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To me it sounds like a fairly hodge-podge mix of the big 4; there’s some of those Slayer style harmonies, a bit of Megadeth in the stop start riffing, a pinch of Metallica in the catchy melodies, and, er, probably some Anthrax in most of the bad parts of the album. It’s not the greatest thing ever but some of the songs are pretty cool. "Mass Manipulation" is a cool song with lots of Megadeth worship in the fast, crunching riffs, "Deadly Legacy" with it’s speed metal intro and simple, fast and enjoyable riffing- all with a rather cool chorus tacked on in there, while "Storm of the Apocalypse" has a good time ripping off "Creeping Death"’s intro before kicking into some rather cool thrashing verses. It’s all supported by a decent enough vocalist and a competent rhythm section. You could say it ticks all the boxes for a competent if not outstanding band; decent guitarists, fairly faceless drummer and bassist, vocalist that doesn’t really get in the way of the songs.
I dunno, I doubt these guys were going for some super complex, avant-garde thrash. I imagine they just wanted to write stuff that was catchy, heavy and had some cool riffs, so it’s hard to really downrate them for not pulling out something strange or trying really hard to distinguish themselves. They knew what their goal was, they went for it and they did a decent enough job at it. Yeah, this album isn’t a Dark Angel style riff fest and it’s not as catchy as Ride the Lightning, but it’s fairly fast and fairly catchy, full of energy and enjoyable enough. I guess the worst thing about this album is that like most other smaller tier thrash bands the lead guitarist is rather terrible; succumbing to the usual temptations of whammy bar and pinch harmonic abuse. It’s some seriously forgettable stuff, which is a shame as the rhythm guitarist is pretty tight, even mixing up the fairly simple riffing with some surprising odd time riffs here and there ("Shadow of Fear").
Overall this is a simple and decent enough thrash record which doesn’t really distinguish itself from the pack but is still an enjoyable record that goes well with beer and some good times. Not worth paying $200 for on ebay or anything, but if you happen to see it cheap anywhere then picking it up wouldn’t be a bad idea.
It was only a matter of time before fiery 'ol thrash would evolve into an advanced lifeform that didn't stray too far from its primordial rust, something for the thinker's musical union to sink bicuspids into. That meal came prepared somewhere around '87 even though Mustaine and the energizer bunnies in Watchtower had seen through the style's tangled mess about two years earlier, and instead of burdening it with a handle that already had a heated love/hate relationship with rock fans, someone came up with the pretentiously clinical caption of technical thrash. It stuck, bands like Testament, Forbidden, and a hundred others strove to climb above and beyond what Agent Steel, Razor and the German alliance had built with blood and grime, and thus a new breed finds its foothold. Some still called it progressive anyway.
Silence Studios does a capital job washing the muck from the score and bringing this sub-style's focal point into view: instrumentation. Like a lot of tech thrash, the orphan release from this Swedish five-piece has circumvented the bulwark of fuzz earlier thrash framed its sound around, being pretty scrubbed and sterile, something like what Metallica had just done and Xentrix will do in about a year. Unfortunately, down the drainpipe along with the dirt went a few layers of intensity and some of the style's primal spirit, and is a valid reason why bands treading this new ground of magnitude failed to thrill the crap out of me.
But even without a production with bristles, Agony have the ability to scorch.
Side openers "Storm of the Apocalypse" and "Night of the Emperor" are fraught with anxiety, the former shifting motion a bit more than the brawnier latter, meanwhile gas-powered album closer "Deadly Legacy" gloms the best of both, hitching a ride on a bullet train that pulls in chugging one minute, then corkscrews dramatically the next, and it's apparent why they reserved this for the kicker. Remaining songs like "Mass Manipulation" and "Shadow of Fear" aren't bad though, a little more characterless to accompany their less frothy visage, and catchy, stuck-in-head riffs apparently aren't growing on trees in the band's area. Solos are better than average while the vox is mill-runner ordinary, lightly gruff and a tad lower to squeeze onto the same stalled escalator with so many others.
Never mentioned like Phantom, Acrophet, and Powersurge, but worth a handful of listens. At the very least you could find one or two songs that may tickle your pickle.