Agrimonia – Awaken Review

Agrimonia have as their motif emotionally driven, Opethic death metal songs presented with an epic, slightly black metal and crusty undercurrent. It is a fairly satisfying sound, for the most part. Of course the problem with any band that waxes Opethic is that one tends to be thinking of Opeth rather than the band in question. And when the quiet interludes appear, which they do somewhat often, this problem is amplified.

Release date: January 26, 2018.
Label: Southern Lord Records.
But when Agrimonia opens it up and gives the songs space to roll, they attain a powerful momentum. Hence the overall satisfaction. While not the most innovative record you can find, the band has a workman-esque quality, reminding me of Metal Church during the thrash explosion: catchy and powerful though not terribly cutting edge.

Opener “A World Unseen” exemplifies this, with its mid-tempo churn and pounding down-riff leading to a feeling of familiar, but welcome, power. Similarly with “Astray.” This is satisfying metal when played straight forward and at speed. There is just enough technicality to keep the noodle-heads interested, but this is more about movement than skill.

 

When they don’t keep it moving, though, they lose the crucial momentum, and that is where one starts to think about other bands, whether Opeth or Katatonia or any of the other bands that like to add a little lilt to their sound. These moments, demonstrated aptly in the opening minutes of “Foreshadowed,” are not enough of a distraction to prevent this album from being recommendable, by any means, but they are distractions nevertheless.

As far as sound quality, the production is fairly standard, allowing the band to work their dynamics without many tricks or spasms. The songs are all on the longish side, averaging around 11 minutes, yet the sound never really gets tiresome, so the mix works.

All in all, this album is best summed up as solid, often memorable, occasionally distracting… so satisfying. That may not seem like high praise, but I have heard more extravagant and technical records that have not stuck with me like this one does. Sometimes satisfying is all you need from a record, so this one gets the recommendation.

Posted by Chris Sessions

I write for Last Rites, but in my mind it is spelled Lassed Writes because I am a dreamer.

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