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A Great, THough Different, Album - 90%

coldblacksun, April 20th, 2004

WHile many people in "The Scene" like to lump these guys into the Cradle/Dimmu pile, it seems that they do so for superficial reasons alone. While this band does have a ridiculous "Corporate BM" image (i.e. fishnets, leather pants, jewelry and....uhhhh...uhhh...half naked women in a limousine? Huh?), their music should stand to judgement on it's own. What we have here is a strange, melancholy album full of depressing, doom-laden atmosphere, with nice clean vocal melodies and some of the most abrasive black metal screeching this side of old Horna. Where many bands go wrong with this style is they break up the atmosphere of abject despair with ill-fitting fits of speed and an over-reliance on blast beats. THis band, while throwing in some badass thrash riffs and high paced energy (and the odd blast), manage to keep the atmosphere alive through the whole album, so that you feel so utterly depressed that it's over, you NEED to put it back on and have another go. I'm usually rather scornful of this style, but Agathodaimon has managed to produce a very slick, accessible, rockin', stylish, and thoroughly engaging album that never stoops to electronic dabbling or overtly Goth maneuvers to achieve it's supreme atmosphere.

Highlight tracks: The Ending of Our Yesterdays, Departure, Spirit Soldier