Tonic Breed is a promising thrash/heavy metal band I discovered a month ago with this addictive song, H.E. Antagonist, released as a single in 2021. For those who haven’t heard about the band before, Tonic Breed has started their careers with a long-play album called; On the Brink of Destruction in 2010. Since then, the band released three more singles, Death in Small Doses (Put to Death) (2012), Impossible is Nothing (2012), and H.E. Antagonist (2021), and two long-play albums, Outsold (2014), and Install Memory (2018). Now, please give the song a listen while reading the rest of the article.
H.E. Antagonist is a powerful song that immediately took me to my childhood with its nostalgic traditional thrash metal elements. Obviously, the first four legendary Metallica albums were the main inspiration for this band, which is a great pleasure to hear for a die-hard fan like me. First of all, I’d like to say that it is quite surprising to hear such influences in music from a Norwegian band, cause they usually have their own Scandinavian vibes in their music. This actually isn’t a criticism; I love both American and Scandinavian vibes in music. Once the music is good, it really does not matter which elements they blended.
The overall feeling of the song is magnificent. It is super dynamic, has a very satisfying amount of energy, and flows perfectly all throughout the way. H.E. Antagonist is a real headbanger when you imagine Tonic Breed playing it at a big festival. The composition is not too progressive nor standard, yet I can hear that they wanted to keep things simple this time. Also, they show progressive potential from their instrumentation. As I mentioned above, the Metallica influence in their music has respective boundaries. The band is experienced enough to know this, so they offer us a unique version of it blended with their own character.
When I read about the band a bit before writing my review, I found out that the founder/vocalist/composer/lyricist of the band, Patrik, continues alone with session musicians under the roof of Tonic Breed. Well, it surely is a sad story that a band like them with such potential, promising musical foundation, and respected discography couldn’t find enough support which would keep them together and provide them a future, to be honest. In my book, these Norwegian gentlemen released enough material to be accepted by the metalhead community, whereas to play in every festival in their native countries or around Europe. The band earned our respects with their approach, determination, passion for music, and their story. If Metalhead Community was a label, I’d definitely sign them.