Eye of Providence by The Agonist
The Agonist has been a reckoning force in Melodic Death Metal since 2004, with several excellent albums and daring sounds. They prevail with diverse and hardcore music, ranging from melodic to all out thrashing Metal. I’ve enjoyed this band off and on since 2010, when the dynamic and talented Alissa White-Gluz fronted the band. When she announced she was replacing Angela Gossow in the Swedish Melodeth band Arch Enemy, it was clear she couldn’t balance too popular bands at once. The Agonist however prevailed on without her, picking up long time friend Vicky Psarakis as their new vocalist. I did not foresee The Agonist successfully continuing on without Alissa, no doubt due to my personal connection with the vocalist, but on their new album I am slowly convinced.
“The Eye of Providence” is just like previous albums from The Agonist, with new flavors and no doubt a heavier sound. It is the band matured and refined into a heavier more aggressive band, while keeping the melodic breakdowns they exhibited in previous tracks. The guitars are also magnified 100x to a stellar speed and technical quality that sets this band above other bands in their genre. The guitars are loud, dynamic, and absolutely crazy in such a well executed way. Every part is turned up and blended into this hard to grasp chaos, and I absolutely love it. The hard to grasp aspects of the album are good aspects, but took awhile to get my head around It took awhile to warm up to Vicky’s style, but to be absolutely honest the difference of style between the old vocals and news ones isn’t too drastic. There’s just so much chaos and style exploding in the album, it takes around three listens to hone in on all the good parts. The old albums and “The Eye of Providence” aren’t too far apart in sound, but miles apart in maturity.
I found the first couple albums from The Agonist seemed to have an “Emo” quality that appealed more to teens than to the typical Metal fan. “The Eye of Providence” is certainly not anything you can compare to breakup emo bands like Pierce the Veil and Black Veil Brides. Songs like My Witness Your Victim, I Endeavor, and A Necessary Evil prove the band has come a long way and is in a league of their own. Each track is powerful, concise, and well versed in song structure and brilliant lyrics. All of the songs standout on “The Eye of Providence” because of their consistent theme and hard work put into every track. I also must commend them for the epic and dark bass solo on A Gentle Disease, it sets this album apart from other hardcore releases even more. All of these characteristics of the album remind me why I love this band and why The Agonist will continue to grow.
Album Rating 7/10- I really enjoyed the album and all the aspects that made this a really unique album, but found it a little weak in some areas. I will most likely forget this album later in the year, because there are so much more powerful albums to come in 2015.