ANTAGONISTE - THE MYTH OF MANKIND - REVIEW







‘Antagoniste’ has released an ambitious album but the aspirations being expressed by the man behind the band fail to reach the vision that he set before him. Art, in every form, requires not only inspiration and the need to express one-self. It also requires a craftsmanship. Like a stone mason (I really love this analogy) that works relentlessly, making mistake after mistake, until the result comes closer to what he had in mind. 


There is an anecdote about Michelangelo and his sculpture David, where he stood in front of the giant piece of marble for months without doing anything. When asked about this, he replied: ‘Can’t you see I am working?’ Everything begins from the inside and then expressed on the outside. Art is a successful form of communication though a medium.

Patience, sacrifices, self-reflection, destruction and creation, all of them are virtues of the arts. What I do not understand is what ‘Antagoniste’ want to communicate with ‘Myth of Mankind’. The vision is not clear and I can only blame artistic immaturity. The orchestration of the songs is that of pop music. Simple pieces put together. Noise, feedback and sludged-ambience are used throughout the album to create this self-exploring journey but they fail. The lyrics have no depth and no coherence. This relevance between the musical atmosphere and the lyrics they tried to create never happens.

I can see it as an indie rock, shoegaze recording with amped up distortion, gain and volume. The singer is sometimes speaking with a whispering voice, other times exclaiming and others just shouting in a dark room. Some dissonance in guitar melodies doesn’t make a song black metal, neither does the atmosphere. I would recommend listening to songs, ‘The Barren Lands’ and ‘The Demiurge’ as examples of good to mediocre songs. Then try to listen to the whole thing and see for yourself that no connection between the music and the listener can be achieved.

Οne cannot simply aspire to greatness. Sacrifices need to be made and trying to pass this as an ‘evolutionary musical journey that will help you explore your inner self abyss’, meaning that this album is some sort of an enlightened artistic expression and fail to deliver, is arrogant and immature. 

Here are some lyrics which are begging for our attention. Let’s pick them apart, shall we?


The world is conditioned by the very idea of its own annihilation (I deny all existence)


There is no objective, no morality, no object, meaning or purpose, reality doesn’t exist, existence has no meaning, the negation of one, the meaninglessness of life, all human ideas are valueless, an ascetic attitude as a will to nothingness.


First lyric: Yes, the idea of death can condition the human mind. But isn’t that a good thing. The idea of death can be a massive motivation to creativity. No need to deny all existence. Memento Mori, brothers.

Next lyrics: Have you lost your purpose in life because you feel there is no morality in humans? And if that is the case, why are you so dependent on the immorality of the world? You say there is no object, which can only mean that there is no subject, except if you are somewhat of a solipsist, which is a cultural way of saying you believe in the Cartesian dogma of cogito ergo sum. But then you deny it, saying that all human ideas are valueless. Do you not value your art, since it is the creation of your mind?

To sum it up, idealizing fist world problems doesn’t make you mindful with an artistic nature. If you want to get philosophical I suggest you go all the way and not just throw some ideas that fit your preconceived beliefs about life. 

This is not just a critic about the lyrics. All of this creation expresses a confused state of mind. Or maybe I am the arrogant fool here and their next album, certainly not this one, will be an absolute masterpiece. Boy, will I have egg on my face...probably not.

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