Released: 2007, Spinefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Finland has always been known for it´s melodic and melancholic metal bands akin to Sentenced, Charon, Entwine, End of You, Poison Black and the likes. It´s also a bit odd that Finnish-based label Spinefarm Records have snapped many of these bands under their wings, obviously believing in the commercial success of them. In fact, Spinefarm has been doing really well by signing all these more melancholic and melodic acts to the label - and yes, I bet also Agonizer will undoubtedly do relatively well on their roster selling-wise.
As some sort of background info, the band has existed since 1998 - almost 10 years by now and played passionately their melodic metal like kids with their new toys after X-mas Eve. It was actually this recording that made the Spinefarm staff convinced about their potentiality, so a deal with the band was inked nearly immediately in 2007.
In all honesty, Agonizer sounds good - like ready to appeal the masses the best they can, and obviously that´s what they are gonna do eventually, I believe. For Sentenced/Charon fans, this stuff will go down as easily as a frosty and cold glass of beer through my thirsty throat for sure. Oh, did I say Sentenced and Charon by names? I guess I did then. It´s a sort of safe recipe to wander along that particular musical path from the beginning to the end because we all know by now both Sentenced and Charon have both had their pretty good followings both on the national as well as international grounds. That can also turn out against them, like an ultimate curse unless they drop most of their obvious influences out from their own stuff with new songs they will come up with within the coming months. Songs like “Harmless Hero” and “Hazardous” scream to be liked and loved by each of us with some strong tendencies for a melancholic and melodic metal - both of the songs turning out like having safe sex with a pumpable, honey-covered latex sheep. So sweet - and yet so sticky at the same time. Also, all credits to Agonizer´s vocalist Pasi Kärkkäinen for aping both Ville Laihiala (ex-Sentenced, Poison Black) and J-P Leppäluoto (Charon) pretty well, too. No offence, but imitating someone isn´t that clever way to show your appreciation towards something.
I´m not gonna blame them forever for taking the safest road on this path towards the successful times - and because of that, I´m not too impressed by them either, just no matter how good and catchy they may sound (which they, as a matter of speaking, do) on their debut. Bring in some more originality and uniqueness on your next release - and I´m sure you will gain even more pleased people for yourselves by doing so. My two cents for that anyway…