Nealix is the solo project of guitarist Chris Neal from post-rock/metal band Solars. On December 10th, 2021 he released his debut album of the project entitled Destinations. An instrumental story around the 5 stages of grief. It was simply stunning.
Now, on October 7th, Nealix returns with a 4-track EP called The Antagonist. A story of working with someone who comes into your place of work and is extremely toxic and the negativity this brings to the environment you used to enjoy being in.
Similar to Destinations, your connection to this EP is going to be stronger should you have lived the experience that the story is expressing. That being said, such is the talent of Chris Neal, that anyone and everyone can connect to and feel what is being said here. All through the incredible medium of instrumental post-rock.
Yes, once again, Nealix has produced a record that can simply be called mind-blowing. A work of genius that brings so many feelings to the surface across its runtime. Ignore the 4-track length, this is not a short EP and that’s before you take into account the exhaustive nature of such an electrifying journey.
A high is hit immediately with the stunning opening track, Versions. A moody beat kicks into heavier instrumentation, the guitars really delivering the punch. The power of this track building in intensity until it breaks in the most spectacular of ways. Throughout, you get the impression of tension increasing and the mood darkening.
Something present in the following Belligerence too. Where the increase in pace, cleaner guitar parts, melodic breaks and thumping beat make the mind race along, hitting pockets of peace but never quite feeling relaxed.
Misanthropy, meaning a ‘dislike of humankind’ is the EP’s most unique sounding track, thanks to the bubbly and eerie melody. A track that encompasses the exhaustive nature of having to deal with people’s bullshit. That’s putting it bluntly but it’s something that Nealix really manages to convey. Especially as it gets harder, heavier and more intense. Fury beginning to replace apathy.
Which brings us to the end and the cherry on top that is Alleviation. Where moving melodies and hearty rhythm help the track evolve. Deeper and heavier post-rock intensity to captivating melodic highs and lows, it’s a mental journey, putting the listener in an exhaustive trance, the runtime just flying by in a blur of starry-eyed wonder.
Nealix – The Antagonist Full Track Listing:
Nealix – The Antagonist (Self Released)
The Final Score - 9.5/10