Antarez. Sounds extremely heavy for some reason. Is that just me? Probably, but in case it’s not I’m here to make sure you don’t get fooled. The band absolutely rocks, to be sure…but are nowhere near the cookie monster-ish output that I was expecting. The band came to my attention thanks to them sending me a physical copy of this debut EP on a recommendation from my friend Diane Webb at website Yesterdaze News .
I could not an incredible wealth of background info available on Antarez. It seems Antarez started up in 2015. They are based in Seattle Washington and proclaim they came together with a mission to bring to the area some great hard rock/classic metal music in the vein of the best of the 1970’s and 1980’s had to offer. Membership reads as Kennett Alex Bivens (guitar), Bruce Harden (vocals), Bruce Hogarth (bass) and TBD (drums). TBD? Yep, that’s right, the band is searching for a new drummer as we speak. The EP inlay credits Rick, however, an announcement on Antarez‘ official Facebook reports the vacancy. Perhaps you are interested in the position? Here’s the actual post”
“Our drummer Rick will be unable to continue playing with us in the future, we thank him for his contributions and wish him well.
As such we are now seeking someone to fill Rick’s shoes on the skins. Someone who is willing to commit to this originals only project long term contributing towards the success of the band by being a full blown team member participating in future songwriting and recording efforts as well as gigging (mostly weekends) within the Puget Sound region.
We have a safe rehearsal/recording studio near Sea-Tac airport, We expect a professional attitude, your own pro level gear, reliable transportation and absolutely no drugs nor alcohol during rehearsals nor performances. If you are interested please drop us a PM ASAP providing audio/video samples of your work.”
ANTAREZ – AGAINST THE WALL (EP)
Antarez‘ Against The Wall EP leads off with “Against The Wall”. We are first greeted with a meaty guitar riff erupting into a good paced hard rock song. Well crafted and memorable, but it seemed to me that I struggled to hear Bruce‘s vocals at times. Perhaps they could have been turned up slightly in the mix. This could also just be me. The EP was, according to the inlay, recorded on analog tape which would account for what I would say is a “muddy” sound. It creates a nice vintage character to the recording and certainly upholds their mission statement.
Next up we find “Crusader” which I first wondered might be a Saxon cover. Then I recalled that Antarez are “originals only”. Vocalist Bruce Harden broadens his horizon here showcasing some truly wicked screams in this sludgy hard rocker.
“Medicine Man” exhibits a nice groove and would serve as my pick of the bunch. It moves along well despite being the shortest composition here.
“Winters Desolation” is a slower rather plodding affair that I struggle to really identify with. Although there is some tasty guitar work, I imagine that a live experience is what’s needed to fully sell this one home.
Antarez have delivered a great base here and I certainly look forward to their next creation, hopefully on the way soon ;).