Tormentor is the first release from The Agony Scene since 2007’s Get Damned. I always liked this band’s razor-sharp take on modern metal, so it’s great to hear them make a return.
Mixing elements of hardcore, metalcore, and melodic death metal, (with hints of both black metal and punk here and there), The Agony Scene always seemed to have a keener edge than than most of their peers at the time when they were first active. Although easily and understandably caught up in the entire NWOAHM movement, The Agony Scene actually had a distinct and separate personality of their own, apart from the Killswitch Engages and Lamb of Gods of the world.
If you’re unfamiliar with The Agony Scene, then in simplistic terms I’d describe Tormentor as a mix of Bleeding Through, At the Gates, and The Black Dahlia Murder. It genuinely is a top quality album, and the years between releases only seems to have made the band even more passionate and committed to the metal cause.
I’m pleased to say that 2018 gives us a new 36 minutes of material, with the band sounding hungrier and more ferocious than ever. Bristling with aggressive venom and a serrated blackened feel that’s infectiously cutting, these new songs are classic The Agony Scene, only updated with a 2018 sense of heaviness and intensity. There are more blast beats and black metal overtones than ever before on Tormentor, for example, both of which are wonderfully delivered.
I was always a fan of how uncompromising the band seemed to be when compared to many other bands that they originally shared stages with. Of course, we’re not talking underground death metal extremity, but the band always seemed far less interested in developing a stadium-friendly commercial sound, and were always more concerned with going for the throat with extreme prejudice and violence. These days that sense of visceral aggression has been further realised, and Tormentor sees the band unleash their most aggressive, heavy, and intense material yet.
With songs that are catchy and memorable, well-written, and delivered with caustic venom, Tormentor is a surefire winner.
So, 2018 has given me a new album from both The Agony Scene and Bleeding Through? All I need now is for them to tour together and I’ll be in metallic heaven.