1 of 1 thought this review was well written
According to the Metal Archives (Encyclopaedia Metallum), Agathodaimon means "benevolent demon" in Greek. This strikes me as a strange choice because the band's theme is anything but benevolent. Hailing from Germany, Agathodaimon plays a style of melodic black metal with some occasional use of symphonic elements and clean vocals thrown in here and there. There are no Satanic themes to be found here, but the general aesthetic of black metal remains; tremolo picked guitars, shrieked vocals, dark lyrical themes, etc. Before listening to 'In Darkness' I had never heard of this band; after listening I understood why.
The album starts well enough with a melodic clean guitar intro, and breaks into the title track: In Darkness (We Shall Be Reborn). When I first heard this song, I liked it a lot. However, as the album goes on it becomes pretty clear that Agathodaimon were running short on ideas. A number of the songs blur together, as there is very little variation between them. Almost all of the songs seem to rely on big, sustained, sorrowful-sounding chords that sound like they were taken right from radio metal juxtaposed with a more orthodox black metal sound. Oceans of Black and Adio are probably the moments that, instrumentally, stood out to me the most. Oceans of Black has somber piano interludes strewn out during its runtime, and Adio's main riff is the most catchy.
In Darkness' vocals are hit and miss for me. The shrieks are very intelligible. I can almost always understand what's being said. There are some interesting spoken word passages peppered in here and there. Some moments from the third track, 'Favourite Sin', feel almost like they belong in a black metal musical. Maybe something like Tim Burton's 'A Nightmare Before Christmas', but with more suffering and less Christmas. Having said that, the clean vocals kind of turn me off. While I like the overall tone of them, I feel like they're too predictable. They come in when I expect them to, and they present some pretty generic melodies. The lyrics are generally forgettable, and occasionally seem kind of 'off'. For example, track six is called 'Somewhere, Somewhen'. I looked it up, and apparently somewhen is really a word. Although, being a native English speaker, I have never actually heard it used. I can forgive nuances like that since the band is German, but there still isn't anything interesting happening lyrically.
The one factor that really killed In Darkness is the lack of variation. There are standout moments, but they're few and far between. My favorite tracks from this are 'I've Risen', 'Favourite Sin', and 'Adio'. If I lost my copy in a fire, I would spend the insurance money on a better album. Not a bad listen, but easily forgettable.