Continuing on with their recent string of solid releases, Prosthetic Records unveils the latest from Southern California's Aantgonist, called Exist. This is the band's sixth release overall (though three have been EP's) and first for the label, and it's a very solid mix of modern metalcore and classic Bay Area thrash. Antagonist are comprised of Carlos Garcia on vocals & guitar, Paul Salem on bass & backing vocals, Matt Lopez on guitar, and drummer Lond Garcia. Together, these guys conjure up images of classic Megadeth, Metallica, Testament, and Exodus on riff-friendly tracks such as the title cut, "Marana", "So Let It Rain", and "Failure On Repeat", but the vocal styles and injection of crushing breakdowns will certainly please any fan of All That Remains, Misery Signals, Dillinger Escape Plan, or Protest the Hero. Ultimately though it comes down to the guitar work here, really tasty stuff on many levels, the weaving lead lines and intricate riffs are extremely well done, and help Exist rise above the plethora of other similar type releases that we see flooding the metal market each and every day. A tune like "Amnesia Ln." is a perfect example of this-the two players come up with some massive crunch-o-rama, and throw in loads of virtuoso shred-thrash solos & fills, which perfectly complement and drive the bashing rhythms and vocal growls.
Exist is a very enjoyable metal platter, and shows a band that has a lot to offer. While they might not be the most original band on the planet, they certainly do what they do quite well. My feeling is that their masterpiece might well be right around the corner. In the meantime, this one's something to seek out and savor.
1. Bomb Shelter 3:53
2. Exist 3:36
3. Amnesia Ln. 4:12
4. Marana 5:14
5. Failure On Repeat 5:49
6. Immaculate Misconception 3:14
7. Final Words for an Unknown Friend 5:08
8. Angels 2:15
9. Awake 3:52
10. So Let It Rain 6:15