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. Listen below.
Cody Davis is staying distracted on Twitter.