Originally written by Ramar Pittance
Twenty years after getting their start in the New York underground, Agnostic Front’s backbone of Roger Miret and Vinnie Stigma is “still strong.” Driven by rich, punk derived chord progressions and Miret’s husky yet entirely discernible bark, Agnostic Front’s predictable delivery is enjoyable simply because, as one of the quintessential hardcore bands, they are very comfortable with their form and make few missteps in their execution on Another Voice. Mid-paced to moderately fast throughout, Agnostic Front never stray outside their generally plodding and predictable timings, and for the most part this works to their advantage because the songs are less about complex riffs and rhythms and more about churning build-ups and anthemic choruses. There’s also the expected breakdown indulgences, like on “Peace” and “Take Me Back.” While these moments generally sound anachronistic and misplaced on the average metal-core album, Agnostic Front’s lengthy pedigree and genre savvy lace these moments with a degree of candor uncommon to their legions of clones.
Sincerity and trueness to form aside, the bulk of the songs on this album either chug along unnoticed or blend together due to a lack of individuality. It seems that in their devotion to creating an album that is pristinely hardcore, they failed to realize that they essentially wrote the same song 14 times. True, this is a complaint that can be logged against many metal albums too, but combined with Agnostic Front’s somewhat dated sound and purposefully simplistic approach, the monotony of Another Voice can at times be unbearable.
Who is the album for? Hardcore fans, and hardcore fans alone. It takes a familiar sound and runs with it down well trodden avenues. Swelling with HC pride, I’m sure this album will serve as an enormous treat for fans of these scene stalwarts. Also, those who’s perception of the hardcore scene have been muddied by bands like Killswitch Engage and Diecast may want to look to this album as a reference point for where so many of today’s young band’s draw influence. However, for those in the market for something slightly more musical or varied, Agnostic Front and their breed of bare-bones, fist pumping hardcore are not for you.