(Breath Of Night Records / Merciless Records)
According to the bands extremely brief band-information, AGMEN must be the most magnificent band in the Black Metal universe. In this very information sheet they state that they don't play any gay shit but rather create musical "obliterations with an excellent production and musicianship" (quote from the sheet!). Gosh, I was quite curious what they would set loose on me. They must be awesome when they use such promising phrases. Well, first of all the ordinary information concerning the band's place of origin, cover design, etc. AGMEN come from the Czech Republic, they've already sent a lot of promo CD's to various zines and labels. Of course, the promo is limited to 666 copies. More I cannot take from the information of the band. The cover is extremely simple - AGMEN make use of black background and a copperplate engraving in the front. This image shows nasty devils torturing human beings with lances and spears. Everything in black and white, of course. The rest of the booklet is black and white, too. There are no further images... just information concerning tracks, line-up, etc. When you unfold the booklet, there is an infamous, little surprise waiting for you. In order to enjoy that little surprise, you have to purchase the CD, hahaha. Let's switch to the musical dimension of AGMEN - they play rather old-schoolish Black Metal incorporating a lot of power and hate. The voice is contemptuous, a strange effect is applied to it... a chorus and reverb effect in combination, I assume. The consequence is that the vocals sound really cool, very cold and old-school which I appreciate loads when it comes to Black Metal. What I like about the production in addition is the drums' sound. They are original (in the original sense), raw and fierce. That's something I really like about this album. The guitar and bass tunes sound quite natural as well - so there's no exaggerated production observable here. The guitars sound natural, as mentioned above... no superfluous effects on the sound, maybe a bit reverb when it comes to soloing on the album (which is rather scarcely the case). The style AGMEN play is old-school Black Metal. They use song structures that are effective in terms of a dark and malignant atmosphere. There are no particularly complex song structures - I think that would be counter-productive in this kind of music. Thus, the riffs are simple, sometimes a bit melodic. A lot of fast stroking is used which it's very often the case in Black Metal. Sometimes there is a certain Thrash-like feeling arising in AGMEN's sound... a song that I think presents these assessments in quite an examplary way is 'Temne Hory' - cool motif (yeah, you actually write this word like that...) Everything is quite typical here. No innovation, nothing that is really new - and that's the intention of this music I guess. It's not necessary to be innovative when you want to create an evil and primitive Metal album - it's just individual combination and usage of the according elements that are widely known - I don't mean that negative at all. I just sense that this is a fact... prove me wrong... I must say that I'm not dead-keen on this kind of Metal. However, I think that this is a solid old-school Black Metal album that'll fullfill the demands of people who like stuff like Dimmu Borgir's "For All Tid", Taake, Darkthrone, old Satyricon, old Ulver, etc.
F. Cthulhu E.