The Agonist

Label: Century Media
Three similar bands: Iwrestledabearonce/Testament/In This Moment
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm
1. You're Coming with Me
2. The Escape
3. Predator & Prayer
4. Anxious Darwinians
5. Panophobia
6. Ideomotor
7. Lonely Solipsist
8. Dead Ocean
9. The Mass of the Earth
10. Everybody Wants You (Dead)
11. Revenge of the Dadaists

Alissa White-Gluz (Vocals)
Danny Marino (Guitars)
Pascal "Paco" Jobin (Guitars)
Chris Kells (Bass, backing vocals)
Simon McKay (Drums, percussions)

Once Only Imagined (2007)
Lullabies for the Dorment Mind (2009)
The Escape (EP 2011)


Christian Donaldson (Producer)
Tue Madsen (Mixing)

Released 4/6-2012
Reviewed 11/11-2012

century media

In tonights review: A shouting maniac called White Gluz, an hour of progressive metalcore and a song called Lonely Solipsist.

Hello, hello and welcome to this review. Now, we start tonights' text by looking at the discography from The Agonist and see that this is a band formed in Canada in 2004. Until today we've seen two albums and an Ep being released before 'Prisoners' and now we've come to the third full length album and I've taken it for some spins in my iTunes,

This album begins with a roaring sound similar to the one from a chainsaw as soon as a short and acoustic intro runs to an end. The verses goes as crazy as a lion that's been teased for two and a half hour by annoying kids while being bugged by a nail in the pawn and when we reach the choruses a clear sung female voice can be heard in the growling which gives the music more flavors, but the strange thing is that these female vocals aren't something done by a guest womiscian, but vocalist White Gluz real voice (did I mention the first name is Alissa?) and the contrast to the vocals she does in the verses it's quite… disappointing that she persist on growling most of the album. The guitars are backed with rage and speed in most of the album and especially in the choruses.

The third song is called Predaot & Prayer and actually it wouldn't surprise me if the song is a biographic work as Alissa sounds pretty much like some sort of gigantic worm creature that's on a mission to eat the juicy brain substance of human beings. She's the predator, while we're doing prayers for survival. The songs begins with a child choir singing "we hear you we don't care", which probably means they hear the worm creature but don't care… sigh… naive humans, now they'll be eaten by Alissa.

The music is driven by insane drums, often going on like wild cats fighting in a crazy tempo and probably they've recruited an octopus to handle the drums considering how the drums keep clattering. Every now and then, when they lower the beat on the drumming (which is actually only done in Ideomot and Dead Ocean), the album becomes something completely different as the music is harmonized and more controlled somehow. The problem with the drums are how they give this stressed and unsettled feeling when you listen to the music - it's not that they're bad but just very hard, heavy and fast and it's not always the rest of the band keeps up with it. In fact, the band tries the best to do something to match the sound of the drums but they're failing in every attempt - like when they tries to merge some short guitar solos or something in to the music, or the schizophrenic vocals. I think the whole albums let's everything go a bit all over the place, kind of like a car with terrible understeering while it also suffers from a critical oversteer. I'm guessing it's their whole idea to sound like this, but it's not very comfortable to hear and I don't think many people thinks it's interesting to hear such an unsettled album like this. A few songs works fine, but 58 1/2 minutes of it? That's a bit like having a spa on a construction site - simply counterproductive

Quality wise we have some decent songs in Dead Ocean, Revenge of The Dadaists and Panaphobia while Lonely Solipsis and a few others make up the less attractive part. Most of the songs, though, are either too good to be bad or too bad to be good, depending on if you have a negative or positive view on life.

I think the performance of 'Prisoners' leaves a bit to wish for without making you disappointed. It's decent but without special equipments and extras added to the package and this makes me feel the whole product is unnecessary and kind of annoying. I'm not complaining about how the keep changes the tempo all the time and such things, but you can just hear it in tracks like Dead Ocean when they scale it down and goes to the basics that it just sounds so much better and is more comfortable to hear. No schizophrenic vocal changes, no guitar solos merged in the music and no insane drums - just pure music. Agoinist without the extra value additions. I'm not saying that it's how they should sound all the time but when the songs are the way they are and then comes to something sounding like that it's only doing good.

So let's end this review with a Hallowed top tip: if you like chaotic music with very little structure and a mostly uncontrolled feeling you'll probably find 'Prisoners' by The Agonist a great album. If you on the other hand wants more controll in your life - buy a car!



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