|Agro - Forthcoming
3 September 2003
02. Woken By Silence
03. Chalk Outline
04. The Price
05. Ein Prosit
06. Til Death
07. Culling The Meek
08. Through The Chaos
09. Mr Scars Are Real
10. At Liberty
11. A Rule So Deformed
12. The Tree II
Now I'm pretty sure that someday Metal will dominate the entire world under riffs of oppression, and the growls and shrieks of our evil overlord will mark our destiny. And how come I'm so sure of this my friends? Because Metal is decentralizing, not all Metal is coming from one country or one continent! And why do is say this? Because the subject of this review is Agro, Metal from South Africa!
I know the last country you would expect a Metal band is South Africa right? Well, actually there's Metal in almost every country, but rarely bands get out of the underground scene of the country. Agro made it to me all the way from South Africa to Peru, South America, I don't think there's another copy of this in the entire country, so I have like a collectors item, a rare jewel of Metal in my hands.
Sadly, Agro didn't fulfilled all of my expectations, that doesn't mean that this is a bad album, because is not, but it has some flaws. First let me start by saying that Agro does an interesting mix of styles here, they mix Heavy/Power Metal with Trash Metal, and they succeed with that, chunky riffs and speedy keyboards mark the rhythm section in the songs.
The album which is very lengthy (more than an hour) begins with and small intro, nothing interesting, when the first "real" song kicks in you could swear you're hearing a Power Metal band like Rhapsody, the keyboards and the drumming is very reminiscent of the Italian guys.
The problem comes once the vocals enter the arena… damn they're annoying! Is like a gruff, not too growly to be Death Metal, not to clean to be consider… errr, clean. I mean, is ok at the beginning but later on the Cd it becomes unsupportable.
As for the music, is damn fine, catchy and trashy riffs accompanied by keyboards? That's the stuff! Killer songs like "Till Death" and "Culling The Meek" make me believe in this band.
But the real highlight of the album is "The Price" for all of you that aren't old enough to remember, "The Price" is a song from Twisted Sister, and let me tell you that this cover song Kicks Ass!!! I would dare to say that is better than the original, and the real surprise is that the song features some killer clean singing, the guest appearance is done by no one else but Jonny Lindkvist, the lead singer of Nocturnal Rites! Now that was a surprise! Jonny also sings on "Through The Chaos" that's when I solved! I knew how to take this band to another level! Hire a clean singer guys! That would give the band a boost, and that way the growly voice would fit nicely! That's an idea to thought about….
Anyway, there's another song that caught my attention, "Ein Prosit" I read that is a Metal-Cover of a drinking German song, is so playful and it features a funny accordion solo at the end, good to know that these guys have sense of humor!
Anyway, Agro needs work and some more good ideas, I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing that the best song of the album is a cover from another band, and the band knows that! because the Cd comes with an extra VCD with a video of "The Price" nice bonus, but not an own song.
Hope to hear more from these guys, and hope that they do something about the singing, and bring the keyboards a little more in the front in the mix for the next album, until then, my bet is on Agro.