REVIEWS OF “THE RISING OF THE LIGHTS”
It’s out. It’s in circulation.180 gram vinyl with full size, 20 page booklet, cd with 40 page booklet, download, free to stream. We hope we’ve covered as many bases as we can. Here is what some have had to say about the first Antisect album for 34 years…..
Some “get it” – Some “don’t”. All interesting nonetheless. As are some of our translations…..
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Punk Online (UK)
The long awaited release of the first Antisect LP since 1984 hit the world on last month on Rise Above Records. For me, the In Darkness … album from Antisect was one of those releases that were a seminal turning point in the history of anarcho punk and it has been a long wait for the follow up.
The new album contains over fifty minutes of heavy, heavy music with nine songs in total.
The solo bass opening to “Spirit-Level” is soon joined by the sound of helicopter blades, distant sirens and a churning guitar riff. The drums join in to pound the extended introduction into your skull and those sirens continue suggesting a serious riot! The drums pick up the pace and Antisect are back as vocals scorch their way into your eardrums and the riffs soar – this is great stuff and sounds as fresh as anything I’ve heard in years. The track pounds away for almost six and a half minutes and it contains sections of respite that just highlight the power behind the band. “We will not be silenced, broken or bowed” ….indeed!
The next track is the seven and a half minute, “The Last Ones Standing” and it is a cracker of a song. The signature Killing Joke style guitar/bass/drum interaction and growled vocals stir up a Molotov cocktail of punk/metal/tribal music. The band sound as angry at the system as they were 23 years ago and, lets face it, we need anger right now as fascists feel emboldened around the world. “Weapons Of Mass Distraction” (great title that) features a spoken word introduction over a single keyboard chord and the words are full of anger at the system and the control of the fat cats. The track takes on the form of a poem and only two thirds of the way through do the band introduce a pounding drumbeat, white noise and some guitar riffs that will have you banging your head – the message is direct, makes you think and challenges you to engage.
On “Acolyte”, the music continues from the prior track and the rhythmic approach of every instrument is simply awe inspiring. The vocals fit perfectly adding a sense of menace, darkness and intent. The following track “Welcome To The New Dark Ages” where those helicopter blades return over a plaintive guitar. Acoustic guitar chords, police sirens give way to one of the chunkiest riffs I’ve heard in a while combing the best of Amebix with the aforementioned Killing Joke. The title track (of sorts!) “Rise The Lights” links in with the prior track with a pulsating bass sound as the distant vocals add to the eerie atmosphere. The song maintains a discipline throughout and does not veer from the pulse driven bass and plaintive vocals. Without a second to pause, “Black”, simply assaults the listener with a massive bass and guitar riff. The song celebrates the anarchists and dissidents – it is anthemic, it is simply brilliant!
As the growled spoken words of “Black” end, Antisect launch straight into the manically fast and powerful “Something To Hate”. The song has angst, pace and is a punk rock classic blending all the best of the band with a refreshing up to date sound. The album closes with another track that hovers around the seven minute mark. “Scared To Die” has a mellower guitar and melodic vocal lamenting the hope of youth and slowly building to an angry ‘sludgecore’ type section before settling back to the restrained guitar lick and cymbal approach. The heavier sections are almost like listening to an exorcism and, for me Antisect are a call to action, a call to arms and a calling…
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Ryan Falla ‘Metal Assault’ (USA)
Some bands never go out of style, even bands that have been disbanded for over twenty years. Anarcho-punk band Antisect was founded in 1983 and, despite disbanding within a decade, has come back in full force with their new record ‘The Rising of the Lights’. Even though it’s been exactly thirty years since their last record release, Antisect has come back harder and stronger than ever. Not only is this as gritty as punk can get, Antisect intentionally subverts the norm of aged punk musicians milking their old form for the sake of relevancy.That has to be the least punk thing anyone can do, let alone a punk musician. Pandering to fans for the sake of an extension of your limelight that began to fade once the ’90s hit full swing *cough* Henry Rollins *cough*.
Despite their old form being a more straightforward hardcore, gritty punk, the new Antisect is an evolved beast.
Straight from the first two tracks, ‘Spirit-Level’ and ‘The Last Ones Standing’, you’re immediately introduced to the newer Antisect. ‘The Rising of the Lights’ showcases the natural evolution of punk, if I may digress a bit we can all see that punk began as an expression of anger and violent displeasure with society. We live in an angrier society nowadays, this is clear to see, but I’m supposed to expect punk to be the same aggressive teen angst from decades ago?
Sorry punk bands of old, but as opposed to your pandering and refusal/inability to evolve from exposing your frustration through furiously written three-chord riffage, Antisect displays a new form of punk with structured music, riffage that borders more so on metal than punk, and a message deeper than “adults and society sucks and everything can burn.”
In fact, the track ‘Weapons of Mass Distraction’ opens with a dark and ultimately sobering spoken monologue that lasts almost four minutes. The atmosphere set by this monologue lifts this music onto a platform higher than what anyone could expect from a punk band. The message being presented in this record isn’t yelling down your throat and beat over your head, it’s very concentrated and well articulate; musically and lyrically.
Maybe this just proves the natural next step to punk is metal; Antisect takes their furious anarcho-punk from the ’80s and applies a fury that has matured with age. The difference between this fury and the anger from their youth is the clarity it has. This isn’t like old punk where the blind fury blindly claws like a raged beast. The rage is still as strong and the beast as powerful, yet Antisect has gone from the rabid dog to the calculated wolf; still bearing fury, yet with its stoic approach applies more power in its expression of rage.
There’s a lot to love with ‘The Rising of the Lights’; from its powerful musical approach to the applied rage there is not one single second where this album lets up, whether they’re bashing you over the head with a metric ton of riffage or concisely displaying their discontent with the world.
