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Agonizer: Birth/The End
Melodic Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Agonizer is a great new metal band from Pyhäjärvi, Finland. Actually, they've been around since 1998 cutting demos, suffering through personnel changes and label rejection (Century Media). Only recently In the spring of 2007, Agonizer finally inked a record deal with the prestigious Spinefarm Records in their native land. 'Birth/The End' is their first full length release. Agonizer has been suffering in obscurity far too long: this is a great debut, a great metal album!

This work has everything: strong, gritty metal vocals, great guitar work, a steaming rhythm section, glistening keyboards and great songs. The songs are full of twists and turns, melody, and great choruses. The production is sound: crisp and clear. All this adds up to a sterling entrance into the metal genre that is immensely enjoyable.

'Birth/The End' starts off with two heavy tunes, 'Prisoner' and 'Harmless Hero' that are marked by strong lead vocals complimented by harsher, but not dirty, back up vocals. These songs thunder along with strength tempered by catchy melodies and fresh guitar solos. However, the best is yet to come. 'Hazardous,' Prophecy,' and 'Sleepless' in the middle of this work propel Agonizer into true melodic heavy metal. As an example, on 'Hazardous,' moments of ethereal keyboards are complimented by the heaviness of the rhythm section,the moodiness of Pasi Kärkkäinen's vocals, and truly memorable melody. 'Sleepless' is probably the best cut on the album: it begins with a subtle and smooth intro of instruement and vocals only to launch into an arrangement of epic proportions thanks to the riffs of guitarists Joni Laine and Jari-Pekka Perälä. Truly great metal!

Indeed, as I said earlier, obscurity is no place for Agonizer. These guys, this band, is very good. I beleive that 'Birth/The End' is only a foretaste of great things to come from Agonizer. Definitely, a must buy.

In Short

This work has everything: strong, gritty metal vocals, great guitar work, a steaming rhythm section, glistening keyboards and great songs. I beleive that 'Birth/The End' is only a foretaste of great things to come from Agonizer.

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