Agnostic Front
Another Voice

If there’s any band that can rebound from the ill timing of a album called Dead Yuppies, (it came out right after 9/11) it’s NYHC veterans, no, NYHC pioneers Agnostic Front. After almost a two decades of angry, genre defining political rants and brotherhood, the Front return on a major label with a new facelift and a new energy.

After the super raw punk energy of the last three albums, Agnostic Front have smartly done 2 things; first they dug up the crossover impact of legendary album One Voice an album that saw Agnostic Front embracing metal within their hardcore punk with blistering results. Second, they have modernized their sound to compete with today’s hardcore acts and even brought abroad Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed to guest on the album and co produce it with famed hardcore knob twiddler Zeuss.

With the return of Matt Henderson on guitar as well as the modern production, Agnostic Front have never sounded better, depending on your opinion of stout production vs. raw energy. The guitars have a modern thick robust tone, and Agnostic Front have more backbone now than they have ever had. The new sound, while still containing the classic Agnostic Front, punk inspired, anthemic sound, also embraces the ‘newer’ hardcore sound as it features a lot more burly breakdowns than Agnostic Front have ever had. That’s not to say Agnostic Front are suddenly Hatebreed clones, they still deliver addictive, shout-a-long based, power chord punk anthems and Roger Miret’s distinctive bark reminds you continually who this band is, but the tone is tangibly thicker and more metal than the prior albums; much like One Voice was over a decade ago, but even more so.

Starting with the aptly titled ‘Still Here’ and blazing through 14 tracks in 27 minutes, Another Voice could be summed up as classic Agnostic Front simply given an sparkling dip in modern metal’s more polished approach. There’s no denying the move is to relate to younger fans not familiar with these legends, but when you mix AF’s addictively catchy tunes with a punishing, crunchy delivery, the mix is hard to beat. Admittedly, the new stout breakdowns such as heard on ‘All is Not Forgotten’, ‘Peace’ ‘It’s For Life’ lumber with a brutish prose rather than the raucous sweaty barroom atmosphere of their prior material, but its still undeniably Agnostic Front; it’s like finally getting that beat up but classic ‘67 Mustang detailed and all shiny.

While baring a ‘new’ sound, lyrically The Front are still chanting oaths of brotherhood and unity as ‘So Pure to Me’, ‘Hardcore!’ and ‘I Live it’ are familiar war cries of a once dominant scene. The trademark AF shout-a-longs that made ‘Blind Justice’, ‘The Executioners’ and ‘Crucified’ such classic NYHC anthems are still around, even if slightly less legendary; ‘Dedication’, ‘Peace’, ‘Take Me Back’ and ‘Casualty of the Times’ all imbuing the blood pumping, prideful choruses of AF’s famous live act, and will no doubt become live favorites.

At its very core, Another Voice is the logical follow up to One Voice (the title track even opens with the same Attica sample that opened One Voice) as it has the same crossover vibe that was lacking of the virtual garage punk of Something’s Gotta Give!, Riot, Riot, Upstart and Dead Yuppies. It’s also arguably their best album since One Voice despite its slightly forced modern sheen.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 20th, 2005

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