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Antithesis @ The Odeon

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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The best kept secret in music


A mix between the mosh-ethic of ANTHRAX, the innovation of METALLICA and the deadly speed of SLAYER, "Dying For Life" is the second effort from ANTITHESIS, the United States White Metal-Thrash-band. Hot technical Metal, power edge production (amazing in this department), cutting edge soloing and piercing sharpshooter riffs spell high quality on this opus.
Classics include "Deceiver Within" and the anti-government "Politicide". Really has a freakin' awesome sound to it, something like a ultra heavy TAD MOROSE or progressive early MEGADETH, with one of the brightest young singers in the scene right now, in Ty Cook. He quickly makes his presence felt with his emotional low register vocals (a little like Mustaine) or his Dickinson shrieks that sound just as good as the man himself. Its a controlled fury, anger is felt, but is not allowed to just run amok like most bands like to nowadays.

These boys know their weapons of choice well and allow for a great show. Songs are allowed to breathe, letting the listener to fully sink their teeth into every track. Too bad Metal is not popular around these parts, because these boys deserve so much more (the band does not have a euro record deal at the moment). ANTITHESIS is not gonna change the world with this kind of 80's sound, but they will keep a dwindling Metal-tradition alive, something that needs to be done. All hail these boys!!!!!!!!!
- Metal Observer

Antithesis was essentially envisioned and created by guitarist Sean Perry in Cleveland, Ohio (USA), in the summer of 1997. This debut album was re–recorded in September 1999 with the final, permanent addition of a second guitarist, Tom Guignette. And the music is not typical of today's combined genre of progressive and power–metal.

Antithesis bring a heavy and aggressive style of progressive–metal that is often lacking in the metal community; lacking in a successful manner, that is. As might be expected, the musicianship is tight, the songwriting is exceptionally strong. Please note that "The Web" is one of finest songs ever to grace this critic's speakers!

But unlike most progressively inclined metal acts, the edge is heavier and Ty Cooks vocals are a throwback to 1980s speed and thrash metal. Sorry, no wussy high notes here; only aggressive but controlled vocals.

And for a band of this power, the music never dwells on the evils of life. This is a positive album with, as the band states, "no reference to the promotion of hate, violence, prejudice, vampirism, or the occult." Some have even dubbed Antithesis as a white–metal band.

"Antithesis' goal is to continually grow and progress," states the band, "producing quality, successful music without squelching creativity or originality, while affirming the positive images and messages Antithesis embodies."

The band does show their softer side on "Secret Fires" and the first minute of "The Curse," but still maintains an amazing richness to the music. Fans of Helstar, Edwin Dare, and Hades should jump to the band's website and pick up this album ... like, now! -

Man, the Midwestern United States has Metal acts crawling from the underground as this Ohio quintet prove their worth on this debut nine song/49 min. plus disc. Expect longer songs in the 4½-8 min. range that allow for neo-classical guitar stylings, an adventurous rhythm section and a fusion of eighties Metal a la HELSTAR/FORBIDDEN with a 90's touch in production and aggressive vocal terms. I know the twin guitar bending that ends the solo section of "Breeding The Beast" will have you think of classic early FORBIDDEN while darker cuts such as "The Curse" and "The Web" recall more middle 1980's American Power Metal territory. Ty Cook's vocals have an adequate pitch/range but his reliance on industrial/distortion effects in a cut like "Sword Of Mouth" leads me to think that he needs more coaching for the melodies to match the technical/heavy musical approach. Their name befits their music- as you have more Progressive oriented material like "Netherworld" and "Limbo" next to a streamlined melodic song like "Secret Fires" and both areas work well for the band. This album will be re-recorded soon with some arrangements and new leads from a new guitarist, so seek out if you miss semi-technical 80's Power Metal with a Progressive edge. - Snakepit

I first saw Antithesis perform at the 2000 PowerMad festival. I was able to keep Antithesis in the forefront of my listening experiences because of a number of tracks that appeared on various sampler CDs that I'd managed to come into contact with over the last few years. It seems like I've waited a long time to hear new material from the band. And, lo and behold, "Dying For Life" came to me like a lost child begging to be listened to.

