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A great renewal - 94%

Nojoch Akab, March 7th, 2013

Old bands returning is a trend in México. Dies Irae returned recently and now Agony Lords does it. Coincidentally, both bands are from Guanajuato, a state with an old heavy metal tradition. This return has been possible because fans have demanded their presence and because bands have too much to offer in terms of music production.

Agony Lords return seems an achievement in itself, showing that the band has evolved in its music as well as in its artistic creativity. Musically, "A Tomb for the Haunted" includes slower rhythms when compared with its second album, "The Sun of the Cursed". Now the topics vary in their emotional proposals and don't appeal only courage, but to create feelings of fear, isolation, and coldness through melodies and evocative sound effects. The beginning of the album, "Enter the Mausoleum", is an example that suggests a sepulchral atmosphere which is accompanied by notes and guitar chords that gradually introduce us into the general album concept, which is, in my point of view, phantasmagoric. After this very suggestive bass introduction, drums and voice harmonize this song when both take a slow pace and then they change to a faster one. The lead guitar's sound is well made and continues to make melodies while the vocalist, Lord Brave, sings filled with rage. From my point of view, after having heard this beginning, you can see that this is not a poor album because it has a rich diversity of harmonic proposals.

Special mention is second track entitled "Raising the Occult" because it has a faster pace. The guitarist plays an initial riff that stays in memory easily, but does not stop there as it continues with riffs of varying quality that enrich the song. I think “Raising the Occult” has two climatic moments: when Jorge Inukai (lead guitarist, if I'm right) plays twice the melodic solos, which have high quality and speed of execution. Something similar happens with "Spirit in the Tower”, a song with a great opening and also has abundance of accompanying riffs that will not stop despite the change of pace. I'm convinced that this song is one of the best on the album and perhaps for this reason the band chose it to film their first music video.

Songs such as "Dead Eyes", "Writer of the Dead", and what names the album, "A Tomb for the Haunted", seem less emotional and almost monotonous. This may be because the music tries to stick more to the story told by the lyrics than power of the music itself. Instead, this is not the case of songs “Emily” and “The Phantom Book”, which I consider my favorites. Both contain the best creative riffs typical of heavy metal. If I had to choose the best song, I would stay with “The Phantom Book” because it starts with a great riff. Besides, it has a period of slowing for arpeggios and electric guitar solos. This song is a laconic masterpiece.

After reading the lyrics, I understood there is a common thread, a scary story like King Diamond offered us in his famous "Abigail". In fact, I believe King Diamond was a source of inspiration for Agony Lords in its new art project. While it's difficult to make comparisons between these bands, what's interesting is to see how Agony Lords tries to follow a conceptual tradition that King Diamond performed with great success.

"A Haunted Tomb" maybe is controversial for fans that waited for the band with the same old musical and lyrical concepts. Agony Lords has definitely changed for the better without sacrificing its own style. In a word, I can conclude it is a good example of "renewal". Agony Lords is the same band, but different.

Finally, I hope Agony Lords is in force for a long time because it has sufficient ground and musical talent to continue contributing ideas and proposals. For the time being, the public has the last word about this new project, which has me sufficiently pleased.