The Agonist stay on the deathcore path with its newest release, Five. The band’s brand of melodic deathcore is contrived at this point with the group opting to play by the numbers. The opening song “The Moment” is equal parts deathcore with a slight symphonic influence. Frontwoman Viky Psarakis’s vocals shift from growling and guttural to clean. “The Anchor and the Sail” is thrashy before breaking down in to conventional hardcore territory. The guitar work on this track is impressive, but we have heard it before. There are some solid tracks though like “The Ocean” with its tribal drumbeat that sounds like a hunting party running through a jungle. The haunting acoustic guitar and piano on “The Raven Eyes” complement Vicky’s jazzy singing. There is also the short orchestral instrumental “The Wake” with its weeping strings and tranquil flute. The displaced black metal on “The Resurrection” is notable for its cold dissonant riffs and blast beats. Unfortunately, the band regresses in to metalcore territory, thus ruining what could have been a brutal track.
Five’s main flaw is the band either does too much or not enough. The band seems confused as to whether to play brutal metal or take a more commercial route with its songs. A track will start off heavy but then becomes poppy or soft. There is nothing wrong with accessible heavy music if it is played right. However, The Agonist is too ambitious on Five and the music suffers as a result.
The Agonist does not his its mark on Five. This is unfortunate as one can tell the quintet wanted to create an epic record. Still, the lack of focus on a 55 minute long album makes this a tedious listen. Fans of The Agonist may appreciate this record. However, fans of deathcore or melodic death metal may want to look elsewhere.
For news and tour dates, check out the band’s website