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Two-For-One Deal - 87%

GuntherTheUndying, October 2nd, 2008

Melodic death metal is almost a lie. Hardly any bands are able to keep the “melodic” label, and some just smother themselves in it while leaving that “death metal” part exiled. Thankfully, Agamendon is a rare breed: they have both stances on loyal ground, firmly cut in half for a true melodic death seizure. Throughout “Nuclear Rodeo,” you won’t find yourself strapped up against a wall, wondering which orifice the redundancy bull will annihilate; instead, Agamendon ropes that sucker into submission. Anyone on the prowl for authentic music in this particular vein should take note: “Nuclear Rodeo” is truer than truth itself.

Shame will only come to those meriting this release as some half-assed production most would assume; Agamendon proves all inaccurate predictions wrong. Their ideas are just as simple as they are complicated: force dynamic percussion down your throat, embrace an intense mixture of death metal riffs that receive surpluses from melodic decisions, and aim for the jugular. Agamendon’s textures are nearly infinite with great ideas, as dueling guitars rip and uplift between two worlds impeccably, while new rivers flow these riffs into uncharted areas. Blastbeats come off just like they were meant for, and ripping solos sway your body onto hemispheres only found in subconscious visions; ten varied epodes can only scratch what these guys have offered. If the record were just death metal, there’s no doubt “Nuclear Rodeo” would fall behind, yet those poetic touches improve everything, almost instantaneously. It’s melodic…it’s furious…it’s a two-for-one deal!

At first, it seems a few issues could derail this record once Julian Hollesch’s mega-guttural growls reach stability amongst Agamendon’s cacophony, yet that’s just an initiation flaw. The singer, in a sense, reminds me of Vehemence’s Nathan Gearhart, meaning alongside melodic pastures, there is another side. A few instances might come off as corky, but Hollesch’s performance looks quite unusual upon these structures, making it work even better than your typical shouter most bands like so clearly embrace. However, when he settles in, those earth-breaking yelps are utterly swell against his musical background; quite unconventional, but the buzzer stills gives a green light. Give this man a prize!

Needless to say, I am very impressed by “Nuclear Rodeo” from what it elegantly provides. The band has class and intelligence merging together on an equating level most could only dream of, plus they already tweaked this pattern regressively to where it originally belonged: half melodic, half brutality. Not only is Agamendon’s placement utterly fantastic, but proper on an evolutionary level; they bring new light towards timid thrashers without expelling mistruths in their midst. Aren’t promises nice? Anyway, fans of such acts as Vehemence or other melodic death bands that actually balance both qualities are almost guaranteed to enjoy “Nuclear Rodeo,” so exchange your sweet sense of beauty and raw cannibalism for Agamendon’s nifty effort on their sophomore plateau!

This review was written for: www.leviatan-magazine.com