The Agonist - Once Only Imagined Review
Original Author: The Uncreator
Artist: The Agonist (Formerly The Tempest)
Album: Once Only Imagined
02. Rise And Fall
03. Born Dead, Buried Alive
04. Take A Bow
05. Trophy Kill
06. Business Suits, Combat Boots
08. Memento Mori
09. Void Of Sympathy
11. Forget Tomorrow
Ok, first off. I wouldn't really call this a Melodic Death Metal band, or a Metalcore, they are somewhere in between, and when it comes to the Metalcore, there is a stronger emphasis on the "Metal" part. Anyway, that being said, this album is a surprisingly strong debut from The Agonist, With fast guitars and drums, politically and economically driven lyrics, with Alissa-White's amazing screams and growls to speak its voice.
While not the most original or most incredible, they aren't meant to be. They are just heavy, and crush out some riffs you can just headbang to. Throughout the album, its varies between fast legato riffs and big dissonant and abstract sounding chords in the choruses (which sadly, shows too much of a formula), And the solo's, although very few are still enough to catch your ear, and your mind. Showing a strong sense of melody AND technique(The solo in the song Rise And Fall is one to check out )
I'll be dead honest and say that this was more than lost in the mix, Although there are the occasions near the end of the album where it does show quite clearly, Which makes me wonder if there was a bass in the previous songs at all . Anyway, when it does show up, it is quite good, especially when its just the playing, it has a very John Myung tone to it.
Perhaps something that makes this album heavier in a very subtle and effective way, the drumwork throughout the album is very solid and consistent, which is good and bad. It means you know that the drumming will be pretty damn awesome throughout the album, BUT, it also means it wont change much either. Normally I would have given it a lower rating, But I'm never so harsh on a bands Debut album, Cause no band finds the sound they want on the very first album, and never changes it at least a little throughout there next releases.
The reason I bought this album, Alissa-White's vocals are just intoxicating, her screams and growls at least. Sticking mostly to the mid to high range of screams for the majority of the album, her tone and dynamic is just awesome, Going from the banshee high screams similar to Black Dahlia Murder, and even hitting the lows that are on par with most male vocalists, even putting a lot of them below her. I know, some of you automatically think People give female vocalists good ratings cause they are female, BUT, while I love her growls and screams, the biggest flaw on the album (And its a tad bit more than minor) is her clean vocals, they just didnt click with me. They whine a little more than I like when she does her harmonies, But Im getting used to it (still not liking though). It just seems like she doesnt finish enunciating words, and the tone isn't quite to my liking.....at all.
Alissa-White, also writing the lyrics for the album, Is clearly a very outspoken person when it comes to current world events, and politics. And its not the senseless babble that seems comes out of a lot of bands (to me at least), it actually seems well thought out and processed, Albeit sometimes a little too "I'll do this for all the lyrics" kinda thing. Id post examples, But I cant find them anywhere on the net, and I dont have enough time to type them up right now, So at a later time, I shall edit this spot.
Although a little too obvious in its flaws, I still find the overall album fun to listen to and enjoy while im just driving down the road. If you just want an album to occupy some time, with some cool riffs, awesome screams and growls, then this should do it for ya. If your looking for something extremely new and fresh, this might not be your cup of tea.