The Agonist
Five


1.0
awful

Review

by Ebola USER (23 Reviews)
September 30th, 2016 | 92 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Agony

Prisoners will forever haunt The Agonist. Shortly after the release of their best album, dynamic frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz parted ways with the group, and was quickly replaced by newcomer Vicky Psarakis. And though her first full-length with the band, Eye of Providence, wasn’t particularly great, it was still a decent enough (albeit generic) melodic metalcore album and a perfectly respectable starting point for the band’s second generation. In fact, in all honesty, I was relatively optimistic that The Agonist’s second record with Psarakis behind the mic would be pretty damn solid; now that the growing pains were sorted out and the transitional album had been released, it was time to get back to business.

I’m not going to beat around the bush here: I found Five to be a remarkably, almost indescribably unpleasant album, one that shares almost nothing with and is a borderline insult to the band’s previous material. I’m honestly not someone who’s particularly difficult to please as far as music is concerned, especially regarding metalcore, but this is inexcusably bad, cover to cover, from the first note to the last. The first red flag emerges less than 30 seconds into the album; “The Moment,” the track that The Agonist consciously chose to place first in the track listing, kicks things off with a riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on a high school band’s first demo. The lone red flag is joined by a legion of others as it becomes apparent that this riff serves as the backbone of the entire song. And then the vocals start.

Make no mistake; I am being completely honest, utterly devoid of exaggeration or hyperbole, in claiming that Five boasts the most inept vocal performance I have ever heard from a major label-released metal album. Mercifully, Psarakis’ singing isn’t particularly objectionable other than a few moments on the ill-advised ballad “The Raven Eyes,” but anything she attempts beyond standard clean singing is utterly unlistenable. The gutturals are particularly dreadful, and the fact they’re excreted over just about every song on the album is a goddamn war crime. Occasionally, a track like “The Chain” will kick off with a half-decent riff, but any momentum comes to a screeching halt thanks to Psarakis doing her best impression of a bobcat in labor. The vocals can’t even be ignored, either, as Five's production is just as incompetent as its music. Every instrument is damned to the bottom of the mix, and even the purely instrumental portions lack any sort of punch or energy; granted, the instrumentation and songwriting are easily the worst of the band’s career, but a reasonable placement in the mix would have at least been a step in the right direction. Even the bass guitar work, a highlight of The Agonist’s previous material, is completely absent on Five; although, when the lead and rhythm guitars are so quiet and poorly produced, I suppose that’s to be expected. The quietness of the instrumentation, as a result, forces the atrocious vocals to sit front and center in the mix, a move so heinous that I’m surprised Al Qaeda didn’t think of it first.

Five's perfect balance between “inexcusably awful” and “mind-numbingly boring” results in an album that is neither too uneventful to evoke hatred nor bad to the point of being interesting. Put simply, it’s a record that suggests a complete lack of effort on the part of The Agonist and an insulting level of disrespect towards their fans and listeners. Over the course of this 13 track album, there are perhaps a half-dozen moments that I found even somewhat interesting or enjoyable; I’ve listened to it far more times than anyone in their right mind ever should, and most of the tracks are still almost completely indistinguishable from one another. Five is easily the worst metal album I’ve heard all year, and one of the worst I’ve ever heard from a label of any sort of stature. The riffs are amateurish, the vocals are atrocious, the production is inept, and the level of effort is negligible; in essence, it’s a record that fails on every level imaginable before proceeding to fail on a few more just for good measure.



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user ratings (54)
Chart.
1.9
poor


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ebola
September 30th 2016


3142 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Originally posted on https://thesonicsensory.com/2016/09/26/the-agonist-five/

I've had the promo for almost a month now, so this is in no way a knee-jerk reaction; it really is that bad. Unless I come across something truly god-awful over the next few months, this will be my WAOTY by a huge margin.



c/c welcomed and appreciated as always

LotusFlower
September 30th 2016


12001 Comments


this album is mind blowing in how bad it is.

Ebola
September 30th 2016


3142 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

[2]

I legitimately went into this expecting to enjoy it, but holy shit.

DoofusWainwright
September 30th 2016


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Oh the female vox, my sides my sides, during the verses it sounds like a little girl singing along to Layne Stayley on her headphones...



...then of course she launches into the screams and she's won my heart forever.



I might 5 this

Digging: The The - Infected

DoofusWainwright
September 30th 2016


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

How can one human have so many bad singing styles? You've got the glossy chorus voice too.



And then you have Courtney Love sneery effect vox on the second song.



Wow.

Ebola
September 30th 2016


3142 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

How anyone listened to this and decided, "yep, this is a perfectly acceptable professional recording" is beyond me.

DoofusWainwright
September 30th 2016


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Plus a shrill operatic style on track 3 too...



A Jacquette of all Trades, Mistress of None

Flugmorph
September 30th 2016


18490 Comments


lol they got majorly robbed

Digging: Minoru Muraoka - Bamboo

Ebola
September 30th 2016


3142 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Just wait til you get to the ballad

DoofusWainwright
September 30th 2016


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Different style on the ballad too - I love this woman

Flugmorph
September 30th 2016


18490 Comments


just listened to The Moment
was pre good actually.
i liked the guitar work in the verses and her voice isnt half bad tbh

FullOfSounds
September 30th 2016


15764 Comments


lol they covered take me to church

DoofusWainwright
September 30th 2016


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

'a bobcat in labor'



pos

Ebola
September 30th 2016


3142 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Every other review of this album I can find online is overwhelmingly positive, which really makes me wonder whether some of these people even bother to listen to albums before writing their reviews.

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2016


2685 Comments


Surely this can't be that bad..

Ebola
September 30th 2016


3142 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

honey, you've got a big storm comin

DoofusWainwright
September 30th 2016


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Think again

claygurnz
September 30th 2016


4863 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Never heard of this band but you guys are making me intrigued..

FullOfSounds
September 30th 2016


15764 Comments


Maybe I'll be masochistic tonight and listen to this

claygurnz
September 30th 2016


4863 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Two songs in and I don't mind the clean vocals at all tbh. The growlier stuff is a bit eh but it's not reallly my genre so what do I know.



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