Antisect nurture their punk roots to a heightened state with ‘The Rising of the Lights’. You might think that, because this is a record that seems focused with metal, that this makes it a metal record. While that is a perfectly reasonable conclusion the plain fact of the matter is that this is not a punk band turned metal.
Antisect is a punk band matured, concentrated in its aggression; and to me there’s nothing more punk than a band willing to break down the border walls enclosing their genre and birthing an expansion to something greater. That right there is Antisect and their new record, ‘The Rising of the Lights’.
Antisect – ‘The Rising of The Lights’ – Last Rites (USA)
I clearly haven’t been keeping up: I wouldn’t say a new Antisect album is the last thing I thought I’d be covering this year, but it’s probably way closer to unexpected than to anything I’d have considered possible before… …not that I’m complaining. Because I’m not. At all.
Way back in the day, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was like six years old, Antisect was an upstart UK hardcore band, touring with Discharge, helping to progress the whole anarcho-punk agenda with their classic debut In Darkness There Is No Choice. That was 1983, and by 1986’s Out From The Void EP, they’d added further metallic elements, and alongside the likes of Amebix and Hellbastard, laid the groundwork for the crust punk movement. And by 1987, Antisect was gone, victims of the usual intra-band disagreements and exhaustion.
Release date: October 13, 2017. Label: Rise Above
Twenty-four years later, they came back, with founding guitarist Pete Lyons and founding vocalist Pete Boyce alongside a few members of the 1987 lineup and new drummer Joe Burwell. Now, six years after that, Boyce is gone again, and Out From The Void vocalist / bassist John Bryson is back with Burwell and the perpetual Lyons. After all that, two-thirds of Antisect’s first final line-up is back in business, once again out from the void.
Of course, given the line-up, it’s not a big surprise that The Rising Of The Lights feels more like the extension of that later EP than like Darkness‘ anarcho-political punk. It’s been thirty years, but they’re picking up where they left off, with metal-inflected crust punk, now updated for the new millennium. As with Amebix’s Sonic Mass, that band’s smashing return in 2011, The Rising Of The Lights has a palpable Killing Joke vibe in its blend of post-punk spirit and metallic edge, and like Sonic Mass, it’s an absolutely grand return.
“Spirit-Level” kicks off the proceedings with Bryson’s insistent bass, Lyons and Burwell coming in with an arena-huge combo of driving beat and crashing chords beneath a wailing siren. With its rapid-fire verse melody, singalong chorus, and the instant hook of its “We will not be broken!” refrain, it’s a perfect crust punk opening shot, a call to arms and a statement of intent wrapped in gargled-glass vocals and scummy guitar tones. “Weapons Of Mass Distraction” is four minutes of ominous and accented spoken word – about the current state of humanity, of course – followed by three minutes of galloping riffy punk-metal, almost thrashy in its intensity, that leads headlong into “Acolyte,” which is arguably both the album’s most direct and least interesting song.
As strong as that first half is, The Rising Of The Lights hits a stride in the second half that simply doesn’t let up. Cribbing from their own playbook with In Darkness’ nonstop tracking, Antisect never pauses, one song jumps to the next, letting their dynamics and compositional differences be the divisions. The brooding “Welcome To The New Dark Ages” is killer, ending on a repeated stuttered chord and segueing right into the moody downtempo of the synth-driven title track. No break exists between that piece and the lead single “Black,” with its stomping riffs, and none stands between “Black” and the blistering “Something To Hate” and the pounding chorus of “Scared To Die.” Bryson and Lyons snarl and croon; Burwell pushes Lyons’ simple but effective metallic riffs perfectly; oftentimes, swirling synthesizers underpin everything, adding a dark and slightly malevolent air. It’s a powerful formula, indebted to Killing Joke and Amebix, though riffier than the former, and thankfully as dark and menacing as both.
Like Amebix did six years ago, Antisect has returned from the dead with a vengeance. As the world turns back to darkness, the time has come for the rise of punk again.
Righteous anger never gets old.
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Noisey (USA)
It has been over three decades since the world heard from Antisect. The legendary anarcho-punk outfit dissolved in 1987—30 years ago, and 34 since their release of their 1983 classic, “In Darkness, There Is No Choice”. For context, that was the same year in which Margaret Thatcher had won her historic third consecutive term as British Prime Minister, and Ronald Reagan had barely shut the door on his illegal weapons deals with Iran during an arms embargo. There was radio silence from the Northamptonshire force up until 2011, when they returned with some previously unreleased material and completed an extensive tour circuit. While their return six years ago was a surprising delight to punk fans new and old, their presence now feels almost like a necessity given the current state of our world.
Their newest effort, “The Rising of the Lights”, arrives tomorrow through Rise Above Records in the shape of a brightly-burning beacon in bleak times. Now a stable trio of grizzled, punk genius, their politicized commentary comes with greater wisdom. Founding guitarist and vocalist, Pete Lyons, is at the helm of the triumphant return, and is joined by drummer Joe Burwood and newest member, John Bryson, on bass. Maybe it is the snarled growl of Lyons and the fist-pumping riffs on songs like “The Last Ones Standing,” or perhaps it could just be the need for some old-fashioned anarchy in a time when fascism has slunk into the forefront of American politics, but Antisect’s latest screeds carry an especial sense of urgency.
“If “In Darkness, There Is No Choice” all those years ago, was a reflection of the bleak times we lived in then, “The Rising of the Lights” is an affirmation that, despite it all, we are still here,” Lyons tells Noisey. “It’s an album that intends to represent the maturity of being 30-odd years on from there, recognizing that very little has changed but looks to encourage a sense of empowerment and defiance amongst it all. Sonically, it’s a bit of a twisted beast, and perhaps contains elements that some might not expect. But then, the same might be said of the people responsible for it.”
