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 The Agonist - Eye Of Providence (2015) Album Review

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The Agonist - Eye Of Providence (2015)
Century Media Records
Running Time: 57:54


I'm going to start this review off by letting you all into a little secret! I've listened to The Agonist quite a few times since their debut was released in 2007. All three albums, up to this point, have been 'acceptable', but I'm being honest by saying they haven't moved or grabbed me in any shape or form. Of course, the musicianship has always been incredible but I've never subscribed to the, sometimes over the top, fan club that many of their followers have with former vocalist Alissa White-Gluz. She's good, there is no doubt of that, but everything always seemed like style over content to me both musically and vocally!

Then, in March 2014, we all heard the news that Angela Gossow was stepping down as vocalist of Arch Enemy, a band I had always admired, and Alissa was to take her place! Well, you would have thought World War III had started with all of the unnecessary name calling and horror from fans of both bands. This unfortunately spilled over to include Alissa's replacement in The Agonist, Vicky Psarakis. At one point the poor girl seemed to be getting it from every angle and no-one had actually heard her sing with the band. I know we get passionate about our music but I thought it was all rather juvenile!

Thankfully members of both bands seemed to take it in their stride and The Agonist have now returned with album number four 'Eye Of Providence'. Whilst many are still not happy with the vocal change, to these ears, this is easily the finest album The Agonist have released by a country mile! The musicianship is still there in spades but now there is something else! All the feeling and emotion that I was missing before now seems to come oozing from every pore of every band member and they sound like a true collective. All thirteen songs are full of light & shade and surely that has something to do with the vocals of Vicky Psarakis who puts in a mesmerising performance of harsh and clean singing throughout. She just seems to sit so much more comfortably within the band, it's as if you can hear them all feeding off of one another! From opener 'Gates Of Horn And Ivory', which almost melted my speakers, to the eight minute majestic closing track 'As Above, So Below' I was fully engaged and each listen offers me more perspective and joy!

Perhaps my view will be in the minority, I have absolutely no idea. I can only offer my opinion and hope that blind loyalty to a particular vocalist doesn't take the place of actually listening and digesting what The Agonist have achieved with 'Eye Of Providence' because it is an incredible album. and one that deserves to be heaped with praise. Canada has always managed to deliver outstanding Rock & Metal music and I finally think The Agonist can be added to the list of greats emerging from that country!

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Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

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