Friday, May 2, 2003

Review: Agonizer - Cain (2003)

Agonizer [ Website | MySpace ]

Cain is the fourth demo from the Finnish power metal outfit Agonizer. Formed in 1998, the band incorporates the usual elements of the genre into their songcraft - magnificant shredding from J-P Perälä and Joni Laine, Toni Qvick's pounding double-bass, and symphonic keyboards accompaniment by Mika Heinonen. What sets them apart, however, is Pasi Kärkkäinen's vocal delivery. Unlike the screechers and wailers one usual expects to find fronting bands of this sort, Pasi possesses a raspy, throaty voice that brings to mind fellow Finn Ville Laihiala of Sentenced.

The three songs on Cain show an improvement from the band's previous work. The arrangements are tighter and Pasi has clearly strived to develop his ability and range. He hits the rare high notes with authority, adding just one more dimension to this already talented outfit. "Cain The Slayer" is Agonizer's showcase song on this demo, displaying each member's skill both as individuals and as a concrete wall of sound. The only element with which I was disappointed was the keyboard solos in "Mask" and "Cain The Slayer". This is not a knock against Mika's talent at all, but simply that such an aspect does not fit well within the song and tends to come across as displaced.

Agonizer deliver a breath of fresh air to the much over-crowded Scandanavian power metal scene. Although Century Media passed on signing the band, I anticipate a label will be snatching these guys up soon enough.

Track Listing
3Cain the Slayer
Total Runtime

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