After hearing previous releases, Discomfort and Zeroland, it wasn’t difficult to predict Poland’s Antigama would wind up on Relapse Records. Their non-conforming brand of grind fits right in with that label’s penchant for technical sound assassination.
Their Relapse debut, Resonance, follows earlier efforts as a surgically-precise, unrelenting onslaught — an aural version of non-stop artillery fire in a battle’s heated zenith. With many of their songs bleeding into one another, the album undoubtedly shows Antigama is capable of overwhelming musical violence. The subterranean sound bombs of “Order” and the halting and torpedoing sawmill of “Pending” are prime examples.
But for Antigama, Resonance is a much more varied effort, as far as the technique used and the sounds produced. The slow, undulating barrage of “Psychonaut” is much more doom than anything else associated with this foursome. “Barbapapex” is an interlude of garish electro-lounge that’s a new side of Antigama not worth exploring.
As with music of this type, the drummer is typically the show-stealer, and Krzysztof Bentkowski doesn’t disappoint here. From the industrial grind of “No,” venturing into tribal aesthetics to his staggering, knee-capping performance on closer “Stars,” Bentkowski is — to use a clichéd phrase — a force to be reckoned with.
Antigama could’ve regurgitated old songs for their graduation to Relapse, but smartly chose to use the occasion to expand their horizons. It’s still a right kick in the teeth, though, no matter what they do.