Wilco : Here it is; the successor of the praised debut album ‘Quarterpast’ by the Dutch act Mayan: ‘Antagonise’. This act is the creation of several (former) members of After Forever and Epica, but it was no continuation of these bands which was apparent when ‘Quarterpast’ was released. In my review of the previous album, I mentioned that Mayan had developed some kind of personal style. Well, it is still present on this album and even more defined.
The songs on this album are more ‘in your face’ and make a heavier impression. The driving energy goes on and on and hits you where it hurts. No intro, 'Bloodline Forfeit’ thunders right into your room. This song nails you to your seat. The beautiful vocals of Henning Basse give this song something extra to keep you alert right away. The pace is relatively high, but there is more than enough variety. The keyboards spin through the song, but certainly not as a main feature. Certainly not, because it is mainly guitars and drums that determine the sound of this song, the keyboards are more an enhancing supplement. The above fact applies to all songs on this album except the ballad 'Insano'. Of course, all the songs themselves have plenty of landmarks and differ enough to keep you interested and hold your attention. The foundation of the music is again, somewhat progressive, death metal. But, there happens much more on this album. Thus you will also be treated to quite some power metal, in particular by good vocals of Basse. But you will also encounter some black metal, mainly in the guitar harmonies, there are no real black screams present. Regarding the vocals, there is less variation than on the previous album. Now it's the grunts and clean vocals of Mark, Henning and occasional a soprano what you get offered. That's more than an average metal album of course, but I miss the other variants anyway.
About the big picture, I can say that this album makes a similar impression as ‘Quarterpast’ did , but the songs are slightly still better and more catchy. Just like the previous album this is not a gothic metal album, this is just solid (death) metal album with rough vocals, heavy guitars, and blast beasts. The rough vocals especially make the album sound quite aggressive. In my view, the level of the songs is higher than on the previous album, the songs have their own character and still catchier, despite the fact that they are very varied and brutal.
This is an album that surpasses the boundaries of genres and should appeal to fans of many different types of metal. It is heavy, good, entertaining en brutal. The Netherlands can be very proud that this is a Dutch release!