While the message behind their music remains the same, their compositions have become much more sophisticated and dynamic. “Welcome to the New Dark Ages” puts a dark, entrancing stomp that plays out like de-industrialized Godflesh right in the center of the album. On the other hand, tracks like “Acolyte” and “Something to Hate” see Antisect deliver a blend of hardcore and punk that spits the most noxious of venom. Everything coalesces into a riveting reunion guaranteed to soundtrack the resistance for years to come.
Antisect – “The Rising of the Lights” – XS Rock (USA)
True legends never die. One of the most influential of all the bands to emerge from the febrile anarcho-punk scene of the early ’80s, Antisect‘s notoriety and extraordinary impact on the sound of fast, furious and heavy music far outweigh their lowly status in the history books. Emerging from the wave of intensely political punk rock bands that grew from the subversive triumphs of Crass in the late ’70s, anarcho-punk always offered more than mere bug-eyed polemic: instead, via records like Antisect‘s seminal 1983 debut album “In Darkness There Is No Choice,” it brought artistic depth and aesthetic focus to a punk scene that was otherwise flailing around in its death throes. A wild and subtly inventive step forward from their first efforts as a more straight ahead hardcore punk band, Antisect‘s debut is now widely acknowledged as one of the most important punk albums of its time. Meanwhile, the original band’s last official release, the two-track “Out From The Void” EP in 1985, brought a more metallic edge to their sound and hinted at heavier and darker things to come. By 1987, however, Antisect had disintegrated and silence reigned, the band’s reputation as anarcho-punk legends growing steadily in their absence.
Much to the surprise of just about everybody, in 2011, founding member and guitarist Pete Lyons instigated a full-blown Antisect reunion featuring members of early incarnations of the band and new drummer, Joe Burwood. The revitalized line-up embarked on shows throughout the UK and Europe, and then following another tweak of personnel, the band completed their first US tour. In keeping with the original focus and fire of the Antisect, the current 3-piece incarnation is one of the most stable and committed yet. As showcased on the band’s first album in 34 years, “The Rising Of The Lights,” the end result is the most powerful version of Antisect to date, with Pete and Joe Burwood now joined by bassist John Bryson, an esteemed former member from the “Out From The Void” days. Finally, the jigsaw is complete.
“For me, it was pointless doing this again if all it was going to be about was some mid-life, half arsed, nostalgia-filled ego trip,” says Pete. I am a politicized person and have been since my early twenties and that tends to get reflected in what I do. Consequently I couldn’t do this if I didn’t feel that the band was still relevant in that context. So I guess a major inspiration was that the band still has something to say that connects with here and now.”
32 years on from the release of Antisect‘s brutally prescient “Out From The Void”‘ seven-inch, the now revitalized band are reborn in flames of glory on their brand new full-length LP, “The Rising Of The Lights”: A startling and absorbing return to action from a band whose inner flame has never stopped blazing. Far from being a docile repeat of past glories, the new Antisect material takes the furious spirit of those early recordings and recasts them in viciously contemporary sonic steel. The end result is an album that thrums and crackles with the electrifying intensity of the anarcho-punk era while packing the kind of jaw-shattering punch that fans of modern heavy music demand. This is punk rock and heavy metal enjoying a new form of intuitive symbiosis: angry, dark music conjured from the ether for the heaviest of times.
“Musically, since ‘In Darkness…’ we’ve obviously changed quite a lot,” Pete explains. “But, as anyone who saw the band in the later years will probably figure, we’re not actually that far removed from where we ended up. A little bit more sophisticated maybe, but still pretty similar, as the inclusion of re-workings of some of the older material on the new LP should illustrate. There’ll always be those who would prefer we stayed in the vein of 1985 or whatever, but that’s just not gonna happen. I still pretty much believe in the same things I did when the first LP was written, but it would have been a bit crap to simply rehash those lyrical themes, so maybe the content on this one is a little more introspective here and there. But I’m still a political animal. That’s the way it is and I can’t really see myself changing now.”
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Metal Brothers webzine (Spain)
Mythical band created in Daventry in 1982. The early days of these Englishmen were dedicated to D-Beat and Hardcore. In their early years they seemed the clones of the Discharge. What that mythical band did, Antisect did it a short time later but the student never became the master. In 1985 they moved away from their old label and competed with the Amebix for being the Crust Punk band of the moment. The best was the first album, and then came hundreds of changes of membership that brought more doubts than certainties, and in 1987 they decided to leave it.
But they returned in 2011 always with Lyons at the helm. This is his first new material in more than twenty years so there was much expectation. Do not judge them too harshly; it would be a mistake to ask someone who gave us so much in our youth, now with grey hair (and the listener also) to give us the same sensations as before. It has the right to evolve, the creative states change. To all those who criticize bands because they no longer sound the same as they did twenty years ago … a band is not a soft drink that has the obligation to always be the same. Behind bands are people, creators and free thinkers. When you listen to an album, ask yourself if you are also the same. Listen to an album that you have not listened to for a long time, an album that meant so much to you in your youth and tell me if you rate it the same; because if you do my friend, you have not evolved at all.
‘Spirit Level’ is a machismo presentation with some atmosphere at the beginning of the song and the familiar acceleration of Crust Punk but mixed with a sound that reminds me a lot of Voivod. Rock and Roll in its purest form is presented with ‘The Last Ones Standing’; a track that builds to a crescendo. The typical production values of Crust Punk, with distortion in the guitar and bass are ever present. Seven and a half minutes yet quite simple, but with a dark and depressing atmosphere with good acceleration.
