In case you haven’t been following the story of The Agonist in the last year, they were in the unenviable position of making a change in the voice and face of the band when mainstay Alissa White-Gluz was hand-picked as the new Arch Enemy singer. Even more tricky… the band seemed to not want her to go, as an upstart band on the same label as Arch Enemy, so you might say the band was in a perilous situation. On top of that, the band was facing pivotal album number four in their career, so to say they had a challenge before them on many fronts, would be an understatement.
However, the band triumphantly rose up and actually created a release with Eye of Providence (Century Media) that stands on equal footing with the bands finest work to date. New singer Vicky Psarakis added last summer injected a her own style, while not changing what the bands make-up musically was at all. Her screaming is on par with White-Gluz, with a brassy contralto, mid-range singing voice; not unlike the best female rock singers in history such as Ann Wilson, Pat Benatar or Linda Perry. This gives Psarakis a grit to her delivery that adds to the emotion of the tracks. Many of the hallmarks of the bands’ past are present on Eye… : anthemic metalcore songs, guitar wizardry, killer double-kick beats, and the pristine production of of long-time producer Christian Donaldson (Crypstopsy).
And the songs! This album has strong, well-written tracks, each with their own identity, but firmly in the tradition they have had. From the blistering opener ‘Gates of Horn and Ivory,’ ‘My Witness, Your victim’, ‘I Endevour’, ‘Perpetual Notion’, ‘A Necessary Evil’ and many more, this album runs the gamut from thrash, prog and rock over and over again. Most of the album carries the positive and impassioned messages associated with them. Acknowledging that it is really hard to lose a singer, especially one so popular with fans, The Agonist has surely proved a lot of doubters wrong here.