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CD review – The Agonist – Once Only Imagined

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Beautiful woman and metal. Not exactly a combination that you see on a regular basis. Throw in the fact that the beautiful woman is actually part of the band and you have this horny bastard somewhat intrigued. Now here’s the real kicker; it’s GOOD. Given the handful of female fronted metal bands rocking the scene nowadays, not one band has impressed me as much as Canada’s ‘The Agonist’.

Although some will argue that the mix of female clean vocals and metalcore should be thrown into the same 99 cent bargain bin that the newest Evanescence record is currently living, I could not disagree more. The blend of Alissa White-Gluz’s extremely powerful singing voice with her raw and impressive growl is a breath of fresh air into the lungs of metalcore. Few vocalists can boast the ability to be talented at both singing and screaming, which puts her on a different playing field than most metal singers. With her politically charged lyrics including topics like animal rights and the war in Iraq, the songs have some relevance behind them.

The rest of the band does their best to overcome the problem of being metalcore without sounding exactly like every other band in the genre. Danny Marino provides some scorching guitar work backed by aggressive breakdowns and an adequate amount of guitar solos. With a hint of gothic and death metal baked into it, the album manages to be catchy without being watered down. Overall it is an impressive effort by this Canadian foursome that is guaranteed to please both your ears and your eyes.


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