‘Weapons of Mass Distraction’ is a soporific track of seven minutes with a five-minute spoken introduction that even those who understand English will end up skipping, to get to the rhythm of the hardest drummer and that mix of Hardcore with Thrash; very much in line with what Tau Cross does today. Let’s say that the previous theme serves as a presentation for the Acolyte cut, with an aggressiveness hitherto unknown that goes if it is appreciated.
‘Welcome to the New Dark Ages’ presents an acoustic start that is new to us. Amebix designed the Crust road map and nobody ever managed to surpass them. I like the charged and dense atmosphere that this work presents, now, after the initial explosion the subject remains so alone in that. ‘Rise the Light’s is a new atmospheric theme that adds nothing, a filler. It is good to go transcendental if you have something really dark to offer, so much atmospheric intro to finally make a primitive theme like ‘Black’ which is like mixing Discharge with Motörhead only at mid-time … it seems almost a joke. Very poor return of the Antisect, I say without comparing it at all with their first albums. But I’m glad they came back to the stage.
Antisect – ” The Rising Of The Lights” – The Offering webzine (USA)
Anarcho- punk band Antisect has not released new music for over thirty two years yet suddenly has returned to the music scene delivering the powerful new album “The Rising Of The Lights” proving to be a relevant band with renewed energy and ideas rather than just a nostalgic trip.
On “Spirit – Level” there are hints of fury and unstoppable anger with opinionated screams and untamed borderline aggressive guitar riffs that maintain a gritty punk attitude even if the whole instrumentation showcases a more modern catchy sound with additional metal elements.
With bold straightforward metal grooves “Acolyte” seems to lose the old school punk drive except for the chaotic screams and also delivers scattered pleasant melodic phrases.
“Welcome To The New Dark Ages” can be extremely melancholic with minimalist contemplative acoustic melodies but is also ready to pick up speed and distortion with monolithic guitar riffing and fierce vocals surrounded by a rather ominous atmosphere.
“Black” stands out for the intense & catchy grooves built by powerful bass lines and crunchy guitar riffs following familiar energetic metal dynamics while vocals shift to baritone delivery matching the general gloomy mood.
“Scared To Die” feels like an almost apocalyptic soundtrack starting with somber atmospheric nuances that suddenly give way to a more aggressive guitar driven rhythm deeply fueled by controversial punk attitude.
Inspired by strong political views and a will to survive despite the inevitable demise of human race Antisect delivers the visionary album “The Rising Of The Lights” with vibrant unrestrained artistic freedom.
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Chelsea’s Choice magazine (Germany)
Know that these English anarcho-punks are back again. I think their very first record was very good because they created a classic with “In Darkness, There Is No Choice”. However, compared to the work they are currently presenting, they are worlds of darkness. “The Rising Of The Lights” contains nine songs, all of which sound more like controlled metal than aggressive hardcore punk. Very bulky guitar riffs, but little of the earlier attitude. Only the destructiveness remained, but in the early phase of the band it was musically more digestible.
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – TrueTrash fanzine (Germany)
Ever heard of a band called Antisect? No? Then we shall turn the wheel of time back 35 years into the past. The group was founded in 1982 and developed until its dissolution in 1987 in the area of ”Anarcho Punk” and in adjacent areas of the hardcore and the Crust Punk have a certain reputation. In 2011 there was a reunion and now there is with “The Rising of the Lights” after 34 years a new album. Only the second official album ever as apart from their highly acclaimed debut “In Darkness There Is No Choice” only a few EPs and live albums have appeared.
As is often the case with old-school punk bands, the members have not only breathed the original punk spirit, but lived it. So also did Antisect, who lived partly in squats or even on the street. That of course shapes them personally and musically.
“The Rising of the Lights” is an angry punk manifesto with trips into metal, and sometimes calmer waters.
This is not a mere copy of earlier times. The music and the socio-critical texts are more relevant than ever. Complex and with a certain heaviness, the longer songs (over 50 minutes in total) are startling and loud on the other side.
A fitting soundtrack for the 21st century rebellion, albeit less anarcho than expected.
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Away from Life (Germany)
One of the most famous and influential punk bands of the anarcho and squatter scene of the early 1980s in England, with a sound that expresses the lived rage through harshness and speed, are Antisect. As punk band coined by Crass and their expression of punk resistance, Antisect released her debut album In Darkness There Is No Choice in 1983.
So they thundered the gradually diverging and tiring punk scene an album straight ahead in the pounding hardcore punk around the spoon! It was one of the most important albums of the time and a wake-up call to all bored punks who were fed up, spinning in circles and yet doing nothing. Two years later, in 1985, the band released the two-song EP Out Of The Void. That was the last studio record before its dissolution. Their sound increasingly went away from the classic punk rock, or hardcore punk and tended in the Metal direction. The music became harder and darker.
There followed two live albums and in 1987 the band split up, but in 2011 Antisect announced their reunion. Guitarist and singer Pete Lyons explains why after such a long time there is still no rest at Antisect.
“For me, it was pointless doing this again if all it was going to be about was some mid-life, half arsed, nostalgia-filled ego trip, I am a politicised person and have been since my early twenties and that tends to get reflected in what I do. Consequently I couldn’t do this if I didn’t feel that the band was still relevant in that context. So I guess a major inspiration was that the band still has something to say that connects with here and now.”
