AGONIZER – Birth / The End

AGONIZER - Birth / The End
  • 8/10
    AGONIZER - Birth / The End - 8/10


Spinefarm Records
Release date: September 28, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

From the Fjords of Finland come the Melodic Metal sounds of Agonizer. Formed in 1998, the band released its well-received first demo, Eternal Night. Despite a strong fan reaction and good reviews, the record companies weren’t calling. Undaunted by the lack of label support, Agonizer made a name for themselves as an amazing force on the live circuit playing with U.D.O., Amorphis, Sonata Arctica, and Children Of Bodom. Continuing to record demo tapes, the band self-released an EP, World of Fools; again, to critical acclaim. Finally in 2007, the band has their first label-supported release with Birth / The End on Spinefarm Records.

From the opening track, “Prisoner,” the band puts its trademark stamp down with driving rhythms and the clear (yet unmistakable) voice of Pasi Karkkainen. Karkkainen skips the dreaded cookie-monster growls, so prominent with many Modern Metal bands today, and delivers real power while keeping the vocals clear, showing a strong inclination for melody. The lyrics, while moody and brooding, take on a more mature nature with fewer of the rhyme scheme patterns found on previous outings.

One of the more distinctive elements of Agonizer is the way Patrik Laine utilizes his keyboards; adding lots of melody, even riffing like a third guitar at times, adding a new dimension to the sound. Along with Laine, guitarists Jari-Pekka Perala and Joni Lane work well, creating a thick wall of attack with killer riffing and memorable melodies. The bottom end is anchored down by bassist Jussi Tikka and drummer Atte Palokangas.

“Hazardous” starts as an acoustic number, but explodes into a heavy mid-tempo rocker that sounds like it should be dominating the air waves as a sure-fire single. “Harmless Hero” and “Every One Of Us” are straightforward, head-banging tracks, showcasing some of Palokangas fancy drum techniques. “Sleepless” is another track that bounces between a slower pace and a heavier mid-tempo that sounds like it to could be radio bound as a possible single. The title track from the disc covers a lot of ground; from piano ballad to a hard-driving, rock-steady beat. Tikka shows off some tasty bass lines within some of the open chording, adding a lot of depth to the melody of the song. “Prophecy” and “Black Sun” round out the disc with your standard Metal fare served up with strong choruses and solid songwriting.

You might think of Agonizer as a more Metal version of Motorjesus, sounding less like Straight-up Rock, incorporating more complex time signatures and various tempo changes; the sense of melody is also similar, as well as the vocal timber. The band has been compared to Sentenced, though not as Gothic as their Finnish counterparts, but there is definitely a strong sense of songwriting ability that could draw comparison between the two. Overall, Agonizer is in the good position of sounding unlike many other bands and is carving out a niche for itself. This album will grow on you more each time you hear it and will definitely be on your Top Ten list by the year’s end.


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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