I'm finding it hard to find the right words to describe "Dying For Life." Not that it leaves me 'speechless' or anything like that. All I know is that I keep listening to "Dying For Life" without any desire to put it away. In "Dying For Life," Antithesis have a firm grip on traditional metal's gift for power, progressive metal's penchant for stellar songwriting, the songwriting chops of Chuck Schuldiner, and the confidence and bravado due to an abundance of technical skills. By combining these elements, along with a nod to thrash metal, Antithesis create a magnificent journey through vivid landscapes.

Thankfully, the lyrics are well-above average. There are no simplistic rants here. It's obvious that lots of time and care went into the lyrics - the band uses a number of writers which provides a lot of different perspectives.

The bottom line is that "Dying For Life" is a solid disc all the way through. It's a good thing when a band's record survives multiple, consecutive listens from this reviewer - and very few bands achieve that exalted air in my opinion.

Fans of Jag Panzer and Iced Earth who don't mind a little progressive touches to their thrashy, heavy metal will appreciate Antithesis. Antithesis' "Dying For Life" is highly recommended!

"Dying For Life" was produced by Sean Perry.

Antithesis is Ty Cook on vocals, Sean Perry on guitars and vocals, Paul Konjicija on guitars and synth, James Lewis on bass, and Paul Kostyack on drums. -

"...brilliant, energetic, complex and virtous skilled power metal... hard, powerful music somewhere between classic heavy and enhanced thrash metal."

- Heavy Oder Was

While on a first listen or two, Antithesis appear to be just another power metal band, more studied and careful listening reveals that there is a great deal going on beneath the chaotic nature of their music. LarryD surmised much the same thing in his review of this title a few months back. Antithesis takes the familiar crunch of Metallica and the like and adds more dynamic shifts, creating something heavy, brutal, yet textured. Throw in some growly vocals, but not too growly, and a darker element is achieved. Well, one look at the cover art - scavenging vultures feeding on a corpse amidst a scattering of skeletal remains, the ground beneath reddened by blood - suggests that this is not metal in the 80s Winger/Warrant/Motley Crue mode.

A track like "Deceiver Within" is a good example of these varying dynamics, as it is a very artsy sounding metal track. Rhythms shift in stuttering, chopping patterns, trying to turn over themselves. Metallica will come to mind during the chorus of this piece, which sounds as if they'll break into "Sad But True." In fact, the concept is the same - that darker inner self. However, while the cover might suggest something along the lines of Cannibal Corpse, etc. (at least topically), there are no songs of dismemberment and mayhem. The cover is metaphorical, and given the religious underpinning to many of the band's lyrics (mainly Cook), there's likely to be some Biblical reference in there, too. This religious element isn't shoved down your throat, it's quite subtle ... where as I find many bands with a specific religious intent are too sweet with arrangements, too positive in their approach that it seems pollyannaish, Antithesis are quite different. This isn't sweet at all, and makes their message all the more real -- though, as you might have guessed, I'm not in total agreement with their philosophy. But the underlying message of the album - that suicide isn't the solution - I can agree with. While it is present in nearly every track to some degree, it comes most to the fore in "Times Of Trial" and "Dying For Life (Limbo II)." In the latter, the message being, essentially, that as much as you are haunted by your "demons" in life (depression, despair, etc.), it will only get worse after your death by your own hand -- as you will be turned away by God, condemned... One gets the feeling that the lyricist of "Time Of Trail," Paul Kostyack (drums), lost his brother to suicide... after having lost him to something else -- drugs one would imagine ("Distanced")

Of the band's two guitarists - Sean Perry and Paul Konjicija - it is Perry whose playing is the highlight of this release. Vocalist Ty Cook is a very capable singer and James Lewis a more than adequate bassist (his highlight is during "Distanced"). "Times Of Trial" is the uncharacteristic track here, as the guitar intro could easily be an acoustic Steve Howe intro to a Yes song; sparse percussion comes in, then Cook on vocals. This pastoral segment gives way to chugging metal, this played deftly and with sensitivity. This is where the progressive aspect comes into play for this progressive power metal band, as there are shades of Dream Theater here, if at times a little crunchier. Cook's performance is a little understated though a little more energy in the delivery is warranted. Konjicija gets the solo spot on this track. While I prefer Perry, both a very skilled guitarists, and Konjicija's solo here is quite good. What could be treacly, comes across very well. "Mad Poet" is an interesting track lyrically, filled with references to figures from Greek and Norse mythology. One hears echoes of Metallica in "Politicide" as well, especially during the choruses.