And now with The Rising Of The Lights, the first Studio album in 34 years! The album is a unique, intuitive symbiosis of punk rock and heavy metal – angry, somber music, shaped by everyday life. Pete Lyons explains the album: “Musically, since ‘In Darkness…’, we’ve obviously changed quite a lot, but, as anyone who saw the band in the later years will probably figure, we’re not actually that far removed from where we ended up. A little bit more sophisticated maybe, but still pretty similar, as the inclusion of re-workings of some of the older material on the new LP should illustrate. There’ll always be those who would prefer we stayed in the vein of 1985 or whatever, but that’s just not gonna happen. I still pretty much believe in the same things I did when the first LP was written, but it would have been a bit crap to simply rehash those lyrical themes, so maybe the content on this one is a little more introspective here and there. But I’m still a political animal. That’s the way it is and I can’t really see myself changing now.”
That sounds like the typical UK82 spirit back in 2017! People, Antisect are back! … and that will probably remain so for a while, if you can trust Pete’s words. “Despite the somewhat dark reputation of the band, the overriding thing that we’re attempting to put across is one of encouraging all of us to believe in ourselves and to not feel that we’re powerless to affect change in the world. It’s the most vital thing that my involvement in ‘punk rock’ has given me. That inspiration that, yes, we can fucking do stuff if we really want to.”
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Rock Hard (Germany)
Because of the undeniable importance of ANTISECT for the punk underground of the early 1980s, one does not want to talk about unnecessary reunification (after 30 years!), But whether anyone has been waiting for that is doubtful. In the joint triumvirate with Crass and Amebix, the band tended towards Hardcore and Metal until their very end, balancing out the force on their comeback album with wave overtones. Bearing in mind a completely broken vocal part, this mix leaves the impression that Killing Joke (the Grooves) have united with the early Voivod (the weird riffs) to rant against abuses in the world without offering any solutions. “The Rising of the Lights” is set to nihilistic, uncomfortable and packed into something too long, bulky songs that testify to the audible new swing of old hands.
Unprecedented, because no current band sounds like this.
Antisect ‘The Rising of the Lights’ – Oblivion webzine (Germany)
This band are an old punk rock legend. ANTISECT has been around since the early eighties, they had two releases before finally splitting and disappearing. Now they are releasing a new album thirty-four years after the last LP, which is by no means a lukewarm infusion of the old days, but presents itself almost “modern”. The gentlemen sound almost metallic in the riffing and have a fat hardcore impact. Through spoken word sections and sound effects, the album has a rather gloomy impact, but this has great appeal.
Personally, I like the opener “Spirit – Level” with its cool groove, the metallic rending “Acolyte”, the fat groover “Black”, the faster “Something to Hate” and the after a quieter, more hypnotic part, the explosion of “Scared To Die” is the best. Despite the great age of the group a successful record, not only for nostalgic and eternally yesterday.
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Ave Noctum (UK)
Old crustbags never die, it just smells like it. Ah yes Antisect, the original squat the lot Anarcho punks have a hell of a history behind them which stretches right back to 1982 and has somehow resisted and existed and strived to survive through thick and thin, break up’s and a huge revolving cast list.
After a long hiatus between 1987 and 2011 the group reformed for a second lease of fetid life but listening to them today you could perhaps if not around the first time be completely mistaken that it is the same band. Musically this is quite a different beast from the early days and the abrasive old dark ages. I had managed to catch the group a few New Year Eve’s ago (2014) playing a free show at The Unicorn in London, memories of the night are not the best but they obviously got things riled up enough for me to fall flat on my ass in the pit; however a kind of new groove had also injected proceedings and that is more than apparent here. Anyway if it’s good enough for Lee Dorrian it’s good enough for me to give the band’s new platter a spin.
Now pretty much a power trio the group consists of founding member Pete Lyons, John Bryson who was there in 84 and relative newcomer Joe Burwood. Things start a bit annoyingly with drawn out sounds of helicopters and police sirens along with a thick chuggy bass line that has me looking out the window and wondering what carnage is unfolding outside. Still I was gearing myself up for an explosion that was gonna take me back to early days of bands such as Flux Of Pink Indians, Conflict, Discharge and Amebix but when Spirit-Level finally kicks into gear I got a groovy sound that borders a bit on stoner and sludge sound. Indeed listening to the album I was getting a bit of groups such as more recent Unsane, Therapy and even as a friend cruelly pointed out Clutch here at times. Yeah it’s not bad, just a bit different than what I had set myself up for. Vocals are craggy and a little too quiet in the mix at times, a bit of Rob The Baron Miller about them and the thick well produced instrumental furrow is certainly strong and beefy.
There’s a bit of a lack of immediacy here and again long drawn out stoner licks pave the way for numbers like ‘The Last One’s Standing’ and at 7 minutes plus things are a bit tedious and likely to have the old brigade scratching their louse ridden heads in confusion. This feels like a film with too much plot exposition, a bit of editing could do with being applied. None so more as on ‘Weapons Of Mass Distraction’ and don’t get me wrong I’m all up for a bit of punk, political polemic but over 4 minutes of ambient throbbing bass and a mumbled speech waffling too quietly to properly even hear is an exercise in futility as far as I’m concerned and totally breaks up any musical impetus. Yawn, get on with it for crusts sake! I hate skipping tracks but honestly, the second hand Ministry riffs once this is finally dispensed with here hardly encourage me not to. They use the siren trick again and chug on regardless through ‘Acolyte’ which at least is suitably angry and more to the point but then the bloody helicopter flies over again as we move into the new dark ages and yep I see what they did there. Luckily this is cold and menacing and forcefully sticks out, much more like it with more of an Amebix and even older Killing Joke feel. Sometimes keeping things simple and hollering out the song title again and again really does work and this and closer ‘Scared To Die’ are the songs here that really do it for me.
So a bit of a frustrating listen, I understand bands grow up and move on but I came to this party expecting Anarchy and cold war crusty distemper and got far too much stylistically of bands I hear all the time, too much padding and just the occasional flash of genius. Drop the stoner and groove licks, everyone’s doing that and make the new age truly sound dark; then I’ll be back!
