Total Time: 42:56
Label: Napalm Records
The extreme metallers THE AGONIST from Canada are returning with their sixth effort, which is one of the most extreme, but also the most melodic one as well. They still stay in their own distinguished style, the Melodic Death metal, but this time they are introducing to us more metalcore elements.
The lineup is Danny Marino and Pascal Jobin on guitars, Simon McCay on drums, Chris Kells on bass and the amazing Greek-American Vicky Psarrakis on vocals, who recently stated that her influences vary from Daniel Gildenlow, Anneke of The Gathering, Mikael Stanne to Mikael Akerfeldt and the album that influenced her most is Pain Of Salvation’s “Be”. Vicky has a beautiful melodic voice with terrific quality and she can also sing equally good, using Death Metal growls/screams. On this album she is using both voices(or should we say more than two, as she is trying out new things as well).
The songs continue in the same vein that one would expect from that band. The differences are that we find some metalcore influences a little more often now. Their speed is generally quite fast, with lots of screams from Vicky, while hearing melodic guitars and mini solos, groovy rhythms, or more progressive riffs like on the song “The Killing I” on the background. On some other times, the tempo drops significantly and there we can see some new elements added to their sound, which might give them a new identity, or row what they already have bigger. In “Blood as My Guide,” we can hear a mix of Metalcore elements, with a folk chorus, and Vicky trying out some strange things with her vocals. This track, at the same time has some Prog elements, a very nice solo, is being played out in both faster and slower tempo at times, and combines many different kinds of Metal, including the use of Greek in the lyrics (!).”Cold” reveals their most atmospheric side, while also introducing many modern melo-core elements. “Orphans” is also worthy of mention, as it is one of their highlights, with lower tempo again and some Prog elements, with Vicky using mostly clear vocal lines, but not only, as there are a lot of mainstream moments too. The album also shares some mediocre moments, though not necessarily bad ones, and many more, where speed is definitely higher, but with melody in them most of the times.
Overall, “Oprhans” is on the Melodeath trails, with Metalcore elements being definitely here. If we could make a note to remember, that would be that “The Agonist” seems to find the identity they need when they are slowing down on speed, so it makes sense for us to ask for a little more of that.
Today the skies are crying … Today the blood is falling like rain…
Related Link: THE AGONIST- Official Page