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Album Review: The Agonist - Lullabies For The Dormant Mind

From the offset, one thing is clear: This record is not for your Grandmother. 

Opening track 'The Tempest' contains everything the debut album offered, and then some. Fronted by the attractive Alissa, the band have an instant selling point. Equally, her vocals are some of the best around. She sings, squeels, shouts, screams and growls, and thats all within the first minute of the record. This though, perhaps demonstrates the underlying flaws of the album, The Agonist are Canadian, yet sound Scandinavian. 

The band, are undeniably talented, combining Black Metal and Classical music, albeit with several other sub-genres thrown into the mix. Such a wide range of influences and styles though, rather than enhance the band musically, instead leaves the record feeling disjointed and overcrowded. 

Musically, there is a fine line between style collaboration, and schizophrenia, and unfortunately for The Agonist, they have become victims to their own open-mindedness. The band's a capella version of Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' underlines their aforementioned talent, yet, when combined on a record with thundering riffs and blast beats, something doesn't seem right. 

'Lullabies For The Dormant Mind' is by no means a bad release. 'Birds Elope With The Sun' for example, is a huge track, and technically brilliant. Despite this, the point still remains, mixing countless genres on one album does not ultimately equal originality. 

The Agonist are very good at what they do, and this sophomore record cements that fact. It remains to be seen however, whether this record will be viewed in large as either, a celebration of a variety of genres, or a record shrouded in confusion. The Agonist clearly have a genre defying agenda, but, do they know their own identity? 


Lullabies For The Dormant Mind is released throughout Europe February 23, on Century Media.

Chris Powers

Alter The Press!