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Under Dog webzine (Germany)
ANTISECT was founded in 1982 and the band was deeply rooted in the anarcho-punk community. Pete Boyce (vocals), Pete Lyons (guitar, vocals), Renusze Rokicki (bass) and Pete Paluskiewicz (drums) lived partly in occupied houses or on the street.
Antisect released their first album, In Darkness There Is No Choice, 1983, which had a major impact on the nascent Crust scene. Together with bands such as Anti-System, Decadence Within, Sacrilege and Civilized Society, they mixed elements of punk and metal, using thematic anarchist and animal liberation ideas. Some of the band members were political activists, participated in direct release actions to liberate animals from their existing rule, and consequently became vegan.
In the wake of the turbulent political and musical high phase of their action, band members were arrested, added (the band consisted in part of up to 6 people) and disbanded in 1987. After the Re-Union 2011, The Rising of the Lights is the 2nd regular album after the ’83 debut. The sound is clearly matured and is even more oriented towards Doom and dark Hardcore. The epic songs have a threatening atmosphere and symbolic bonds of destruction of the earth by humans through wars and weapons of annihilation.
“Weapons of Mass Distraction” begins with a long monologue until the grinding mixture of doom and metal produces a post-apocalyptic morbid aesthetic. Due to the length of the songs, there is plenty of room and space to evaluate the stronger, heavier, and even more epic version of the style. In this respect, the threat slowly but effectively comes into its own and with the combination of Doom Metal and Hardcore Punk ANTISECT play on the same playful level as NEUROSIS or AMEBIX with the thematic connection to dark threat scenarios.
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Metal-Heads fanzine (Germany)
Well, who else does Antisect know? Antisect was a hip anarcho-punk band with hardcore influences from the UK in the eighties, who achieved cult status with their discs “In Darkness There Is No Choice” (1983) and “Out From The Void” (1985). Then the band disappeared from the stages of the world. In later periods, a few unspectacular live albums appeared, but new studio material has not existed for 34 years. On 13.10.2017 the long wait comes to an end. On this said Friday Antisect will present their new songs in the form of the long player “The Rising Of The Lights” to the fans.
Antisect have chosen a bass and double bass accented opener with a long intro in “Spirit Level”. The vocals only start brutally in the second minute. This is followed by the groovy and pounding “The Last One’s Standing” before the listener is surprised with the spoken-words dominated “Weapons of Mass Distraction”.
“Acolyte” brings out all the viciousness in the sound of Antisect … just great. By contrast, “Welcome to the New Dark Ages” knows how to charm the listener with beautiful melodies and a brilliant chorus. It takes a bit of getting used to “Rise The Lights” with its synth sounds and mumbled vocals.
With “Black” a decent mid-tempo song is delivered and “Something to Hate” brings speed into focus again. The album is closed with the track “Scared to Die”, which convinces by the interplay of slow and fast parts.
It can be said that you cannot really compare Antisect anno 2017 with the Antisect from the eighties and I look at “The Rising of the Lights” with mixed feelings. The punky sound has moved into the background and the metallic aspect has come to the fore. The songs are unusually long and sometimes uncommonly composed, such as “Weapons of Mass Distraction” or “Rise the Lights”. Two tracks with which I find it difficult to make friends and are superfluous for me. But you can also find brilliant pearls like “Acolyte”, “Welcome to the New Ages” or “Scared to Die” on record, which have the right explosive character and are rounded off by the modern production. But the new album by Antisect is worthwhile for that alone. In the end I wouldn’t have wished for anything more after 34 years of studio break.
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – United Rock Nations (France)
A scene of civil war with a helicopter that flies over in the intro of LP and to the outro it has a dark and heavy atmosphere that Antisect delivers to us with its 3rd LP in 30 years!!! Or in any case, it is the image that comes to mind listening to these 9 old school punk songs.
Around the guitarist/singer is built the trio who comes to play us punk ‘UK old school’ quite dark mixed with incursions into heavy rock with lots of dark riffs. We find especially a sound that sticks well to the theme of the album with the aptly named ‘Welcome to the New Dark Age’s that would not deny a Machine Head debut (like yours …)
We have all the ingredients of the genre, but not only: big distortion and an abrasive song that cleans our ears, dark titles, mid-tempo, upbeat, short pieces and others longer. The band alternates between heavy punk / crust, which remains the main theme of the album ‘The Last Ones Standing’, ‘Black’ and ‘Something To Hate’ and its riff machine and amazing ambient pieces like the very hovering and space ‘Rise The Lights’ that sounds like Pink Floyd, the “reading” of ‘Weapons Of Mass Destruction’ (which arrives a bit early in the album and breaks the dynamic a little, despite the big riffs in the 2nd part) and the final ‘Scared To Die’ reminiscent of Misfits. The pieces are linked together quite well; the guys are doing the job. The compositions are of good quality and well executed, but unfortunately the production leaves something to be desired. We can be a fan of heavy sounds, big distortion on guitars and vocal cords that sizzle as much as the bass. But in 2017 you do not have to record in your cellar either. On Acolyte, one wonders if the microphone was well plugged during the recording Damage, it comes tarnishing somewhat an album yet offered beautiful things.
In the end, the 9 titles is pretty good, but it is primarily intended for fans of Antisect. For novices, it will hang on the helicopter.
