There are those that were quite rightly cautious when it came to The Agonist’s new album Eye of Providence, this is mainly because ex-lead vocalist Alissa White-Gluz had left to join Arch Enemy. Questions were raised as to why she had left, and whether her replacement Vicky Psarakis would be up to the challenge of filling her rather large shoes. Thankfully Vicky has taken the challenge head on, and has consequently contributed to an album that sounds incredibly similar to the Arch Enemy of old, and honestly, the purer Arch Enemy.
The Agonist are not trying to emulate Arch Enemy, to say they’re an Arch Enemy clone would do them a disservice, as they’re on their own road, and their own journey. Eye of Providence is both powerful and technical at the same time, often seemingly bringing in some almost prog influences here and there to just change things up a bit. Simon McKay’s all out drum assault keeps each track moving at a blistering speed, and the technical guitar work from Danny Marino, Pascal Jobin create another interesting layer on top of everything to almost seamlessly blend heavy metal and prog rock together as one. Although, it is certainly Vicky’s vocals that hold the entire thing together and lifts it up even further. The start of ‘I Endeavour’ is proof enough of how everything works together, especially the opening guitar tones which leaves you dumfounded, before hitting you with all out aggression. They even go as far to show their diversity with the almost sombre ‘Perpetual Notion‘.
The biggest challenge The Agonist will face is to try and break past the comparisons with Arch Enemy, but if ‘Eye of Providence’ is anything to go by they will certainly be able to do it past the almost honeymoon phase of changing vocalists. If you want just one track to prove that The Agonist have the ability and talent to move higher and further then you don’t need to look any further than ‘Faceless Messenger’ which has some of the best pure metal drum beats, guitar tones and heavy vocals we’ve heard from a metal album this year.
This is a new milestone in their career and one where they can really launch themselves into bigger and better things.