The Agonist - Prisoners

by Morley Seaver

I loved the debut record from The Agonist, Once Only Imagined and then went apesh*t when they released their follow-up Lullabies of the Dormant Mind. Starting off from a bed of metalcore, the band incorporates a host of other elements / influences, never afraid to throw in some melodic flavoring that really separate them from the pack.

Talented individuals all, the band is made up of guitarists Danny Marino and Paco Jobin, bassist Chris Kells and drummer Simon McKay. Unarguably (in my opinion anyway), their greatest asset is vocalist Alissa White-Gluz who can shift between growling and clean vocals with ease and be extremely effective with each.

I literally played Lullabies every day for the last year and was a bit intoxicated with each and every brilliant song. So I've been chomping at the bit for Prisoners, the new record by The Agonist. And several months ago, there it was. I slapped it into my system and waited for its magic to wash over me…..and then nothing.

All the songs seemed to converge into one giant soup. Granted all of them were executed with finesse and care with all the intrinsic Agonist twists and turns we've come to expect. However, there was no magic contained within to these ears. Not one bad song. No great ones either.

So I let it sit for a bit. I've come back to it recently and perhaps I was unfair the first time out. Prisoners was bogged down by the weight of the expectations I had placed upon it based on the previous record. Let's be clear. It's surely not Lullabies of the Dormant Mind. Neither is it as faceless as I had initially surveyed however.

The addition to Paco Jobin to the guitar ranks (on record) has made the six-string sound a bit more muscular and set up a nice contrast of styles with his more unrestrained style versus Danny Marino's more classic structures (or at least I am led to believe this is the distinction). Simon McKay still drums with the manic urgency of a guy chasing the beer truck with the last case of brew in town. He combines with Chris Kells to secure the bottom end effectively. Alissa combs the depths of Beelzebub-land with her guttural utterings and sounds angelic as ever during the clean vocal parts.

"Dead Ocean" stands outs among the tracks as a slightly slower and meaner vehicle, separating itself from the pack simply due to pacing. "Mass of the Earth" is a bit closer to something off of Once Only Imagined with an engaging opening vocal line. The first single, "Ideomotor", contains a pretty cool segment towards the end (it's an eight-minute song) that lets the boys jam it out with great results. "Revenge of the Dadaist" is more along the lines of what I was hoping for, with some acoustic guitar thrown into the mix as well as some jazzy vocal lines.

I'm not sure I can remain impartial about this record as I had been building up impossible heights for the band to live up to. Prisoners is a solid release and I would think most fans of The Agonist will welcome this with open arms. Meanwhile I'll keep spinning it looking for the magic that I'm sure is contained within. I just have to get my head around it first.

The Agonist - Prisoners

Share this article

More articles for this artist .



News Reports
Day in Rock:
Van Halen and Michael Anthony Speak For First Time In A Decade- Dead Or Alive Frontman Pete Burns Dead At 57- Twenty One Pilots Concert Cut Short By Bomb Threat- more

Finch Break Up, Members' New Group Release First Song- All-Star Beatles' Revolver Tribute Revealed By Howard Stern- Avenged Sevenfold Two-Disc Compilation Album Announced- more

Phil Collins Wanted To Walk Off Stage At Led Zeppelin Reunion- Asking Alexandria Reunite With Singer Danny Worsnop- Prince's Early Guitar Going Up For Auction- more

Day in Pop:
Corey Taylor Was Forbidden From Joining Anthrax- Charlie Puth Cancels 'Don't Talk' Tour Due To Extreme Illness- Justin Bieber Walks Off Stage During UK Concert- more

Dave Grohl Got Jane's Addiction Their Rock Hall Nomination- Bon Jovi Play New Album On Broadway- Black Metal Band Crash Couple's Engagement Photo Shoot- more

Lady Gaga Song Given Iron Maiden Makeover- 'Harry Potter' Film Producers Rejected Bruce Springsteen Song- Rapper Childish Gambino Cast In Star Wars Movie- more



• The Survival Code - Broken Strings

• Grandpa Death Experience - The Unforgiving Shoe of the Future

• Rocktober Reads: Lou Gramm's Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock'n'Roll

• Rocktober Reads: Duff McKagan's It's So Easy (And Other Lies)

• Sites and Sounds: Jazz Fest Edition

• Rocktober Reads: Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles

• Rocktober Reads: 'To Live Is To Die: The Life and Death of Metallica's Cliff Burton

• Rocktober Reads: Ozzy Osbourne's I Am Ozzy

• TBT: The Replacements - Don't You Know Who I Think I Was

• The Begowatts - Photoelectric

• Thy Catafalque - Sgurr

• Road Trip: Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival

• TBT Interview: Whitesnake's David Coverdale

• Almanac Mountain - Cryptoseismology

• Six Feet Under - Graveyard IV The Number of the Priest

• Sites and Sounds: Wire & Wood Songwriters Festival

• Dio - Holy Diver

• Rock Reads: Dynamic Song Performance: The Singers Bible

• Iron Savior - Titancraft

• Root 66: Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver - Burden Bearer

• Suidakra - Realms of Odoric • more

Rock News Stories
• Van Halen and Michael Anthony Speak For First Time In A Decade

• Dead Or Alive Frontman Pete Burns Dead At 57

• Twenty One Pilots Concert Cut Short By Bomb Threat

• Tool's Danny Carey Diagnosed With 'Serious Staph Infection'

• Queen's Brian May Sidelined By 'Persistent Illness'

• Metallica Celebrating Halloween With New Song Release

• Of Mice & Men's Austin Carlile Recovering From Spine Surgery

• Rolling Stones Not Rescheduling Canceled Las Vegas Show

• Denis Stoff Tells His Side Of Asking Alexandria Split

• Riverside Release 'Shine' Music Video

• Leonardo DiCaprio To Star In Sam Phillips Biopic

• Last In Line Stream New Song 'Already Dead'

• Bring Me The Horizon May Experiment On Next Album

• Triumph's Rik Emmett Previews New Album 'RES9'

• The Flaming Lips Go Psychedelic For 'The Castle' Video

• You Me At Six Going Directly To Fans In Scalping Battle

• Deftones Announce European Tour

• Singled Out: Ayin Aleph's Crystal Ball

• more

B-Side Stories
• Corey Taylor Was Forbidden From Joining Anthrax

• Charlie Puth Cancels 'Don't Talk' Tour Due To Extreme Illness

• Justin Bieber Walks Off Stage During UK Concert

• RCHP's Chad Smith Recruits Chris Martin, Beck and More For 'New Boy Band'

• Drake Premieres 3 New Tracks from 'More Life' Project

• The Chainsmokers Release Video For 'Closer' with Halsey

• Kanye West To Boycott Grammys if Frank Ocean Not Nominated

• Taylor Swift Live Debuts 'This Is What You Came For'

• Pharrell's Streams New Track 'Runnin'

• Los Angeles Cop Jams With Garage Band

• DJ Khaled Snapchats The Birth Of His Son

• Lady Gaga Performs 'A-Yo' And 'Million Reasons' On SNL

• more

Follow Us:

Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.