Antisect – “The Rising of the Lights” – Time to Rock (Russia)
ANARCHO-PUNK IN ACTION: ANTISECT RELEASED THE FIRST ALBUM IN 34 YEARS
Godfathers of British crust-punk presented an extremely political album “The Rising of the Lights”
Three decades have passed since the world last heard ANTISECT. The legendary anarcho-punks broke up in 1987, and 34 years have passed since the release of the classic of the genre In ‘Darkness There Is No Choice’. For the context: it was the same year that Margaret Thatcher went to the third term as prime minister of the United Kingdom, and Ronald Reagan got stuck in a scandal with secret supplies of arms to Iran to support war criminals in Nicaragua.
Natives of Northamptonshire remained silent until 2011, when they returned with a set of bootlegs and an extensive tour; and as well as their return bringing inspiration to the punk community, what is happening now is of great value. ANTISECT’s new album “The Rising of the Lights” is released on October 13 via Rise Above Records and shines with a bright flame of the revolution in the gloomy skies of modern times.
The rebellious rebels have acquired wisdom, but this does not prevent them from chanting the same political manifesto with the mouth of the iconic guitarist and vocalist Pete Lyons, the equally acclaimed drummer Joe Burwood and the new bass player John Bryson, the youngest member of the trio. Perhaps the reason for the success of the snarling growls or harsh riffs is clear on “The Last Ones Standing”, and, perhaps, the fact is that old-fashioned anarchy is necessary just now, when fascism lurks in the forefront of world politics. Undoubtedly one thing needed is the long-awaited work of ANTISECT.
“If ;In Darkness’ was just a reflection of the dark era that has sunk into oblivion, then ‘The Rising of the Lights’ provides assurance in album form that, despite the obstacles, we are here. Antisect are saying ‘This record should symbolize our maturity, but she also admits that not much has changed in our fight’. Musically the album contains a number of new elements, and the same can be said about the people who wrote it.
Perhaps the ANTISECT message has not changed, but the songs have become harder and more dynamic. ‘Welcome to the New Dark Ages’ gives rise to a dark, exciting riff that breaks through the center of the album as a grin back to the industrial sounds of GODFLESH. Tracks like ‘Acolyte’ and ‘Something to Hate’, show how skillfully ANTISECT mixes hardcore and punk into a poisonous resistance potion; all of which play into the hands of an exciting reunion that for many years can feed the fury of the masses.
CRUST/ANARCHO-PUNK PIONEERS ANTISECT CHANNEL KILLING JOKE ON NEW SONG “ACOLYTE” – REVOLVER (USA)
If there is one thing about reunion albums that is actually a good thing — it’s lowered expectations. Aside from the rare few records by acts like Carcass, Guided by Voices and select others, albums from reunited bands rarely are able to capture the original magic, or reinvent the groups’ sounds to the level where they can change your perception of them.
Here we are, then, 34 years removed from pioneering crust/anarcho-punk band Antisect’s original LP, and the band is about to drop a new full-length, The Rising of the Lights, their second LP overall. Sound the alarm. Raise red flags. Get ready to whisper to your friends, “Avoid at all costs.” Yet one listen to the lead single “Acolyte” and it seems like the standard assumptions regarding reunion albums may not apply here.
“Acolyte” is positively a ripper. With a fist-clenching riff providing its backbone, the new song sounds like it could fit on a latter day Killing Joke record, with all of the swagger and fury that band never really lost in the first place. The vocals, heavily processed toward utter ferocity, also recall Jaz Coleman and fit perfectly with the propulsive nature of the track. Reunions are rarely this fruitful, but of course rules are made to be broken.
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Art n Roll (France)
It is in the old pots that the best soups are made, it seems; and for some, the soup is not served often. Antisect? London’s Anarcho-punks have not released a studio album for 34 years. I do not know the average age of the readership of ‘Art n Roll’, but I suspect that some were not born during the release of “In Darkness There Is No Choice” in 1983 or “Out of the Void” In 1985. The latter was then considered a turning point in the punk movement, adding to its raw energy elements of metal.
Now, Antisect returns in 2017 with “The Rising of the Lights”, a title at first glance positive. Is it the same for content? Not sure given titles like “Welcome to the New Dark Ages” or “Scared to Die”. However, one cannot reproach Antisect for any possible lack of vigor. From the first title, we feel the raw energy mentioned above. The sounds of helicopter and siren put us in a state of emergency, feverishness. The second track, “The Last Ones Standing”, sees the combination of voice and drums for a very effective pounding.
“Weapons of mass distraction” is a long monologue describing the faculty of the human race to self-hypnotize to avoid confronting harsh reality, monologue followed by the rise of a well-punched instrumental track evoking a little rhythmic reminiscence of KMFDM from the 1990s-2000s.
“The Rising of the Lights” offers no downtime, although some passages like the “Welcome to the New Dark Ages” intro offer a lull before the return of the storm. This work is an incantation! It almost seems to me that it is a question of warding off an evil spell. There is also a paradox to name the album “The Rising of the Lights” and to describe an era of darkness ahead. Spell conjured, perhaps, with “Rise the Lights” that sounds like a religious hymn, stripped but tense thanks to the vibrations in the background.
The next piece is a return to black, “Black”, while the last two answer in a way: “Something to hate” / “Scared to die”. Another paradox, Punk’s not dead but scared to die? In any case, do not let yourself be deceived by the melancholy sweetness of the voice at the beginning of the song, because it will fill you with the rage in the hollow of the eardrum without warning.
The image on the cover is very rough foundry; with the name of the group and the album in capitals all sharp edges, shiny steel on a matte and gray metal background. In the middle, the logo of the group, an ‘A’ recalling that of Anarchy, but golden, not red.
Finally, this album is really dense, full of intact punk energy, but also full of elements with different origins. “The Rising of the Lights” is more thoughtful, more mature, than the 80’s Antisect albums, but it keeps the guts and reminds you that even when old, a punk remains an agitator, in every sense of the word. He just has more experience in controlling chaos, that’s all.
