Author Archives: David

The Agonist – The Eye Of Providence

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The remaining band members of The Agonist seem a bit lost without Alissa White-Gluz. At least that’s what I thought when I heard their new album The Eye Of Providence for the first time. I have to admit, that there are some interesting riffs on the new album, the pounding drums are fine as well and the new singer Vicky Psarakis definitely knows how to cast her magic spell on you with her brilliant voice. But somehow it’s not only the vocals that have changed… It seems as if the whole line up is different on this record.

Let me explain what I mean: As mentioned in the beginning, there are indeed some really cool riffs on The Eye Of Providence (e.g. Gates Of Horn And Ivory, Faceless Messenger, Perpetual Notion, Follow The Crossed Line). However, I do feel quite a lack of innovation throughout the whole album. The riffs are often quite boring, repetitive and even pop-like. And many times, the guitars only sound like some sort of background noise, especially during Vicky’s choruses. Maybe they did that on purpose in order to be able to show off her awesome voice…

Apart from the riffs themselves, the structure of the songs is quite different on the new The Agonist album. Compared to the previous albums, the song structures have been simplified as well. The Agonist have become a bit less progressive and are now sticking a bit more to the typical verse-bridge-chorus structure. Since this is a matter of taste, I’m not going to comment on whether that is a positive or a negative change.

Another thing that has changed is the sound of the band as a whole. Not only has the percentage of the clean vocals been upped a lot, also the guitars sound a bit more polished. I haven’t checked out the old stuff especially for the purpose of this review, but I think I remember the guitar sound to be a bit more aggressive and tuned down a bit more.

I tip my hat to Vicky though. She truly has an amazing voice and can easily poison your heart with her soulful clean vocals. She also does know how to scream and growl but Vicky’s unclean vocals can’t compare to Alissa’s, which might just be the reason why there’s more clean vocals on this new The Agonist album. This will probably also disappoint one or the other fan.

All in all I can’t say that The Eye Of Providence is a bad album! It can actually get you going at some points. However, the points that I mentioned in the article will probably disappoint old school fans. But maybe they changed with the goal to attract a new audience… It’s clear that this album is definitely more suitable for the masses.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urcLhku0I7Y]

This review was written by our Freelancer David from The Metal Diplomat!

Ensiferum – One Man Army

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I first saw Ensiferum when they did a support gig for Children Of Bodom on the 12th of May 2011 in Luxembourg’s Rockhal and I was enthralled right from the start. Never before had I seen a support act, that was so full of infectious energy. They blew me away as soon as they played their first notes. In the end I liked Ensiferum thousand times more than the actual headliner of that evening. After that show I immediately got their whole discography. Of course, a few months ago, I was quite stoked when I learned that one of my favorite Finnish bands would soon come up with a new record.

Blown away – that’s also the keyword for Ensiferum‘s new album, called One Man Army. And let me tell you: You ARE going to get blown away throughout the eleven songs on this record. After a slightly mystical visionary intro, the Fins set the levelling rod for the album with the track Axe Of Judgement, which, with its frenetic double bass and fast monumental guitar melodies, rushes through the air in order to split the next best hostile skull. If you don’t get blown away by this track, then you’re either deaf or completely insusceptible to music.

That being said, that’s the manner in which the next tracks of this epic album will continue. You can find other brilliant examples of this raging riffing and drumming in the title track or in the surprisingly different, yet awesome song Two Of Spades. However, in between all the frenzy, the guys always give you a chance to rest and have a good mead with atmospheric, folk infused interludes, like Burden Of The Fallen or with mid-tempo tracks like Warrior Without A War. Moreover there are also one or the other parts that will probably make you grin.

On One Man Army, Ensiferum does what the band does best: write songs with wonderful melodies, that are accompanied by beautiful harmonies, a majestic choir and / or by synthesizer accents. These also take their part in the “blow you away” effect. Sometimes they can actually make you feel the northern winds on your skin and make you smell the blood soaked sea as you tag along with your friends in a “Siegreicher Marsch”. Oh wait… no, that was another band…

Ensiferum is categorized as a folk infused melodic death metal band. Which is 100% accurate. However, I’d say that the term epic metal would fit perfectly as well, because if you had to describe the new Ensiferum album in one word it would be: epic!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv0CRm94ObE]
This review was written by our Freelancer David from The Metal Diplomat!