Metalcore is a wide-ranging genre, and one that has sparked some of the more colorful debates in the last 15 years over many a music message board. It seems that everyone has an opinion on it, and they seem to be extreme, one way or the other. Why? Oh, that’s a whole different story. Maybe one day we will get into it.
I used to eat up anything that was tagged with the label, and had some pretty extra-ordinary success singing in a band that very much fell within said label for ten years. Over time, for various personal reasons, I wasn’t as ferocious with my consumption and only kept up with a few of the genre’s stalwarts who are still releasing fantastic music to this day. With that said, Insolvency’s Antagonism Of The Soul is the kind of release that makes me fall in love with the style all over again. This is as good as anything that Unearth have ever released (yes, even The Oncoming Storm), and better than anything from All That Remains, Shadows Fall, and countless other bands from that ilk.
If Insolvency were from stateside, or perhaps even the UK, and touring regularly (neither of these things are the case, although touring looks to be gearing up) then they would be, as big if not bigger than say, Architects. I truly believe that, Antagonism Of The Soul is insanely good. The fact is that they’re from France, where Metal is not the norm. However, if there’s more of this quality locked away in garages and basements, then fuck me, labels need to be sniffing about there.
What should you expect? Leaving any expectations at the door is probably best, because I think it will be moot upon listening. I had no idea the choice of Jim Pinder and Carl Bown producing/engineering, who have helmed recordings for Bullet for my Valentine, Machine Head, and While She Sleeps, wasn’t an indication of what was in store. Insolvency have such a grip on the melancholic in both the guitar lead lines and clean vocals that it really does set them apart from so many bands, who perhaps, only give us a moment here and there. Insolvency manage to be constantly engaging and introspective sounding, whilst remaining brutal and punishing. This is something they can go toe to toe with Trivium at.
Insolvency are all absolute, stone cold shredders at their respective instruments, which makes things even more enjoyable. That one of the of the guitar players is also one of the two vocalists is something I have to see live, because although he isn’t the out and out lead player, he is still playing some VERY tasty stuff that even Mr Mustaine would have to take some time to work out.
Some of the highlights are ‘Black Moon,’ which is all over the shop in terms of moods and feels, with some really Maiden-esque vibes going on. The title track is epic and ‘Your Lost Soul’ is just a sublime modern metal track that has a chorus to die for. Fans of the much missed As I Lay Dying will enjoy this one.
I could go on more about this album but there is so much within that I couldn’t do it justice. So, in closing, Antagonism of the Soul: cest magnifique!!