Antagonist – Damned and Cursed… To Life On Earth

Ok. This is a strange one because it’s new but it’s not. It’s 22 years old and they finally got around to getting it released. As far as I can tell the band are not around anymore, and the promo I got made a reference to rumours of them playing ‘in hell’ that someone probably thought was clever, but it isn’t. The thrashers from Wisconsin are not to be confused with a late 90s Californian metalcore band of the same name. Or another 90s thrash metal band of the same name, also from Wisconsin.

So, this is almost pointless unless Antagonist are planning a comeback. There’s no suggestion that they are. The promo doesn’t include the interview with original guitarist and founding member Todd Tousey, which would’ve been helpful.

Apart from the BLATANT rip off of the main riff from Megadeth’s “Wake Up Dead” on the track “Live in Fear”, I would not fault it. But that’s a BIG fault.

Anyway, with technical mastery of their instruments and a production that has a perfect balance of the raw thrash sound with just enough polished, it is a wonder what ever happened to them. Maybe they were just a bit too late, especially for thrash metal. I speak of course, of the bullshit 90s. I cannot fault this production. This is a perfect example of ‘raw’ meaning just that and making it work exceptionally well, and not as an excuse for poor production in the guise of wanting to sound ‘raw’. However, the production is the only thing that is new. As I said the music is 22 years old. Not re-mastered or re-issues, because as we are told in the promo it was never mixed or released.

So, bottom line, should you give it a try?

Well, how can you answer that when the band isn’t going anymore? If they were I would encourage every thrash fan to get this remarkable piece of work (barring the aforementioned ‘rip off’ riff) and check them out live. In this release there are some bonus live tracks that are recorded well enough to prove that they were not a studio band that couldn’t get it right on the stage. They were tight. But that was 1994 so who knows if they are now? We don’t even know if they’re still around.

I’d definitely give it a shot but just don’t pay $150. Of course you’ll also have to find it, because we were not given any contact information either.

Tracklist:

1. Black Sands Of Time
2. Dead Priest
3. Lies After Death
4. Good Day To Die
5. Live In Fear
6. Cracking Skulls

BONUS TRACKS
7. Dead Priest (Live)
8. Mad As Hell (Live)
9. Lies After Death (Live)
10. Good Day To Die (Live)
11. Live In Fear (Live)
12. Hell Awaits (Live)
13. Balls To The Wall (Live)
14. Leather Rebel (Live at Soundcheck)
15. Black Sands Of Time (Demo)
16. Dead Priest (Demo)

Playing time: 70:10

Release date: 14/10/16

Label: Divebomb Records

No website available

2 Comments

  1. The album is rereleased via Divebomb Records and is sold on their website for worldwide release, this band no longer plays together. But this album is a must have for thrash collectors, one would only shell out $150 for an unsealed original released in 94′ and to the best of my knowlege they’re only 2 left in existance.

  2. Hmm, this is one I have to reply to. The reviewer tends to sound a bit aggravated at first, even a bit bitter. Then goes on to admit it is a remarkable piece of work. So, it’s good then, right?
    I would agree that having the total and complete package would be ideal, however it is rare for labels to send the complete CD for promo these days. Still, let me clear this up, this release was done for Metal fans, for the last several years the only copies in existence were selling for high prices, which most can’t afford or justify a $100 used CD purchase. It is not anything cynical, no big cash-grab on anyone’s part, quite the opposite. The packaging is over the top to give everyone their moneys worth.
    I will admit ONE, 2-chord pattern which has the Megadeth similarity, but please, are you kiddin’ me? I would encourage EVERYONE to ask themselves if it really seems like the same song? Again, the review was positive overall and I just wanted to put some light on a few things.
    Finally, no, the band ANTAGONIST is not planning on reforming, if you can’t improve upon it, why tarnish a good reputation? However, to suggest a band must be active to enjoy their music is a new one…
    I would like to thank Mr. Fabi for taking the time for considering our music, and his overall positive commentary, also to Mr. Kasperek for his interest too. I hope the rest of you will check out the ANTAGONIST CD and enjoy the Heavy, Black, Thrash, Power, and Speed Metal Attack!!!

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