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And Despite their Name, They're Awesome - 90%

Cloud0129, November 1st, 2012

This is the only album I currently own, but is it's an amazing listen. For the past week that I've owned this album, I forgot that I owned more brutal, technical stuff like Suffocation and Hypocrisy. While this band is not super brutal and only somewhat technical, they're far catchier and melodic than most of the "trv" (Fuck that word) death metal bands that I've heard so far.

Alissa White-Gluz is the most-talked about member of this band, and for good reason - she's beautiful and she's the vocalist of the band. She is also perhaps the best vocalist in her genre. The vocals are mid-ranged (screaming) and low (death grunts and growls) and she does clean singing. The screams that she delivers have power, but she has her own sound and she sounds nothing like Arch Enemy' s Angela Gosscow despite both being female vocalists in a melodeath band. Oh, and she also does the clean singing, which I mentioned earlier, but unlike most bands, her clean singing is actually better than her already superb screaming. Her singing is absolutely angelic and I actually found myself liking the songs where she does her clean singing more than where she does her screaming, such as in the song Anxious Darwinians. This song is by far her shining moment on this album.

The other members are nothing to joke about either - Guitar riffs are fun and don't detract from the music while still being true to both of the genres that this band plays. Solos aren't all that common in this album, but goddamn, they're really fun and memorable when they do them, especially the one in the last two minutes of the song, Ideomotor. They're technical for metalcore standards and possibly even likeable for melodic death metal standards. Lead Guitarist Danny Marino sure knows how to shred at the young age of twenty-four. Drumming is spot on as well. Simon McKay happens to be from a traditional melodeath band before (Endast) and he hasn't slowed down. I do wish he would slow down a little in the softer parts of the album.

This is honestly better than most of the modern -core bands today, and even beats most of the US ones. Still, they're a young band, and they can still mature into one of the best bands from Canada and hopefully evolve playing technical melodeath.

I'll Keep this 10 More Years - 90%

Svartarkraka Lopterfinginn, October 27th, 2012

Third album and this guys continue giving the extra, since Once Only Imagined The Agonist has always fulfill their destiny with music, evolving in every aspect and characteristic from songwriting to the production. This work, Prisoners, could be call their magnus opus to date. The first thing I want to make notice of is the exploration that Alissa does on her vocal lines, making every song a change from the previous, she arranges to make a very melodic voice and, out from nowhere, make some killing harsh vocals, like in the song The Mass of the Earth or those pain screams in Everybody Wants You (Dead).

Secondly, the guitar riffs make every song memorable, from those cut riffs in Everybody Wants You (Dead) to the brutal ones in You're Coming With Me. We can't forget about those memorable solos that make all songs sticky. Furthermore I had never heard so good bass lines in a previous work of these musicians, the bass lines are flawless and certainly make that all the instruments (even the voice) follow the rhythm that the bass can establish. For the drums I have one word: Brutal.

The only thing that I founded not so interesting it's the final song, Revenge of the Dadaists, well it's good to explore poetic movements but the composition of the song it's not so good at all. On the other hand, the ideas and themes of these album are very good and the order of the songs it's almost the same, just when you think the album it's getting a bit boring this song Ideomotor appears but at the end Revenge of the Dadaists doesn't exactly fits.

In conclusion, they are growing.

Musical Evolution - 99%

Hellzora, July 7th, 2012

To begin this review I want to say that this is my first and that english is not my first language so I hope you get everything I want to say! I first heard of The Agonist with their song thank you pain from 2009 Lullabies for the Dormant Mind. I immediately liked what I heard it was a refreshing take on metalcore with a lot of influences of melodic death metal.

Now on to the album! Prisoners is the third full length album and I have to say I had high hopes. When I heard the EP, the escape, I thought it was quite different from the previous releases but we could still hear the distinct sound of The Agonist. Well the whole album as that feel of still being the same band but different at the same time. If I could summarize the album in one word (well two) is musical growth. From the complex guitar work to Alissa’s superb vocals the whole album is a step forward from the last. Well the vocals and the guitars are not the only improvement on the album, the drumming is also great, much more complex and refined, and the bass, for an instrument that is usually not much present, it is really present on the whole album and add a nice dept to the music. The lyrics are also interesting, really poetic and deep.

Musical growth describes really well the feeling of the album, they started by playing metalcore on Once Only Imagined then added a lot of melodic death metal to their sound with Lullabies for the Dormant Mind and now with Prisoners they play melodic death metal with some metalcore influences and with a really progressive feel. I can’t really recommend tracks because I find them all unique and I like them all! In conclusion, in my opinion, this the best metal album of the year so far so give it a try!