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Uninspired, lacking direction - 56%

Drowned, December 17th, 2005

Christ Agony here with their second demo effort. It's strange, because I never really thought of this band to play black metal (as stated on the page). I always associated them more with standard death metal that bordered on the BM genre only due to the lyrical themes. To add to that, this tape was released by Carnage Records and I can't think of anything on that label that wasn't death metal or some thrashy hybrid of it... In any case, Christ Agony are a Polish band that I payed very little attention to throughout the years. I think I only heard a single song off of on of their early albums, and "Epitaph of Christ" is indeed the only physical material I own from them. Being a big fan of Polish metal (I was born there), sometimes I wonder why I don't have more from these guys; but once I remember how boring this demo is, the reason for avoiding Christ Agony becomes pretty obvious...

"Epitaph of Christ" features four lengthy tracks of slow black/death metal that amount to a real snoozefest. The songs drag on forever, especially the 8:00 minute monstrosity that is "Unvirtue Diabolical". That one is filled to the brim with the same repetitive, chunky riffs and at one point in the song it really seems like there's no end in sight. It wouldn't be so bad if the melodies weren't so damn upbeat and actually went somewhere, rather than blindly circling around like donkeys with their heads cut off. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, they take a cheesy speed metal riff that sounds exactly like the one used on Megadeth's "In My Darkest Hour" and try to hopelessly fit it in with the "black metal" that they have going on here. What the fuck?!

After about three hours, track 1 finally ends and "Faithless" enters the picture on a more positive note. It begins with an extremely heavy, My Dying Bride-like doom riff along with some clean chanting vocals overtop. Unfortunately, the boredom makes a quick comeback as the music again returns to cheesy, slow-tempo death metal for the remainder of the song. The shitty guitar solo towards the end only makes things worse, as you shake your head in pity. "Necro'no'manticism" is a similar story. It starts off good, actually offering a series of catchy mid-tempo thrash riffs at one point; but guess what? The band again decided to make this song nearly 7:00 minutes long, but without any epic ideas to back it up. It ends on yet another bland note.

That brings me to "Prophetical Part III", which is the only all-around good song on the tape. It's faster, heavier and the guitar leads sound like they were actually thought through this time. Imagine that! The bass is very prominent on this track - I love it. Later, the tempo slows down again but this time Christ Agony manages to keep it together by playing some dark, Greek-style melodic riffs until the very end.

While the last song is pretty cool, the rest of this demo just doesn't deliver. The first 75% of it is mediocre at best, and the sloppy drumming, weak growling vocals and cheesy black metal guitar tone do nothing to improve that. Avoid.