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Agony Face - CLX Stormy Quibblings

Agony Face
CLX Stormy Quibblings
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 03 December 2013, 12:09 AM

Behind the greyish veil of estranged philosophies, a thick cloud of forlorn beliefs, reticent annotations resulting in a surreal reality of chaos and disarray, nothing is what it seems to be, an enigmatic view near a spark of psychosis. The figure of the Italian AGONY FACE, also nicknamed as The Salt Merchants (a true puzzle that possibly only an interview will decipher), conveying the arts of Progressive / Technical Death Metal, another method of defacement of an out of the box kind of Metal in progression, in the spirit of late era of DEATH, OBSCURA, early PESTILENCE and CYNIC, a smirk of aggression of NECROPHAGIST, but also conjuring a few Djent ties that might hint of PERIPHERY. Signed to the rightful label that appreciates artistic natured musicality, My Kingdom Music, AGONY FACE released a tough nut to crack with “CLX Stormy Quibblings”, an intriguing conceptual conundrum that surveys the near boundaries of a wicked mastermind splitting its guts out with a large quantity of opportunities and possibilities to exploit.

On several occasions it felt as if AGONY FACE took on through a race against time, entwining various elements in their power to try to make me comprehend what they are trying to message to their listeners. On the other hand, no matter how I heeded this album, I still couldn’t understand what it was all about, it remained a riddle. Thinking about it, maybe that was the purpose all along from the get go, meaning that the album stood by its title, “CLX Stormy Quibblings”, which proposes a blustery evading of an issue, something in the air. Musically, it was something in the air alright; AGONY FACE defied logic song structures, as frequently every other Progressive Metal act, but wish such an immense fervency that it came to be on the verge of complete shock. AGONY FACE are certainly not one of the horrid Technical robots such as ORIGIN or too flashy like GORGUTS. With a bewildered scenery of odd time signatures that came on me like assault waves, “CLX Stormy Quibblings” threw like artillery a barrage of tasty complex and multi layered riffery of the highest order, as if several of those harmonic and octave procedures were written by Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.) himself reminding of DEATH’s technical stage before the bitter end, with a number of reminders of technical Jazz infused Metal. Both bass and skins’ work are insane, so precise and even outrageous at times, but in a good way and lest I overlook the few acoustic laments. As far as the rhythm section goes, for a traditional Metal fan it might resemble a falling into the eye of a storm, but after a while it will sink in and become a fresh air in the mist. I was more amazed by the drum work that certainly attributed to the material with its dynamic assaults of pure creative compositions. Frankly, Davide Guarinoni’s fine growl vocals kind of remained on a separate level as his role appeared a bit unimportant in comparison to the rest of the instrumentation that provided a much stronger impact on the listening experience.

Though it is hard to actually pinpoint a number on the list of “CLX Stormy Quibblings”, I believe that the nail biting masterful entities of “XVI • The Sublimation”, “XIV • Ice, Smoke and Horses”, “XVII • Golden Waterfalls Part IX” and of course the instrumental intermission from the unruly hectic environment within the corners of “CLX • Quibblings”. Though I count numerous release of the techy vibe as soulless beasts, AGONY FACE in their own unique patterns made it otherwise, and came out as glorious contenders of the genre. 

4 Star Rating

1. XVI • The Sublimation
2. XVIII • Into the Keyhole
3. XIV • Ice, Smoke and Horses
4. XV • What? Chimera!
5. CLX • Quibblings
6. XI • Sophisticated Telescopes
7. XVII • Golden Waterfalls Part IX
8. XVII • Golden Waterfalls Part VI
9. XII • To (t)rust the T(rust)
Davide Guarinoni - Vocals
Riccardo Ricotti - Guitar
Alessandro Uberti - Guitar
Mirko Montrasio – Bass
Alesandro Bassi - Drum
Record Label: My Kingdom Music


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