Genre/Influences: Electro-industrial, EBM, IDM.
Format: Digital, CD.
Background/Info: John R. Mirland has been –and still is, involved with multiple music projects. I once discovered him with the electro-minimal project Holm/Mirland, but of course also together with Claus Larsen as Am Tierpark and Mirland/Larsen while he’s now also busy under the Negant moniker and the band Bitter Distrust. He also moved on releasing new productions under his own name, “Antagonist” having been released in 2018 (!). The work has been introduced as an EP while it rather looks as a good-old mini-album featuring six cuts.
Content: John R. Mirland is a musician with multiple ‘sonic faces’. He can write the finest pop melodies or experiment with pure electronic-minimalism, but he now again transposes himself into a kind of industrial ogre. “Antagonist” takes off with a subtle fusion between EBM bass lines and harder, industrial kicks, but quite progressively the work starts to become harsher and definitely electro-industrial like. The songs feature a few spoken samplings and electronic treatments like reminding us of the artist’s love for electronics;
+ + + : The opening song “Disappointment” is a brilliant piece of electro-industrial music carried by a solid bassline. I like the way this song evolves towards a harsher final. Quite progressively the songs get harder and more industrial wise. But there’s always a subtle touch to achieve the songs and that’s what I also like at the hard-banging “Cleanse” and “Antagonist”. The last cut is more experimental, but here again the final part of the song became harder and more industrial-driven.
– – – : “Antagonist” is a fully enjoyable release, but just missing an absolute hit!
Conclusion: Mirland confirms to feel comfortable with different genres, but the common point remains the electronic basis. “Antagonist” probably is one of the artist’s hardest productions ever released!
Best songs: “Disappointment”, “Cleanse”, “Antagonist”, “Guillotine”.