The listed bonus track on the US version is "Netherworld," which appeared on their first, self-titled 1999 release. The European version contains the bonus track "Secret Fires," which also appeared on their first album. But this track also appears, uncredited, on the US version as part of track 9. This is a terrific, mellower -- and romantic -- track, mainly just arppegioed guitar and voice. Although it might merely detail a "one night stand" rather that the beginning of some long-term relationship, for the duration of this track, one could believe otherwise. -- it's all about the moment.

Antithesis are a band that certainly deserve greater recognition and it's nice to see a power metal band take influence from their more well-known sources and then build upon it, stretching it, mixing it up. Too often bands stop at the "influenced by" and never get beyond it. Bravo to Antithesis.

Are these guys really in for metal? They seem to be bigger than just that, profoundly using acoustic guitar, which makes the band stand out and come close to old ACCEPT with the compelling drift of "Times Of Trial". Even in solid if not bright "Consequence" is a disctinct feel of players being confined by their chosen genre, drummer Paul Kostyack and bassist James Lewis approach the material very imaginatively to step out into jazziness in "Deceiver Within", Ty Cook's vocals betraying METALLICA influence. Maybe not as telling yet somehow magic, in creeps "Mad Poet" reflecting the crippled soul perfectly in all those tempo changes and elusive melodies executed by guitar operators Sean Perry and Paul Konjicija. Unleashed, they rocket up title track of epic proportions from acoustically glistening ice to snow-peaked mountains that caress the sky. And if here you're able to recognize rock'n'roll chords, "Netherworld" will show its classical roots. Then "Politicied" is where four-string groove comes frontal to be soloing on par with guitars - hands up to this enchanted field you can't escape! What for, by the way, when "Secret Fires" burn so beautiful, orchestrated, beckoning to come and feel the warmth. - Let it Rock

This is a must have chunk of Metal especially for fans of the 80's dense and heavy sound found on Merciful Fate's early albums and even Slayer's. How does Dying for Life compare to the s/t debut : First off, the production is far better with all the instruments gaining full identity and eminence. The vocals are way smoother and better. Ty is more than outstanding here! Perfect balance between melodic clean and mild rasp. Actually, the melodic part is accentuated to an extent that makes the album veer towards the vocally driven lane. This very disparity in the vocal performance reminds me, and quite often, of Gildenlow (PoS)! At times, I hear Bruce Dickinson and of course a softer Anselmo ;) I can't think of a particular instrument as central because even the bass instrument is brutally exploited, not to mention the totally insane Krusty's drumming. But, I have to mention that the guitar leads and the acoustic intervals shine most! There are two songs that captured my stubborn and hard to please tastes from spin one: "Times of Trial' – this one I could vote for in a song of the year poll – and "Deceiver within". Don't be fooled by short clips that might reveal a straightforward style because the albums is full of variety although that is nit quite discernible from a single spin. - Perpetual Motion


2001 - Dying for Life US & EU Releases
- Massacre Records

1999 - Antithesis
- Nightmare Records


Feeling a bit camera shy


Antithesis strives to perfect and solidify their niche of powerful heavy metal with a definite desire to cross into the progressive/technical metal genre. And they do it very well, something the ton of great reviews leaves no doubt about.

The band's influences range from typical heavy metal of the eighties (Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Racer X), the more powerful / semiprogressive metal of the past two decades (Fates Warning, Queensrÿche) to the progressive inferno of nowadays (Symphony X, Dream Theater). Antithesis also incorporates jazz and blues influences, to preserve a fresh and original sound.

This conglomeration of influences, although multidisciplinary, will leave the listener with difficulty saying… "this sounds like…". Antithesis can be proud of what they have achieved so far - and there is no doubt that the band will come up with yet another bunch of superb tunes in the future. For Antithesis the ball has just started rolling.