Monday, March 3, 2014

"Dark Pantheons" by Agiel

From the angriest City east of Buffalo, but still west of New York City, and not really all that close to Toronto, or Syracuse: ROCHESTER comes Agiel. (I have spent a couple fun, but non-consecutive days in Rochester.)

They are a band that have outgrown their roots as a brutal death metal/grindcore band and have become a symphonic death metal band. Their first album, Dark Pantheons Will Reign Again, was released in 2002 and the world is still waiting for a proper follow up.

For this EP release, the band has chosen a new direction for their music and have revisited the material from their debut LP. They have selected five tracks to re-record for their new sound. They are still aggressive, angry, and over the top, but now they also include some violins and other stringed instrumetns.

I do not believe they are Amerks fans.
In the realm of death metal, imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery, but it's the first step in making a career for oneself.

Agiel steps outside the normal conventions of death metal and it's very refreshing. The vocals, though growled, are intelligible.

The drums, well, those pretty much stick to the American Death metal conventions. Thundering double bass drum blast beats, and china bowl breakdowns galore.

The guitars are a bit genre defying. Though very heavy, like Iron Maiden, they do not always focus on chord progressions or even single note lines, but melody lines. This is especially prominent in the measures between the vocals.

The most jarring defying of convention is the horns, the violins, and the keyboards. Think of all of the way that Metallica's S&M failed, and this is where Agiel succeeds with the symphonic sounds.

The strings and synths never fight the guitars or the vocals, but instead create a layer of sound that another guitar or vocalist never could.

Release: 2/28/14
Genre: Metal, Symphonic Death Metal
Label: Deepsend Records
Run time: 18:32
Facebook link

1) Dark Pantheons
2) Deeds Rendered Upon The Flesh
3) The Awakening
4) Serpent Masquerade
5) Andromeda

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