Review for Tarsonis – “The Fall of Antiga Prime”

Review submitted by Zephyrus

There exist several genres in metal, such as Viking Metal, which are based around a lyrical concept, while the musical component is often variable. Therefore, you cannot determine the type of sound being generated by Tarsonis until you have heard their debut EP, The Fall of Antiga Prime. I gave this quadruple assault its first listen knowing nothing beyond its moniker as a “StarCraft Metal” band. For those of you out of the loop, StarCraft is a popular computer strategy game similar to Rise of Nations and Age of Empires, with a major difference being that it’s set in the distant future, where Terrans (humans) vie in galactic warfare with other sentient species, including the hideous “Zergs”. So violent a context is a fitting foundation for a metal band’s lyrical theme.
Now let’s explore how the music figures into so unique an idea. A futuristic sound-scape is set by synthetic drum rhythms, digitally-distorted guitars, and atmospheric vocals which range from hardcore growls to the blackest shrieks. Perhaps a tad overdriven, but they certainly accomplish the thematic aim. Bringing it all together, these Mainers forge a punishing style of black metal with splashes of death metal and grindcore. It is a style not far removed from Anaal Nathrakh. In fact, the song “Waste Deep in Zerg Frag” sounds like it came straight off The Codex Necro. For those of you familiar with that album, you can expect a barrage of steady, fast riffing, gratuitous blast-beats and a transcendent aura of violence.
Now this is not at all a copy of the aforementioned British duo. Tarsonis spice up their formula with spacey, melodic solos, storm-blown vocals and intros of humorously nostalgic samples from StarCraft cut-scenes. Catchiness, atmosphere, pure aggression, and intriguing thematic elements combine to create an extended-play worth the attention of fans of all-guns-blazing metal, especially the ones who have devoted a tad too many hours of their lives to “building additional pylons.”
For a full taste of Tarsonis’ offerings, check out Tarsonis @ Myspace, and for your viewing pleasure, the band has created the following music video for “Wrath of the Ultralisk”.
Tarsonis is one of a handful projects involving Ryan Page of the University of Maine, with whom I have conducted a recent interview to be premiering hopefully in the next few days.

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