Antagoniste, a one man project from France, jumped out at me thanks to all the sub-genres listed next to the name of the band. Metal, Sludge, Black, Progressive, Avant-Garde. Not many are missing from that list. So what to make of the album “The Myth of Mankind?” It is most certainly an adventurous album and very much avant-garde.
The vocals are usually mixed at basically the same level as the wall of noise around them. This is somewhat similar to what deafheaven does. If there are spaces in the music, the vocals tend to drop to more of a whisper. Lyrics are basically impossible. The vocals are merely another instrument that is a part of the overall sound.
How good is the music though? The majority of the album has a similar sound, very loud and distorted. Antagoniste does use quieter moments but not really enough to give the listener a chance to breathe.
While the whole concept of the album is quite “heady,” the sonic dirge makes it rather hard to see what the concept is. It works as a soundtrack to the apocalypse but beyond an industrial metal nightmare, it really just becomes undecipherable. This is a shame because it seems like this album has a lot of potential and I am sure many will find parts they will enjoy.
The problem is the album almost purposefully keeps the listener at a distance as if the truth isn’t allowed to be understood. Still, I keep trying and find myself unsure if this is a masterpiece or a noisy pile of shit. The album is a little bit of both I guess.