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Class 6(66)

Agony: The first defiance

10/06/05  ||  Lord K Philipson

Released: 1988

Introduction

Agony is without the shadow of a fucken doubt the best offering, thrash metal wise, to ever come out of Sweden. I remember seeing these guys live with Candlemass (the very gig when fatso Messiah Marcolin put his foot thru the floor during his butt-fucken-ugly doomdance) and girl-band Ice Age (they were better-looking than great-sounding but managed to create some decent thrash metal) back in 1988, just before this album was released. What I heard live floored me and I counted the days until I could get my hands on the actual LP. When I finally got it, they put every other band to shame at the time. Their first defiance ended up being their last as well, but at least they managed to create something that no Swedish thrash band could ever come close to, not even to this day.

Songwriting

9. We are talking thrash metal hits here people. Not a bad song on the whole album. These fuckers knew what they were doing. And they did it best. As mentioned, no Swedish thrash band’s been able to beat this monumental recording. “The first defiance” is a giant in terms of thrash and it’s a fucken bad miracle that it’s not considered that by a larger audience.

Production

6. Well, being recorded in 1988 the sound isn’t all that fucken awesome, but I still love it for what it is. There’s not exactly much of a punch in this one, but the music itself makes up for it by far. It works, not more, not less. If this album was recorded today, with the technology that can even make sucky bands sound decent, Agony would be the reigning kings considering they sound as awesome as they do with this thin production.

Guitars

9. Tighter than the asses of Manowar.. Eh, wait here… Manowar are gay so that doesn’t make any sense… It’s tighter than a Stanley Cup final. Wow, that was almost good. These guys throw up some excellent riffage and I love it. Even the solos makes sense. Every one of them. Just listen to the opener “Storm of the apocalypse” or “Deadly legacy”. If that’s not genius riffage going on, I am a fucken fisherman’s hat.

Vocals

8. Pete’s vocals are… original. Nothing close to a growl, nothing close to John Connelly of Nuclear Assault, nothing like the ass-vocals of Sean Killian of Vio-lence. Basically they are nothing close to anything but Pete himself. Either you like it or you don’t. I dig them. Alot. I wonder where the hell this guy went after Agony split up… I think it might be time to get a hold of him and ask him to do some guest vocals for some recording of mine. Let’s not forget that he had a horrible, horrible haircut though. We are very lucky it’s not the hair that represents his voice, that’s for sure.

Bass

3. It’s there but I can’t hear much of it, nonetheless rate his playing.

Drums

7. Competent but nothing flashy whatsoever. I also remember this guy being lefthanded. Or maybe he wasn’t, who fucken cares? He does his job real good but it’s not groundbreaking in any way, shape or form. And I also wish I could hear the bassdrums a bit better. Besides that he pulls off his thrashy moves with no flaws.

Lyrics

I never read them as the LP didn’t include them, at least not on my copy. But Agony’s spawned the greatest title of all times, the mentioned “Storm of the Apocalypse”. I even stole that and changed “storm” to “disciples” for the second The Project Hate album. That, if anything, should tell you they rule. They get an 8 for cool titles though. I’m sure the lyrics are killer too. They must be, we are talking Agony, fuckos.

Cover art

7. Well, it’s red/orange and shows some kind of apocalypse, I guess. Definitely works for me. Lots of details in this one. I dig it. It won’t go down in history as the best cover ever made, but it’s far from bad.

Logo

3. I wouldn’t call it a classic by far, but it’s right there, taking up half the cover. I guess no one will miss the fact their name is Agony. The cover would actually do a hella lot better without this logo on it. But hey, at least it looks better than their original one.

Booklet

3. Fuck you, fuck your booklets. I own the LP. Lots of photos and shit. Pretty boring actually.

Overall and ending rant

9. It’s weird that this album is not mentioned more often when it comes to naming Sweden’s best thrash bands ever. Agony came, Agony saw and Agony conquered. And they did it with one album and one album only. If you claim to be a thrash metal fan and haven’t heard this album, I must hand you a severe facial reconstruction. Agony was king. Rest in peace. You have deserved it.