|It seemed like I just reviewed Agnosis's 'Demo 2004' when a new album from these golems of New York City's doom underground arrived, so fresh that there were still tendrils of smoke rising from the package in the mailbox. And then I learned that they've put out a rarities disc in the meantime. Nobody can accuse these guys of sitting around being all mopey while they wring tears of melancholy from their dirty handkerchiefs, that's for sure.|
Actually, they put out an even earlier disc, 'Welcome to the Monkeyhouse', but 'Zero' is their first long player. They've come a long way in a very short time. 'Zero', which includes most of 'Demo 2004' is in all ways better and more professional, but still so far underground that they're not even on The Man's radar, much less in danger of getting the soul sucked out of their music. In some ways Agnosis's music is the doom equivalent of Cable or Ichabod; not because it sounds like them but because it's so difficult to tag. There's no doubt that it rests on a firm bedrock of 'Sabbathy doom, but after that it's up for grabs. It's complex (at times) but not mathy, it's old school but doesn't sound like Maryland doom, it's got a Louisiana vibe but doesn't imitate Soilent Green or Acid Bath, and the vocals sound like a deathy mix of NWOBHM and Layne Staley, but the band doesn't track like either Saxon or Alice in Chains. Let's just call it progressive doom metal, played with straight-up hardcore integrity by dudes who surely realize that they'll never be shoveling coke up their nose or flying in private jets making this type of music. That's OK, 'cause they love it anyway.
'Sharpening the Axe...' is the show opener, a mid-paced tune that rocks the doom with some fine guitar playing. 'A Kick in the Ribs' is more progressive, with some added death grunts and black metal vomit vocal shredding, while 'The Fallout' has a mathy chorus with a mid-eastern guitar figure. 'Weak-Minded Man' is some great riff rock with NWOBHM-ish vocals mixed with effective death grunts at the end. Unlike most CDs, some of the best tuneage brings up the rear.
I have to give these guys credit: they're on their own program and they don't really sound just like anyone else. This is a difficult feat for a band's first album, not to mention a rarity in the highly imitative doom genre. After all, most bands never develop their own distinctive sound, no matter how many albums they produce. It's impossible to predict where this band is going: I could see an album of total experimental avante doom, kinda like Cecil Taylor meets 'Master of Reality' or an album of 'Priest covers. I'm kidding but I'm not kidding, dig? Check out their website here.
1. Sharpening the Axe...
2. Swore my Soul
3. A Kick in the Ribs While You're Down
5. The Fallout
6. Elegant (The Hunt)
7. A Lifetime Later
9. Weak-Minded Man
10. Against the Sun
Duration : Approx. 49 minutes
Visit the Agnosis bandpage.