BraveWords Interview: THE AGONIST – “This Is Not Just A Battle…”

By Carl Begai


Take a look at the viewer comments left as (burnt) offerings for the three videos The Agonist posted in the weeks prior to the release of their new album, Five – “The Chain”, “The Moment” and “The Hunt” respectively – and you’ll find the band has a very loyal yet painfully divided fanbase. Understandable given the parting of ways with original singer Alissa White-Gluz (now with Arch Enemy) in 2014 and the addition of Vicky Psarakis in her place, but the haters aren’t merely complaining about the vocals this time out. No, it would seem that those who would try to do The Agonist harm with insults and assorted trolling when Eye Of Providence was released in 2015 are taking issue with the songwriting on Five, the riffs, the production, the mix, even the promo photos, as well as the vocals. Guitarist Danny Marino isn’t one to let the negativity that has surfaced get to him because he knows Five is a bold step forward for The Agonist, and the band still has a legion of open-minded supporters.

“It’s hard to judge positive and negative reactions based on comments made on a video,” he says, “but even if they’re mainly positive the negative comments speak louder because they jump out at you. I think it’s important for any band to look at it that way. For example, I remember when Opeth went through their musical shift a couple albums ago and decided to continue on that path. It wasn’t pleasant for them (laughs) but I think they’re more successful now than they’ve ever been in their career. It took some time for people to adjust to their new direction. It’s very subjective. All we can do is keep putting out music and seeing people show up to watch us play. That’s how we know we’re doing something good.” Continue reading BraveWords Interview: THE AGONIST – “This Is Not Just A Battle…”

THE AGONIST – Hush Little Baby, I Don’t Hear A Word

agonistBy Carl Begai

As first albums go The Agonist’s 2007 debut, Once Only Imagined, was a decent start. In spite of the unfortunate title – it’s memorable for the fact you can’t say it even one time fast – and a bumpy track sequence, the album put the band in people’s faces by yielding the brash single and video ‘Business Suits And Combat Boots’ and enabling them to jump on several different North American support tours. Of particular interest was frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz, both for her Gossow-meets-Scabbia vocal acrobatics and her looks, to a point where the music and the guys behind it were often reduced to an afterthought by the press. As if to call these people out The Agonist’s new album, Lullabies For The Dormant Mind, is everything a sophomore record should be, expanding on the ideas and performances put down on the debut in ways nobody could have imagined. This includes the band who, according to Alissa in a 2008 interview with BW&BK, weren’t sure of the direction their second album would take, with guitarist Danny Marino wanting to go down a more melodic avenue with his playing while she was determined to make things heavier. Turns out they both got their wish, although the record does favour Alissa’s frame of mind
Continue reading THE AGONIST – Hush Little Baby, I Don’t Hear A Word