Ahead of next week’s release of their EP Through Fire, Antagonist A.D have shared another single and music video. It’s one that’s tough to actually watch, which is exactly the point. Through their music, Antagonist A.D are speaking on behalf of animals.
“Gates Of Hell” comes armed with a lengthy warning for viewer discretion at the beginning of its video, which has me (a plant-based animal lover) already wincing. Lasting about a minute in when I attempt to watch it, I’ve seen more than enough. I understand. I feel it.
Vocalist Sam Crocker asks “Can you hear them? Can you see?” while drum blasts punch home. Factory farming imagery from the documentary Dominion is spliced with black and white footage of Antagonist A.D playing. It’s hard to swallow, but an important dose of reality.
What makes all of this worse is that this isn’t dramatised or fabricated for some sexy badass clout or edginess, it’s gut-wrenching and heartbreaking real footage from abattoirs in my home state of Victoria. It’s not happening in some distant third world location, it’s right on our doorsteps. This is a wake up call to stop ignoring, and to look at what the meat industry is complicit too.
In Sam’s words, “This footage was filmed in Australia. These were real animals, with real fear, real pain, and which experienced extreme suffering for a lifestyle which is unsustainable and unethical.”
“What does it take to wake you up?”
A rough song to stay present with due to its messages and emotion, it’s instrumentally hard-hitting also. Breakneck pace reflects the panic and fear of the caged existence of these creatures. Back-and-forth riffs come across like the argument and conflict, with confusion and incredulousiness felt via the sharpened vocals.
The second half of the song hits heavily and darkly, like a point of conclusion – not a good one – and I don’t even want to know what animal footage is used there if it gets worse. “Gates Of Hell”‘s point lands home throughout and to its final seconds:
“You are the knife that slices their throat, the cage that takes their soul.”
Through Fire releases 17th January via Greyscale Records as a 7″ vinyl, and can be pre-ordered here: https://grysclrec.lnk.to/throughfire