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The Agonist: Once only imagined

13/10/10  ||  Lord K Philipson

By now you all know my love for The Agonist’s “Lullabies for the dormant mind”. Fact is they released an album prior to that killer of a disc, namely this one entitled “Once only imagined”. After re-discovering and understanding the greatness of “Lullabies” I decided to take a closer look at their debut (heard it briefly some time ago and it didn’t impress me whatsoever), having a feeling it wouldn’t be as great as its follow-up.

And it’s not.

I had to go back to it though seeing I dismissed “Lullabies” as well the first time I heard it. That was stoopid of me. To dismiss it, I mean. Very stoopid. STOOPID, I tells you. I don’t know what they smoked or shot up in-between albums but whatever it was I pray they do more of that shit for the next one. Where “Lullabies” holds nothing but excellent material, “Once only imagined” feels more like an album where the band is trying to find their style and showcase the greatness of vocalissa Alissa.

While sporting one of the coolest song titles in quite some time (“Business Suits And Combat Boots”) there are no tunes of the same caliber as can be heard on “Lullabies”. The formula is the same, sure, but said album’s incredibly catchy hooks and groovy songwriting is not present here. There are a bunch of passages that definitely hints at the capability of what they would come up with on their successor, but nothing even comes close to what they cooked up on their second disc. Whereas the material on “Lullabies” is quite fucken dominating, the stuff on “Once only imagined” come across as pretty poor with very few highlights here and there. It’s definitely competent shit and the guys’n‘gal sure show they had skills already back in 2007, it’s just not very catchy nor interesting. To say they stepped up the plate on “Lullabies” would be an understatement.

To further make comparisons to “Lullabies”, let’s just say that you’ll find nothing close to tunes such as “Thank you, pain”, “Birds elope with the sun” or “And their eulogies sang me to sleep” here. “Once only imagined” is a bland debut, but they rectified that big-time in 2009. I don’t think I have to mention what that disc is called, huh?

The album cover of this one is fucken ace though.


  • Information
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Act Records
  • Website: The Agonist MySpace
  • Band
  • Alissa White-Gluz: vocals
  • Danny Marino: guitars
  • Chris Kells: bass, backing vocals
  • Simon McKay: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Synopsis
  • 02. Rise And Fall
  • 03. Born Dead; Buried Alive
  • 04. Take A Bow
  • 05. Trophy Kill
  • 06. Business Suits And Combat Boots
  • 07. Serendipity
  • 08. Memento Mori
  • 09. Void Of Sympathy
  • 10. Chiaroscuro
  • 11. Forget Tomorrow