Neil Miller, Jr.
Neil Miller, Jr.

It's finally happened: someone has finally cracked the code to achieving the perfect intersection between bass music and industrial chaos. ANTAGONÏZER may only be two guys, well-established artists CryWolf and AWAY, but the music they make together sounds like a  fully fleshed out industrial/hardcore band vying for a spot in the upper echelon of the most  meticulously produced electronic music. Imagine if Trent Reznor and Noisia hunkered down in  a studio together and the Lamb of God boys drop by to see what's'll end up  somewhere vaguely close to the sound of ANTAGONÏZER. But what these guys do on their  debut OMNIVIOLENCE release is far more cinematic and visceral than what anyone could  imagine.

The 17 minute journey of this EP is precisely that - it's something that's meant to be  experienced from start to finish. Sure, you could easily cut straight to the midtempo grit and  grind of "STATIC" or skip right to the eerie and irresistible dissonance of "BLOODSPORT," but  you'd be missing the point. Peppered throughout this extravaganza of doom are slivers of  gorgeously dramatic sonic terrorism that wouldn't sound out of place in your favorite horror film  or video game but here on OMNIVIOLENCE, they act as veins connecting the vital vocal tracks.  "WRATH, I AM THEE" opens up all this aural destruction with a swift hardcore kick in the jeans  while "TERMINUS EST" delivers a piano-based, synthwave-infused reprieve before the last  track absolutely guts us all.

One of the most appealing qualities of this duo is how they've looked beyond the conventions  of releasing a few bangers and moving on. Instead they've conjured up a complete experience  with a theme and ample space for the listener to catch their breath between all the mayhem.  For fans of Crywolf's music, this may sound par for the course. "With Crywolf I pretty much  exclusively make concept albums that are meant to be listened to start to finish as a whole, so  there’s always a big element of story in terms of how everything weaves together." Crywolf  elaborates further, "I’m not that interested in doing collections of singles with no  interconnectedness and I’m really glad AWAY was really on board to go in that direction  together." AWAY also comments "I've been working on a lot of scoring stuff lately, so I'm sure  that inspiration bled into the ANTAGONÏZER stuff."

The real meat of OMNIVIOLENCE, i.e. the vocal tracks, will be what most of us gravitate toward  and rightfully so. While each track on this stellar release can stand on its own as a testament to  what ANTAGONÏZER hope to achieve with their music, these tunes are the ones where the  vision is fully realized. "STATIC" would fit cleanly in any corner of a REZZ set with its enigmatic,  brooding vocals and midtempo stomp. "BLOODSPORT" is the sexiest track here, bopping  along while fuzzed out drones, ripping guitars, harsh electronics, and whispered vocals (we're  going to need "I Am The Knife" merch pronto) swirl around the listener - and it all comes with a  drum 'n' bass breakdown to boot. Wrapping up the whole bloody affair is "LORD OF THE  TETRAMORPH," the prime contender for the spot as the most challenging and interesting slab  of industrial brilliance on OMNIVIOLENCE. While Fragile-era Nine Inch Nails may be an obvious  reference point (AWAY is a fan and you should be too), this track takes the NIN blueprint and  deconstructs it entirely, only to make it sound like ANTAGONÏZER at their most forward thinking. If there's one track here that represents the hybrid of moods and atmospheres found  in the whole EP, it'd be this one.

The one major takeaway from this innovative duo's debut release is this: it's dark, it's  infectious, and there's nothing else out there that sounds like ANTAGONÏZER. Sure, we could  list tons of artists echoed in their sound - here's one: Gary Numan should be eyeing these guys

for a collab. But the reality is that it's all these inspirations & ingredients that make up  something much bigger and way more nuanced than words can describe. When we asked  Crywolf how he would describe the music here, he bounced between "Aggro-maximalism?  Music-to-punch-your-mom-to? Honestly I think Omniviolence is a pretty good term for it." So  sit down, light some candles, and wrap up in a comfy cloak of OMNIVIOLENCE.