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Agonous - United We Serve, Divided We Crawl

United We Serve, Divided We Crawl
by Matt "Wolverine" Johnson at 03 January 2015, 9:47 PM

Hey you! Do you like a lot of distortion? Do you like cool guitar riffs and tons of scales? What about really gravelly vocals and varying drumming techniques and styles? Great news! AGONOUS have just the album for you, with their latest effort, "United We Serve, Divided We Crawl." This eight-track nugget is, in my humble opinion, a diamond in the rough. Don't think so? Try doing some of these riffs yourself.

You just have to get past the vocals. To me, it's really what brought down my rating of this album. I just don't get this style of vocals, but it's certainly not the worst I've ever heard. Think of how a frog would sound with cotton filling its mouth and throat and you get the gist. As far as the guitar work goes, the distortion though heavy and sludgy, doesn't distract from the mastership of the guitarist as he excellently works up and down the fret board in all directions. The overall rhythm of the songs on the album is relatively mild-paced. The drummer is reliable and capable, never losing the beat, even during the times of going from moderate pace to the more furious and intense parts scattered through the album.

I'm not tremendously fond of the lack of originality with the song titles and maybe that's more of a side note, but it affected my interest in hearing the album. They do however fit with the tone of the music. Neither is extremely hardcore, but find a nice medium between Brutal Death Metal and Atmospheric Death Metal, being directly between the heaviest of heavy and the lightest of the light in terms of Death Metal. So maybe the songs titles fit after all. But "Human Cockroach", really? I chuckled a bit at the thought of anyone actually giving a song that name.

Some of the styles I heard on this album were refreshing, from a few SLAYER-like progressions (like the one opening up the aforementioned funny-named track) to something that might lie within the dark forests of Black Metal. The majority of the songs were straightforward and gritty to say the least and at times I even got a Rock and Roll feel (such as during the solo of "Frightening Reality") but at the same time I knew that it was bare-bones Metal.

How about a bouncier track with a Blackened Folk Metal melody and rhythm in it? Give "All Hallows Eve" a listen and be prepared to giggle as the gutteral vocals go into a festive "la la la" chant, something I could not have expected given the general style present throughout the album.

All in all, this album achieved a lot of its potential and despite the weird vocals (have I mentioned that before?) it's actually quite listenable and even fun at times. Letting the new riffs roll over your brain can get you headbanging in a jiffy, but don't be fooled, "United We Serve, Divided We Craw"!!

3 Star Rating

1. Zombiism
2. Completely Broken
3. FYM
4. Human Cockroach
5. Frightening Reality
6. All Hallows Eve
7. Mind Control
8. The Beast Within
Foul Phil
Record Label: Independent


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