The Agony Scene
The Darkest Red


4.5
superb

Review

by Jeremy Bentham USER (65 Reviews)
October 7th, 2011 | 20 replies | 3,453 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As heavy as it is melodic, The Darkest Red remains a gem of metalcore and the crowing achievement of The Agony Scene's sound.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Metalcore is very hit-and-miss these days, especially with all of the bands coming out in recent days with breakdowns galore and enough generic material to fill an entire album. Starting out from Tulsa, Oklahoma and not breaking into the spotlight immediately, The Agony Scene released their self-titled debut (produced by none other than Adam D.) but gained little recognition apart from their cover of The Rolling Stones' Paint it Black. The album showed the sound of a band that had potential, but wasn't using it right.

Fast forward two years later, and the band released The Darkest Red. The album presented a change in their sound that injected more melody in their songs, and it was extremely successful. An eerie intro gives way to crushing riffs and drum work as the title track enters, presenting vocalist Mike Williams for the first time. His vocal style is the instant highlight of the band with his menacing growls and shrieks. His style is caught between metalcore and hardcore punk and it carries every song with relentless aggression.

As the record progresses, you begin to notice it has something that their debut didn't - variation. Songs like "Scars Of Your Disease" and "Sacrifice" have crushing breakdowns and great vocal work and refuse to let up, but songs like "My Dark Desire", "Screams Turn To Silence", and "Prey" (the albums lead single) all feature clean vocals from Williams. Although his range is limited, his cleans are a great break from his screams and work nicely, especially on "Procession" which features a melodic bridge which proves to be one of the highlights of the album.

Although Williams proves to be a great part of what makes The Darkest Red such a memorable album, it would not be nearly as aggressive as it is if it weren't for the rest of the band as well. Guitarists Chris Emmons and Stephen Kaye provide heavy and melodic riffs that burn their way through the album, and the breakdowns are actually interesting and are placed well. The bass is extremely heavy and has a very punchy tone, rivaling the guitars on songs like "Prey" and "Scapegoat" where it is most relevant. Brent Masters was the best drummer in the bands short-lived career, and his performance on The Darkest Red is exceptional. On "Suffer", arguably the heaviest track the band has ever recorded, he pummels his kit with ferocious blast beats and great fills. He doesn't just keep the pace for the other members, he is the reason why the songs sound as heavy as they do.

If there is something that will live on from The Agony Scene now that they have disbanded, The Darkest Red will live on as their crowning achievement and their best work. Everything they have done here is a complete progression from what they started on their self-titled debut and their sound was at its best with this album. The band would go on to lose a lot of its members before the recording of their third and final studio album, Get Damned. This loss, especially the loss of Masters as the drummer, would impact their sound greatly. It was still a good album, but it went for a more hardcore influenced sound and there was too much filler and generic breakdowns littered throughout it. Here, on The Darkest Red, the band were having fun with an extremely aggressive metalcore sound and gave us an album that will go on as a lost gem in metalcore from a band who had so much going for them before their untimely demise.



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user ratings (211)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
CJ Altman (4.5)
The Agony Scene really deliver on "The Darkest Red"...

ThyCrossAwaits (3.5)
They know how to use their instruments, but they don't know how to show it off....

rising2anend (5)
The Agony Scene where do I start. Seriously this is a band that my stoner friend showed me one after...

BloodThirstyGuillotine (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
BassDemon333
October 7th 2011



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

For those of you who don't have this yet, I suggest you get it. Its great.

sspedding
October 7th 2011



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i like this album

BassDemon333
October 7th 2011



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album rules

sspedding
October 7th 2011



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Scapegoat is top, good review.

cvlts
October 7th 2011



8954 Comments


loved everything this band put out

Spec
October 7th 2011



27051 Comments


Never heard them.

Rev
October 7th 2011



9375 Comments


this takes me back

BassDemon333
October 7th 2011



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Spec you should get this you are missing out. I agree though all of their albums are enjoyable, this one is by far the best though.

AbyssalCreation
October 7th 2011



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love this album.

AfterTheBreakdown
October 7th 2011



7106 Comments


would i like this?

BassDemon333
October 7th 2011



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, you would.

AfterTheBreakdown
October 7th 2011



7106 Comments


alright listening now then.

AfterTheBreakdown
October 7th 2011



7106 Comments


i just listened to Scapegoat. Very good song.

Inveigh
October 7th 2011



24752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

haven't listened to this in forever, but back when it came out I loved it to death

Acanthus
October 7th 2011



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Band is still great, had this for 2/3yrs now - nice to see it reviewed!

Digging: Die Sektor - Applied Structure In A Void

BassDemon333
October 8th 2011



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks haha. Band will always be great, this will always be a favorite of mine.

Acanthus
October 8th 2011



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, Get Damned isn't bad but never topped this for me.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
October 8th 2011



6923 Comments


album wins

Leatherneck
October 8th 2011



660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this and their debut were pretty good

Digging: Artifex Pereo - Time In Place

MrGlass
October 8th 2011



326 Comments


Mike's voice was awesome in their debut album, which still has some of their best songs. this album is probably more consistent, though.



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