The Agonist
Days Before the World Wept EP

Recently, in between beatings for our insolence in the TOTD break room, we had a very brief conversation regarding blackened deathcore vs blackened metalcore. A small distinction, to be sure, but I didn’t have time to think about it before our fearless leader made us fearful, told us to finish up our daily rations of Slim Jims and Orange Hi-C, and made us get back to work… and you thought reviewing was sexy?

Somehow, some way, this brings us to The Agonist, a metalcore band I hold in very high regard, and their new EP, Days Before the World Wept. I believe this band has been on quite a run since Vicky Psarakis replaced Alissa White-Gluz on 2015’s Eye of Providence, peaking with 2019’s absolutely stellar Orphans. The big question is if they will continue their upward trajectory.

Indeed. The album starts with a banger called “Remnants in Time,” and continues that momentum through the end of this all too short affair. It begins with some solemn piano before breaking into some choral vocals from Vicky and stellar lead work, immediately bringing to mind that blackened deathcore sound mentioned earlier. Appropriately, in the video, Vicky turns into a demon for the chorus, which is all low growls along with blast beats. This is one of the heaviest tracks they have ever done. Of course, Vicky employs her excellent clean vocals in the bridge, as well as with the accompanying piano at the end.

If you’re looking for a clean chorus, and something perhaps a bit more like what you may be used to from the band, then look no further than the next track, “Immaculate Deception.” However, the bridge leans into those blackened elements, so it’s certainly no entirely formulaic track.

The last one on here, which is the longest, and is also the title track, “Days Before the World Wept,” leans once again into those blackened elements. The beginning of it has a cleanly picked guitar melody before those blackened elements with blasts take over. That guitar chug, though, is all metalcore. Vicky gives us another stellar performance on the mic, but the rest of the band shine as well. That’s a theme throughout this EP.

Overall, I’m not sure this is the best recording The Agonist has done to date because of my adoration for Orphans, but if it isn’t, then it’s damn close. I really enjoy what they’ve done here leaning into the blackened elements. It has a very cohesive feel across all 5 tracks and I wish it were much longer, as I could use a new full length from them, but this will have do to for now… and it does.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
November 5th, 2021

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