After the shocking announcement that Angela Gossow stepped down as vocalist for Arch Enemy and Alissa White-Gluz left The Agonist and joined Arch Enemy… We soon found out that The Agonist also had a new vocalist and a new album on the way.
Everybody, meet Vicky Psarakis.
And meet the new and improved Agonist.
In a time where Metalcore and some of Metal’s elite has been going through major changes and many of the genre’s top leaders have succumbed to the business, or personal issues; The Agonist have regrouped and have released an album that definitely rivals some of the now classics of the last 15 years.
This vocalist switch has worked out amazingly for both parties and have only improved Arch Enemy and The Agonist.
You can hear the focus and drive in the music. They had a point to make and it’s clear: The Agonist want to be taken seriously.
Every song is good. Damn good. The songs are heavy, precise, catchy, straight forward yet slightly technical in the right ways. The solos are melodic and memorable. The drums rip. The production is awesome.
The clean vocals are never overdone, in my view. They also sound better than Alissa’s. It’s very true. Vicky’s growly screams are spot on. There’s even some occasional mid-range and high screams which are a nice diverse touch. I’m a fan.
Do I have any favorite tracks? Well I like that the album starts off in your face with “Gates of Horn and Ivory”. It more than sets the tone for the relentless ass kicking you’re going to get.
“Faceless Messenger” sticks out to me as well. I like that the 1st verse has the spaced out riff and is slightly slower in tempo, but then in the 2nd verse it kicks up to a faster tempo. Pit action! This song also showcases Vicky’s vocals well. The ending is great too.
“A Necessary Evil” is one of those tracks that showcases how to do Metalcore, right. The Melodic Death Metal touches are all over this track. It’s very thrashy and fast, and the clean vocals seemingly fit very well over it. Certainly a highlight.
“Disconnect Me” is another track of what to do right. Also very thrashy and fast, even faster than “A Necessary Evil”.
“The Perfect Embodiment” is essentially a hard rock song, and after hearing some of Halestorm’s new album… they could take some cues on how to mix being hard rock and melodic without sounding like you want to tour with Taylor Swift (not knocking Taylor, but, you know…)
“A Gentle Disease” is a beautiful, moody, almost haunting acoustic track which is a nice change of pace in the album, yet takes away from absolutely nothing. There is diversity in this album, even without this track. But having it makes it that much better.
All in all, truthfully, if you are an Arch Enemy fan but didn’t know much about The Agonist; Now is the time to check this band out. They’re only going to get better and bigger. If you’ve been an Agonist fan, I can’t imagine that you’d stop now.
This album, Eye of Providence, is already a top 10 contender of 2015 in my book. I see this becoming a constant for future releases, and it’s due to the fire that lit under them for this one. I’m displeased that I missed The Agonist play here in Vegas recently at The Adrenaline due to my new Graveyard work schedule that I had just started.
But please do come back! I won’t miss it next time!