Title: The Antagonist
Release Date: 5/22/12
Reviewer: Taylor C.
- The Antagonist
- Serpent Skin
- Ghost of the Gallows
As much as I enjoy critiquing the overuse of breakdowns and pretending to be a metal-hipster (is that a term? are people mad now?), sometimes I need a good breakdown fix. I will usually go to deathcore, hardcore or metalcore to get this shot of audible energy, but luckily for me, Texas-based Seeker provides a great mix of all three with their debut EP The Antagonist. With this EP, Seeker creates some heavy, progressive headbanging music stuffed to the brim with low-tuned Meshuggah-styled breakdowns, bellowing vocals, and insanely rapid drumming. There isn’t anything groundbreaking here, but the band does an exceptional job at making an entertaining release that, despite being centered around a lot of chugging, is still worth the listen.
I have to admit that I’m not sure how I would react to an LP of Seeker’s sound, but, as far as my own tastes go, it is perfect for an EP. There is something about it being shorter that made the amount of breakdowns and almost unfluctuating vocal style easier to tolerate and enjoy. Also worth mentioning is the quality of the music. I’m not an admirer of the squeaky clean/crystal clear production of releases like the new Impending Doom, so Seeker’s ability to create a raw texture while still managing a great quality of production is refreshing.
The Antagonist kicks off with the title track, swooping in with speedy and technical guitarwork amidst low-tuned riffs, exceptionally fast drumming, and the vocalist’s volcanic roars. This track sets the stage for both the CD’s unique mix of deathcore, mathcore and djent (assuming that’s a genre) and its all-encompassing subterranean pitch. “Serpent Skin” follows after as a chaotic deathcore song full of low riffs, pulsating breakdowns and high, distorted guitars that reverberate and grind in the background like a malfunctioning Boeing 737-808 (see what I did there?) that eventually nosedives into the next track. “Shameless” picks up with this same energy, but distinguishes itself with sections of mellow and technical guitars between the completely skull-crushing, spine-twisting breakdowns. Between the bouts of (you guessed it) low breakdowns, “Ghost of the Gallows” has melodic riffs that are peppered throughout the song before giving way to a complimentary bag of crunchy chugs that ushers you out of the mangled door. Finally, the EP ends with “Idolized.” Complete with its own fair share of breakdowns, this song has a few clever and eerie guitar riffs that swim mysteriously beneath the noise.
As far as negativity goes, if “The Antagonist” was an LP, I would probably have issues with the amount of breakdowns (I’m starting to forget what that word means) and the vocal style that doesn’t offer much variety; however, I don’t have a problem with these elements in an extended play simply because it’s over so fast. That being said, I’m excited to see what these guys will create in the future—their talent and energy shows a lot of potential.
Overall: The thunderously low vocals bellowed during the constant blasts of wild and vigorous melodies makes this release roughly 18 minutes of heavy adrenaline without a single breath of relief. If you are an 808-junky with a sweet tooth for low breakdowns, low roars, low riffs, you will undoubtedly love The Antagonist. (Also, 2 bucks for nearly 20 minutes of your poison isn’t a bad deal either.) Listen to a live stream and buy it HERE.
RIYL: 7 Horns 7 Eyes, A Plea For Purging, As They Sleep, Dillinger Escape Plan, Gojira, Impending Doom, Meshuggah, Whitechapel.