern metal scene. The thirteen former members of Antagony have gone on to such bands as Oblivion, All Shall Perish, Hacksaw to the Throat, Suffokate, Oblige, Misericordiam, and more. You may be asking yourselves—how did all of these bands gain more recognition than their originator? The answer to that is a fateful combination of bad luck and bad timing, as we’ll discuss during the chronological analysis of the band history. Continue reading »