The Agonist – Prisoners

The Agonist are a Canadian metalcore band from Montreal.  Formed by singer Alissa White-Gluz and bassist Chris Kells in 2004, they signed to Century Media in 2007 where they remain to this day.  The band have just released their third album – Prisoners.

Opening track “You’re coming with me” opens with some acoustic guitar which lulls you into a false sense of security before Alissa lets rip with her banshee-like vocals and the band kick in with some powerful metal.

From here on in the album follows a consistent path mixing the clean vocals and growling black metal/death metal style vocals and backing these up with some powerful heavy music.  There’s plenty of power in the complex guitar riffs and the relentless pounding beat of the drums drives the songs on at a fast pace.

Final track “Revenge Of The Dadaists” then throws us a curve-ball with its French spoken introduction over an acoustic guitar, before once again the growling vocals kick in as the pace steps up.  We then get some clean but heavy vocals before the song slows down dramtically and we get a quite slow gentle section with more delicate clean vocals.  It’s certainly a song that showcases the whole range of Alissa’s vocal talents as well as offering a huge range of sounds.

Alissa’s vocals are a key part of the sound of The Agonist – she switches effortlessly between clean vocals and growling vocals and is equally effective with both styles.  There are plenty of other bands mixing clean vocals and growling vocals – pretty much any melodic death metal band for a start, but it’s rare for both vocal styles to be performed by a single vocalist, and its certainly not common for them to be done so well.

The Agonist have made a great album with Prisoners – lets hope they tour the UK and Europe soon in support of the album.

Rating 8/10

Alissa White-Gluz – Vocals
Danny Marino – Guitar
Pascal “Paco” Jobin – Guitar
Chris Kells – Bass
Simon McKay – Drums

Track listing:

1. You’re Coming With Me
2. The Escape
3. Predator And Prayer
4. Anxious Darwinians
5. Panophobia
6. Ideomotor
7. Lonely Solipsist
8. Dead Ocean
9. The Mass Of The Earth
10. Everybody Wants You “Dead”
11. Revenge Of The Dadaists

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.