This is how you do metallic hardcore

Antagonist A.D. has never been a band to pull punches, and on their new album they unleash a flurry of anger and frustration in a furious beatdown on their chosen social evils.

Many of the tracks have seen the light of day already as singles and EPs over the last two years, but here they flow together in a complete and seamless way, their impact enhanced by the addition of more brutality. Staying true to their established sound, each track is a short, sharp lesson in rage, unhindered by endless breakdowns that go nowhere, melodic choruses or arena aesthetics. Antagonist A.D. save that for other bands. Their mission is straight-up old school metallic hardcore, tight riffs and furious energy, Sam Crocker’s ragged and powerful snarling roar taking down his targets with a rabid fury, smashing down the walls of his oppressors – racists, liars, injustice and hypocrisy. In the scorching Pure Fear he tackles his own inner demons, ending with a rallying cry of hope and defiance – the very core of his band’s uncompromising message.

Even with 13 songs, Through Fire… is done before most albums have even started to get going. Jai Morrow hammers down fast-paced beats and two-steps for Matt Livingstone and Kev Cameron to pile on the rapidly-picked riffs, savage Slayeresque bursts and harmonic squeals while distorted female voices add further depth and eerieness as they fold in and out of tracks like Angels in Your Head, Devils at Your Feet and the violent anti-racism tirade The System is Racist and Oppressive. A.P.M.D. (all pigs must die) and No Justice tear at the very heart of socio-political oppression with the intense ferocity of early 80s hardcore.

There’s no let up – even the breakdowns serve menacing and meaningful purpose, lasting only long enough for a brief reprieve before the next savage beatdown and when Matt Honeycutt brings forth his demonic bellow toward the end of Ten of Swords, all hell breaks loose. This is how you do metallic hardcore.

  1. Gates of Hell
  2. Pure Fear
  3. The System is Racist and Oppressive
  4. Blade of Truth
  5. Angels at Your Feet, Devils in Your Head
  6. Time Waits for No One
  7. Bloom
  8. A.P.M.D.
  9. No Justice
  10. Motherland
  11. Coward
  12. Ten of Swords
  13. Through Fire