Review Summary: Once Only Imagined is a strong first effort for The Agonist. it is an overall decent album with a quite a few good songs.
Initially I was impressed with 'Once Only Imagined'. The songs all had a good feel to them. The songs weren't overly complex and the vocals were good. But after a few listens the album started to wear on me. Rather than become more impressed with subsequent listens the album quickly became stale.
is a Canadian metalcore band fronted by 2006 Canadian Idol competitor, Alyssa White-Gluz and produced by Christian Donaldson of Cryptopsy
. The rest of the band is Danny Marino on the six string, Chris Kells on the bass and Derek Nadon beating the skins.
The stand out feature of this Canadian metalcore band is the vocals of White-Gluz. Her powerful dirty vocals are in the vein of Arch Enemy
’s Angela Gossow. They seem a little over processed on the album. Her clean, melodic, vocals sound more suited for pop. Kind of like No Doubt meets Killswitch Engage.
The guitar work of Danny Marino is proficient and dynamic but the album lacks many truly memorable riffs. The guitars flow through bridges smoothly and breaks are plentiful. The melodic elements neatly contrast the more aggressive riffing lending a nice duality to the music. The guitar solos are simple and unimpressive. The bass guitar is nearly imperceptible. Derek Nadon (the studio drummer) keeps the beat with a few fills and blast beats.
The tracks stand well alone and flow well in the order on the disc. Kicking off the disk is a 32 second opener leads into the first song, ‘Rise and Fall’. The songs flow well together with no filler tracks giving the album good continuity. A few of the tracks tend to blend together. It is hard to understand the politically charged lyrics without the liner notes. The songs are well written and cohesive. Overall the album is a good listen.
The Agonist shows promise as a force in music and Once Only Imagined proves they are competent if not memorable. Standout tracks include ‘Rise and Fall’, ‘Trophy Kill’, ‘Business Suits and Combat Boots’ and ‘Forget Tomorrow’.
One can only hope that The Agonist is like a fine wine. Only gets better with age. I would hate to see them skunk their next effort.