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Extreme the Dojo (Japan)
As I see it being somewhat elaborately disappeared in various places, I think I should go through … … It certainly did not understand the songs of the preceding MV and artwork was also … but it was an album, Thinking through, through Thinking Through It is thought that Kasu does it, he bought it properly. As a result, I understand well how much of criticism is manic. The only thing I must admit is that it is certainly disappointing to those who believe in ANTISECT up to “Out From The Void” (1985). Still it is not a fucking shit, it probably would have been said to you a cheesy owlian grandfather. First of all, I do not quite understand the opinion that it has become “Doom”. Lee Dorrian who runs the release source of this work is too famous for the anecdotal that it is puncture that began to listen to BLACK SABBATH type music as a result of ANTISECT, and it is not even a doom that much. The way you call it dark comes true. I do not know the opinion that “I rubbed against the altar”. What is “alternate” in the first place? In the 1980s ANTISECT, which many critics wanted, should have been alternative to the same period of punk rock and even metal. Although ANTISECT may not be doing music like ANTISECT, it may be “ALTERNATE”, but it should be taken for granted. Sell out? In this era, who gets “altar” as a genre is not it (laugh). I also saw the opinion “I became NU metal”, but how much does it cost me, NAUSEA (NY), but I will not use the drummer striking at STONE SOUR! Can you tell the Emperor AMEBIX? That’s why I defended it endlessly, but the explanation with words is quite difficult for the sound of the key. Dave Grohl ‘s subscribing KILLING JOKE into the sabbath feeling after raising it to MOTORHEAD and DISCHAGE, it seems to have finished in a smart way with modern engineering … … criticism is all about Although it may sound like like (laugh), I feel insistent on the composition as an album, and I am living with my career as an engineer by Pete Lyons, and it seems to be properly British puncture. I think that Tataki called 2nd for the first time in 34 years is a fulfilling masterpiece not to be Date.
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – MusikReviews webzine (Germany)
Sometimes they come back … but in this case you do not need to be scared of the eponymous horror stuff, but be happy – at least as a friend of original post-punk from the UK, in such form as on “The Rising Of The Lights’ really are not played anymore, so a high on Cathedral-Lee and Rise Above Records, because they have embraced a dying art and at the same time brought back one of the groups that dominates the whole like no other.
Because of the undeniable importance of ANTISECT for the punk underground of the early 1980s, one does not want to talk about unnecessary reunification (after 30 years!), But whether hosts have been waiting for that is doubtful. In the joint triumvirate with Crass and Amebix, the band tended towards Hardcore and Metal until their very end, balancing out the force on their comeback album with wave overtones.
As uncomfortable as before, ANTISECT … pieces such as ‘The Last Ones Standing’ or ‘Welcome To The New Dark Ages’ (if that’s not a self-reference) seem one-in-one and in terms of their structures because of their stoic nature (these beats!) On the other hand intentionally around the corner thought, without that one would reproach the creators work on the drawing board.
Bearing in mind his broken vocal voice, this mix leaves the impression that Killing Joke (the Grooves) have united with the early Voivod (the weird riffs) to rant against abuses in the world without offering any solutions. “The Rising Of The Lights” is set to nihilistic, uncomfortable and packed into something too long, bulky songs that testify to the audible new swing of old hands. Unprecedented, because no current band sounds like that.
CONCLUSIONS: Re-listening is enjoyable – in ANTISECT’s case, because even if their return to the music business – clearly acting acts are perhaps more important than ever – ultimately not a “hit” like the classic ‘Resist And Exist’ or ‘New Dark’ Ages’ offers, on “The Rising Of The Lights” all the virtues of the pioneers are condensed into a not quite contemporary (apart from the lyrics), but just because of that the more enthralling whole. A dignified age work in every way.
Antisect – The Rising of the Lights – Kamp Arizona (USA)
I’ll admit that I was never very much a part of the punk scene. I was that awkward kid during high school that was either more of a marching band kid or a wall-flower, depending on what day of the week it was. That being said, Antisect’s new album, “The Rising of the Light”, makes me wish I had been a part of the punk scene from the very beginning. Zip up your high top black boots and dust off your knuckle-dusters, because I’ve got something interesting for the anarcho-punk fans out there.
Something that some bands don’t do enough (and that I absolutely love) is when a band slaps down a heavily-instrumental track to set the mood of the album. Although it isn’t “technically” an instrumental track, the first track, titled “Spirit-Level”, does an outstanding job of setting the tone for the rest of the tracks. I won’t spoil anything, but if you don’t want to run home and don your blackest ripped t and some tattered jeans, you’re not listening close enough.
To give you a little background, Antisect is a band based out of London that was formed in 1982 and disbanded in 1987. Yeah, you read that right: The band hasn’t released a new album for over thirty years! I can’t claim to call myself an original Antisect fan (which, I mean, would be physically impossible anyways), but I can definitely say I’m a fan now, because this stuff kicks and it kicks hard. “The Rising of the Lights” taps into the gritty soul-sucking goodness that is true anarcho-punk, and I honestly loved every second of it.
That isn’t to say that I loved it off the bat. It took a listen or two to really start to get into it, and let the lyrics soak in a little bit. I’m glad that I did, because a lot of these songs are a far cry from the “my parents hate me and I wanna kick dogs” that a lot of us may have listened to when we were younger. A part of why I may have loved a lot of this album may have a lot to do with how bad things are politically right now, and several of the tracks on the album tap into that inner rage at just how messed up things can be sometimes in the big bad world. It sounds cheesy, but goddamn if it doesn’t work well.
Pete Lyons, John Bryson, and Joe Burwood absolutely slay it, and I’m honestly left wanting more. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t take 30 years to get another album!