Now this is an interesting release. 14 years after their second album, Agatus return with even more of a progressive/heavy metal approach to their music.
70s progressive rock and NWOBHM influences collide head-on with the black metal background of the group, making for an album that sounds little like any of their contemporaries.
The closest I can come to compare with other bands would be a crazy fusion of Rotting Christ, Vintersorg and Countess, all given a workover by NWOBHM and 70s progressive rock. or something. All I know is it’s infectious, addictive, individual and bloody good.
The black metal aspects of their sound are shared probably about 50/50 overall with these other influences, although this obviously depends on what specific part of the song you’re looking at, but it’s a good mix and the band clearly know what they’re doing with such an unusual cocktail.
Some of the riffs and ideas on this album are so authentically of the 70s it’s just crazy. The synths and keyboard sounds work so well with the guitars it’s frightening, and with the vocals wrapped around everything just right…it can be quite an experience.
Agatus clearly have a real talent for this kind of thing. The way all of the instruments work together and entwine is quite special, and monstrously catchy.
The vocals consist of epic cleans as well as harsher vocals, with everything performed very well indeed. The clean vocals in particular are extremely strong and imbued with pure heavy metal power.
I don’t really think I can, (or have), adequately described this album. You just need to hear it. And trust me, it’s very, very good indeed.