Serving as the first in a three-part series of EPs, ‘Through Fire’ is a malicious statement of intent from the Auckland metalcore outfit known as Antagonist A.D..
Clocking in at a nifty 12-minutes in length, not a second is spared with frantic riffing and crushing breakdowns packed as succinctly as possible into each cacophonous onslaught.
With production duties handled by Kurt Ballou of Converge at his now iconic God City Studios, there’s a crisp clarity to the chaotic proceedings, allowing each pummelling track to audibly breath whilst simultaneously attempting to cave in your head and your chest. There’s a passion and earnestness in these songs, learned over time. Antagonist A.D. wear their tenure as a badge of honour and exude major confidence in their craft.
Where one might anticipate signs of stagnation, or the dilution of energy, there appears to only be growth. There’s even moments like on standout tracks, ‘Bloom’ and ‘No Justice’, that bear striking similarities to modern peers such as Emmure and Your Demise, specifically in attitude and vocal delivery. It’s a melding of swagger and impassioned fury that massively elevates the material, while more than making up for the occasional formulaic pitfall here and there.
To kick off 2020 with such a brief yet demanding statement, along with the promise of two more components still to come, is a commendable effort from Antagonist A.D., not to mention a major reassurance for the hope of hardcore entering a new decade.