Rating:
8.4
Agents Of Oblivion - Agents Of Oblivion
25 January 2000


01. Endsmouth
02. Slave Riot
03. A Song That Crawls
04. Dead Girl [Acid Bath cover]
05. Phantom Green
06. The Hangman's Daughter
07. Ladybug
08. Ash Of The Mind
09. Wither
10. Paroled In '54
11. Anthem (For This Haunted City)
12. Cosmic Dancer [T. Rex cover]
13. Big Black Backwards


Dax Riggs is of course the man that will always be remembered as the genius frontman of the legendary Acid Bath, respected for the co-creation of the Sludge sound. With his utterly psychotic and entrancing lyrics and intensely dark vocal performance he lead the innovative group to a new level of sickness. What most people seem to forget is that after the death of Acid Bath Dax Riggs stayed active in the music business and is, in fact, active to this very day.

Having worked with a plethora of nicknames and different support bands, the most notable of all is probably (besides Acid Bath, obviously) Agents Of Oblivion. Agents Of Oblivion was his first band after the split of Acid Bath and is consequently the most extreme, even though a huge part of the sonic violence is already lost on Agents' self-titled début. What we get in return are elusive and unusual vocal lines, rarely 'by the book' but always with a strong emotional factor. Give opener 'Endsmouth' a try and listen to the repeated lines "It's only the end". That's dark, elevating and twisted at the same time while building up to a monumental 'capture and release'.

What follows are another twelve tracks that are spread out over the spectrum of Rock, ranging from straight-forward Rock tracks to psychedelic pieces to stripped down ballads and everything in between. Dub it Doom Rock if you like; the important thing is that this is some heavy stuff without actually being heavy. My personal highlight is the cover of T. Rex track 'Cosmic Dancer', which is easily the softest and most ballad-esque track on the album but with such an astonishing power that no amount of replays do it justice. But the other tracks, in particular 'Endsmouth', 'Phantom Green' or the carnival bizarre that is 'Big Black Backwards' are great listens too. The strength of this record lies in Riggs' ability to write calm songs without unnecessary testosterone-fuelled violence, yet still achieve an apocalyptic and off-setting atmosphere through carefully picked chords and skillfully created background collage. Not every song is a real killer but that is the danger of musicians that opt for odd creations – and on this release the good definitely outweighs the bad.

You can easily image what "Agents Of Oblivion" sounds like if you've heard the first Acid Bath album "When The Kite String Pops" and of course in particular 'Scream Of The Butterfly' and 'The Bones Of Baby Dolls'. Perhaps most songs off "Agents..." are not up-too par with the two songs by Acid Bath, but that's almost an impossible feat anyway. If you liked those two songs and think you can handle a disc-full of them, you are strongly encouraged to seek out "Agents Of Oblivion" and ride the apocalypse with me.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


 



Written on 12.06.2009 by
Lucas
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
More reviews by Lucas ››



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Kurimus - 16.06.2009 at 17:25  
Got to remember this one...
METAL! - 19.06.2009 at 05:00  
Anything Dax makes is amazing. Love this album.
Bobby_Loggins - 19.06.2009 at 14:38  
Yeh this album is a little gem! The first and last tracks are well worth checking out!
Mr. Doctor - 19.06.2009 at 17:46  
O man... I totally forgot about this band. Great shit and I have to buy that album soon.
Lucas - 15.01.2010 at 12:07  
"Phantom Green" is now my favourite track of the album, closely followed by "Endsmouth", "Cosmic Dancer" and "Big Black Backwards". Some absolutely fantastic lyrics and Dax' unique and emotional way of delivering them.

"the vanishing man has madness to sow
there are secrets he knows that have never been told

...

phantom green is the color of the sky
its the color i see when i close my eyes
the devil is just out of frame"
spirit_inblack - 19.01.2010 at 02:06  
I think that at the current, I probably like "Endsmouth" the most, because it's so meaningful to me, and very catchy. This band (well, full-length) should be more well-known, not only because it's really good, but really catchy, so it's more accessible. And the re-recording of "Dead Girl" is soooo amazing.
Visioneerie - 11.04.2010 at 23:45  
Listening to this right now. The stuff is pretty trippy. Good find dude.
Lucas - 28.07.2010 at 22:56  
Agents Of Oblivion has become one of my favourite albums, ever. I still stand by my 'low' rating (taking into comparison it's one of my favs), because it isn't a perfect album, but it is a touching and soulful album. I don't know, it's just one of those albums that, when you're in the mood, is the best thing ever. Even if it has its flaws.

Fan-tas-tic stuff.
Danzig666 - 28.01.2012 at 21:43  
This has probably become one of my favorite albums of all time.

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