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The Agonist: Days Before the World Wept

Canadian extreme metallers The Agonist are back with a five song EP titled Days Before the World Wept. This is the band's first output since 2019's Orphans, which was well received amongst fans for being an eclectic and adventurous album and this newest release continues down that same path, with some added technicality and ferocity.

Most people probably still know The Agonist as Alissa White-Gluz's former band, and that's a shame. I suppose it's fine to have a preference in the vocal department, but this is a much more interesting and daring band now than they ever were with Alissa holding the mic. Vicky Psarakis has certainly come into her own, with her nasty snarls and melodic church choir-like cleans delivering the goods all over "DBtWW". Her mid range croon (featured heavily in the song "Resurrection"} isn't really my cup of tea, but on both extreme ends she's quite excellent, and that's what you'll be hearing more of here anyways.

So, with the ever important topic of "replacement vocalist performance" out of the way, onto the music itself. This is a pretty damn dense and technical 5 song assault, with riffs that twist and turn all over the place and shift from a heavy melodic death metal groove to straight up black metal blasts and back again in an instant. The guitar solos are frequent and virtuosic, as the band have come to be known for as well. The overall tone of everything is pretty damn bleak and dark, too. The riffing and melodies are often accompanied by layers of Vicky's angelic wails, and it just sounds completely apocalyptic. Visions of crying angels falling from the skies as the earth cracks open beneath them and swallows every last speck of hope is a good mental picture to conjure if you want some sort of explanation of how tracks like "Remnants in Time" and the title track sound at times. Plenty of acts do (and have been doing for the past 20 years or so) the whole beauty and beast vocal combo, but it's different here. The beast part is still plenty beastly, but the beauty part has this haunting and defiled quality about it that is unsettling and, frankly, pretty awesome.

Despite the aforementioned "Resurrection" being the weakest track here, there's still plenty of cool riffs and interesting stuff to be had there to make it skippable. With only one song out of 5 that isn't great, Days Before the World Wept is a pretty fantastic listen for fans of The Agonist as well as the unconverted. It's a dark, propulsive, and energetic dive into some truly inspired extreme progressive metal. And it's as fun as the apocalypse is ever going to be.

Track Listing:
1. Remnants in Time
2. Immaculate Deception
3. Resurrection
4. Feast on the Living
5. Days Before the World Wept

Added: March 9th 2022
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 672
Language: english

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