The Agonist: Once Only Imagined

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The Agonist: Once Only Imagined
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The Agonist: Once Only Imagined
Melodic Death Metal, Metalcore
Century Media Records
August 14th, 2007
Release length: 38:12
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The Agonist, yet another female fronted melodic death metal band, brings us their debut album Once Only Imagined through Century Media Records. What can really only be described as a good attempt by this band, Once Only Imagined is an album that will easily slip under the radar of metal heads, and for good reason too.

Once Only Imagined is a rather poor album, chock full of stereotypical music, and some rath lackluster vocals. The rather unimpressive, boring, empty sounding, and often unenthused performance of the band during “Rise And Fall” aside the decent guitar solo, is proof enough that this band just seems as though they don’t want to be recording this album. Even the breakdown on the next track, “Born Dead; Buried Alive” is disappointing, and this is just the start of the album mind you. The breakdowns on this just seem rather weak, and come out of practically nowhere. The only perk about these breakdowns, if you can really call them that, is that they don’t have your typical single guitar riff and three second pause between riffs as a build up to the breakdown.

There really aren’t any absolutely impressive tracks on this release, aside the decent songs “Trophy Kill” and “Serendipity” which are both more lighter tracks that incorporate a lot of singing, and the semi-impressive heavier closing track “Forget Tomorrow”. Sadly, the positive aspects of Only Once Imagined are just moments in the album that really showcase the potential the band has. Take the song “Take A Bow” for instance. While this song is very formulaic, much like the other songs on here, and has a lot of breakdowns that don’t seem to work out that well, roughly three total through the song, it’s the odd guitar solo and singing that really shines through. “Business Suits And Combat Boots” has the potential to be a good track until it slows down for the chorus, and just doesn’t work with the song until the very end.

When all is said and done, this release is comprised of really bland and mediocre sounding songs, with only three that are really even worth a listen. Once Only Imagined shows that the band has some talent due to spots in the music here and there, but until the band sits down and really focuses in on that potential, they will only sound like a group of amateurs that got lucky by trying to emulate Arch Enemy with Otep-like vocals. Aside the decent production job, the only real positive aspect on this release would be the vocalist’s beautiful singing voice, and her ability to sound decent while doing the higher pitched raspy shout vocals style. In the end, this album is not really worth picking up unless you find it dirt cheap, or need a new drink coaster at home for your table.

01. Synopsis – 0:32
02. Rise And Fall – 4:02
03. Born Dead; Buried Alive – 4:32
04. Take A Bow – 4:05
05. Trophy Kill – 3:39
06. Business Suits And Combat Boots – 5:27
07. Serendipity – 3:42
08. Memento Mori – 3:09
09. Void Of Sympathy – 4:21
10. Chiaroscuro – 1:06
11. Forget Tomorrow – 3:37
Overall Score: 3.5/10


Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.