ANTAGONISTE – The Myth Of Mankind | Aristocrazia Webzine

ANTAGONISTE – The Myth Of Mankind

Band: Antagoniste
Title: The Myth Of Mankind
Year: 2015
Country: France
Label: I, Voidhanger Records

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  1. The Rise Of The Lightbringer
  2. The Barren Lands
  3. The Demiurge
  4. The Fall Of Man
  5. The Ritual
  6. The Nihilist
  7. The Black Sun
  8. The Ubermensch
  9. The Wanderer

French experimental black metal is no surprise anymore, after we got used to its winding descents into mankind's abyss, and the ever-growing conflict in our relationship with the metaphysical dimension. The young project Antagoniste (formed in 2014) is part of a consolidated discourse that is perpetually searching for new intepretations aimed at transcending sheer contemporary thought in order to analyze, precisely, the myth of mankind.

The artwork by Francesco Gemelli (an artist already known for his work with many other musicians, such as JANVS) immediately transports us to a world somewhere between alchemic wisdom and transcendence. The titles in English (and the sub-titles in French added in the booklet) portray the eternal dilemma of man, a search for knowledge represented by Satan's exile, or the creation of an imperfect world ("The Demiurge"). Again, there is the concept of the Ubermensch, the overcoming of the dualism between this world and the other, the creation of new values ("The Ubermensch").

The Italian label I, Voidhanger Records has already featured many interesting takes on atmospheric metal over the years (such as Midnight Odyssey), and Antagoniste is a new name in this musical and philosophical "current". The long instrumental introduction paves the way to the barren lands of black metal, that never remains the only pillar on which the sonic universe of this album is founded. Each single song has its own features, as is the case of "The Barren Lands" — somewhere between Enslaved and harsh sounds — or the doomish "The Black Sun" with is almost spoken vocal style (the only track entirely sung in French), or the closing track "The Wanderer" that moves towards more "post-" sounds — and is arguably a tad too long. Generally speaking, the second half of this work lost some focus compared to the first one.

This is a quite positive debut for the French project, although it will probably need something more in order to shine in its own merit in the future. We are not talking about a musical revolution, but this is a record that fans of this genre will enjoy.