Following on from the thunderous 'For Justice' single that went off like a bomb earlier this year, was there ever any doubt that Zardonic's next album was going to be one to watch out for? His unique blend of bass-heavy electronic dance music genres melded with extreme metal has lit a fire under the edm scene. In the ten years since its inception, Zardonic has become one of the hottest DJ acts in the world today with not only his original tracks being released to acclaim, but also his remixing skills in demand from a range of notable artists. With a tour alongside DJ Starscream (AKA Sid '#0' Wilson of Slipknot) under his belt, and a spot on the line-up at next years Resistanz festival, the time is right for his next full-length album to be unleashed.
With a certain amount of anticipation behind it, 'Antihero' is an album that needs to hit hard, fast and leave a lasting impression. And that is exactly what it does. Drum 'n' bass, glitch hop, electro, darkstep, industrial, breakbeat, and hardcore techno collide head-on with extreme metal across eleven original tracks that will appeal to fans of Cubanate, Be My Enemy, Atari Teenage Riot, The Berzerker and the latest work from Combichrist, Yet, even if you are to approach it from a purely metal or purely edm back ground then you will still have plenty to grasp on to.
Songs such as, 'Against All Odds', 'For Justice', 'Vigilante', 'Pure Power', 'Raise Hell', 'The Time Is Now', and the bonus track 'Highway 666' are instant stand-outs with their balance of electronic and metal guitars perfectly balanced for maximum impact. The complex arrangement of the various styles and elements while preserving pure heaviness will give a lot of industrial metal bands a serious run for their money.
There is a real fire running through this album. It's not just a case of “yeah, that will get the dance floor moving”, there is an anger and passion channelled into each track that makes for powerful listening... it just also happens to be great to dance or mosh to. The tracks on display draw on all the elements from Zardonic's palette so far, but it is evident here that he has struck gold.
The production is excellent and the mix is pretty much flawless. Even the bonus remix CD with contributions from the likes of Counterstrike, Dub Elements, Esparta, Darksiderz, Heavygrinder, Evol Intent, The Outside Agency, and Voicians throws up some extra gems. The craziness of Counterstrike's take on 'For Justice', the complete overhaul of 'Override' into a great hardcore track courtesy of Darksiderz, and adrenalin fuelled remix of 'Antihero' from Voicians being the main stand-outs.
If you haven’t encountered Zardonic before, or are approaching his work with any degree of cynicism, then this should convert you. With 'Antihero' Zardonic has truly found his sound... and it kicks serious ass.