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The Agonist: Prisoners

11/07/12  ||  Lord K Philipson

Remember my love for The Agonist’s last amazing piece of audio orgasm? Remember the lukewarm reception I gave their debut? One of my current fave bands (all thanx to “Lullabies”) now return with “Prisoners”, their third full-length of chick fronted, somewhat technical and very competent metal. Expectations are as high as the drug cartels of Mexico on a Friday night (or any night for that matter) and I have been waiting for this one ever since “Lullabies” came out some years back.

The Agonist’s sound is instantly recognized, but as a whole “Prisoners” hasn’t clicked with me fully with the first 20 listens or so. And after some more spins of this disc it still hasn’t fully clicked with Yours Truly. Might be the same trick that “Lullabies” played on me when I think of it. I didn’t really appreciate that album either to begin with, for some unknown reasons. Make no mistake though, “Prisoners” is delivering their trademark sound on all accounts; the killer riffs are splattered all over and Gluz’s awesome, awesome, awesome vocals are as good as they always were (the only chick who can pull off a great growl and even sweeter clean vocals), and naturally – the performances of the remaining members are flawless, as expected. The only… eh… “small” thing missing is the fact I find very few/no tunes of such insane caliber as “Thank you, Pain”, “The birds elope with the sun” or “The tempest” (all off “Lullabies”, of course).

It sounds like I am disappointed with “Prisoners”, huh? I’m not. I just expected full-on greatness, setting the bar higher for The Agonist than what is actually reasonable. There’s some very fine material on here, trust me. One of the strongest tunes on “Prisoners” is, without a doubt, “Dead ocean”. “The escape” is another excellent piece and a fine example of what The Agonist are able to create at their best. The children singing in “Predator & prayer” is also a nice fucken touch as well as the overall Gluz-dominance in one of my fave tunes, namely “Panophobia”. This third album could have used 7 or 8 more tunes like that and I’d be raving day and fucken night about how this disc pisses on everything and anything.

One of The Agonist’s strongest features are the incredibly catchy choruses they tend to fire up. There are not as many of those as on “Lullabies”, but still you get plenty of them and I am pretty sure/I fucken hope this one will grown on me like warts on Lemmy, just like “Lullabies” did. But for now it’s not up there with that album.

It’s not very, very far away though.


  • Information
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Website: The Agonist MySpace
  • Band
  • Alissa White-Gluz: vocals
  • Danny Marino: guitars
  • Pascal Jobin: guitars
  • Chris Kells: bass, backing vocals
  • Simon McKay: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. You’re Coming With Me
  • 02. The Escape
  • 03. Predator & Prayer
  • 04. Anxious Darwinians
  • 05. Panophobia
  • 06. Ideomotor
  • 07. Lonely Solipsist
  • 08. Dead Ocean
  • 09. Mass of the Earth
  • 10. Everybody Wants You (Dead)
  • 11. Revenge of the Dadaist