Agents of Oblivion
Agents of Oblivion



by rleechb USER (1 Reviews)
December 14th, 2007 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An absolute marvel full of crooning vocals, dark, highly poetic lyrics, and great songwriting; a supremely underrated album.

Vocalist Dax Riggs formed the metal band "Acid Bath" with guitarists Mike Sanchez and Sammy Duet (now of Goatwhore), bassist Audie Pitre and drummer Jimmy Kyle in 1991. After recording a demo entitled "Hymns of the Needle Freak" they landed a record deal with an independent label, where they released several albums showcasing their particular brand of caustic sludge-metal. Although many of their releases were received with critical acclaim, they never broke through to the mainstream. Acid Bath finally disbanded shortly after bassist Audie Pitre and his parents were killed in an unfortunate drunk driving incident. Three years after the demise of Acid Bath, Dax and Mike resurface by founding Agents of Oblivion and releasing the self-titled album. The album ended up being AoO's only release but one of the most underrated of all time.

Not enough can be said about Dax's contributions across this entire album. Vocally, Dax was completely flawless throughout. Even though he doesn't quite exhibit the vocal range of some of rock's high acclaimed singers (Chris Cornell, Robert Plant, Joey Fatone), his singing never ceases to impress me. The vibrato in his voice is eerie to the point that it gives me chills. In most bands, I'd venture to say that the vocals accompany the instruments; that the vocals exist simply as a side note. The exact opposite rings true for Agents of Oblivion: the music centers around the vocals. This is particularly evident in the songs "Wither", "Endsmouth", and "Hangman's Daughter", where Riggs' vocal melody carries each song from start to finish. Dax's lyrics are also worth mentioning. Whereas many bands have good vocals coupled with horrid lyrics (*cough* Godsmack *cough*), AoO really put together the whole package. The lyrics really read like poetry. For example, the lyrics from The Hangman's Daughter:

Woman and child
Like a feather falls from the sky
So dark, so dark in the moonlight
Naked we worship the night sky

No man can hold what the darkness can sow
Gonna leave an ugly skull when ya go

Tongues like horns violently born a new soul
The soft dead awake alive in love

As far as the rest of the band, everything is solid. Mike Sanchez does an great job on the guitar, with his swamp-rock riffs and bluesy, pentatonic-based soloing. While it certainly can't be considered the most technical of guitar playing, it suits the music perfectly and never tires the listener. Chuck Pitre (Audie's brother) also adds an atmospheric touch by playing the keys throughout the album. There's nothing special about the drums or bass on the album, but nothing that leaves the listener unfulfilled, either.

In the end, this is an album that I would highly recommend to any listener, metal fan or not. It's an album that I have a really hard time believing any music fan wouldn't appreciate.

Heck, even Dolph Lundgren and that one guy who played the T1000 in Terminator 2 highly recommend this album. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.

Recommended tracks:

Phantom Green
The Hangman's Daughter

Samples can be heard at:

user ratings (72)
other reviews of this album
jitteryzeitgeist (5)
Agents of Oblivion produced one of the best rock albums of the double-oughts, if one of the best in ...

Comments:Add a Comment 
December 14th 2007


Your review isn't too bad, but it could use a lot more detail. You didn't describe the music very much. Especially seeing as you gave this a 5, you need to back up the claim of calling this album a classic.

December 14th 2007


The album ended up being AoO's only release but one of the most underrated of all time.

That's a big statement. Like reznor said, you just need more detail. Do your best to try and describe every part of the album equally.

December 21st 2007


Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys. I went ahead and lowered my rating; I'll revise my review later and take your comments into account... writing reviews is more difficult than I thought...

December 21st 2007


You'll get the hang of it the more you do it. Just read as many different sorts of reviews as you can, and you'll get better as you continue to write. My first few reviews were pretty standard as well.

June 15th 2013


Album Rating: 5.0

Dax's masterpiece. Needs more love ♥♥♥

June 15th 2013


If This Is Hell Then I'm Lucky is Dax's masterpiece, but this album is close.

June 4th 2015


I need to give this a listen

Digging: Bokassa - Divide and Conquer

November 24th 2017


Album Rating: 4.5

Still jamming this on a regular basis nearly 15 years after picking it up. I could listen to Wither and The Hangman's Daughter all day every day.

Was also listening to the demo of "If This is Hell, Then I'm Lucky" earlier and the nostalgia is just crushing. No idea what Dax is up to these days, but none of the other Deadboy stuff I heard really hit me the way the demo does.

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