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Antigama – Stop the Chaos

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When I hit ‘play’ on Stop the Chaos, the new EP from Polish grinders Antigama, my first thought was: “This sounds like Burnt By the Sun.” The comparison may sound off-base at first, given that Burnt By the Sun was a metalcore band.

But the connection between grind and the good (read: noisy) kind of metalcore goes well beyond the –core suffix. Burnt By the Sun’s rhythm section came directly from the death/grind band Human Remains. UK-grinders Napalm Death released a split EP with Coalesce back in 1997 and have another one coming out with Converge (another influence here) later this year. And many of Antigama’s contemporaries draw noticeably on the metalcore milieu—Fuck the Facts, Sulaco, Trap Them, and even Napalm Death themselves.

This influence has grown in importance over Antigama’s 12-year career. The band has developed from a conventional grind act into the tritone-obsessed unit that released 2009’s excellent Warning. Stop the Chaos sees this evolution reach its apotheosis. Like early Pig Destroyer, Antigama now crams metalcore tropes into dense bursts. The title cut builds a mathy rhythm into a whole string of gnarled riffs, and then disappears before the 3-minute mark. “Intricate Trap” features a more overt metalcore nod—a chugging two-chord breakdown.

I usually think that grind works best in the EP Format. But at just 15 minutes, Stop the Chaos left me wanting more. Both Antigama and their core-suffixed source material remain incredibly vibrant.

— Doug Moore

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