Agony Face are a five piece Milan based band who should have something to offer for everyone who likes their metal just a little bit different. The surrealist death metal tag they have got is a excellent description of their output on this, their third album “CLX – Stormy Quibblings”.
The first track is a sure sign of things to come, with timing and key shifting all over the place. Built on a foundation of punishing riffs and blastbeats, the band let you get used to one style or sound before taking off on a tangent. Not afraid to hold back anything (piano and spanish guitar interludes feature during early tracks), it stays well away from ever being safe or average.
The mid point of the album comes with the (almost) title track ‘CLX – Quibblings’, with Davide Guarinoni’s echoing indiscernible vocals adding to an otherwise calming instrumental which breaks up the album well. The brutality returns with ‘XI – Sophisticated Telescopes’ before the two parts of ‘Golden Waterfalls’, the second part being the only real slab of straightforward brutality on the album, showing that the band are capable of a more simplistic sound.
Throwing in all kinds of different influences from many different genres and styles, Agony Face could and should become a bigger band off the back off this release. Guarinoni’s main vocals fit the tone of the record perfectly, and the twin guitars of Riccardo Ricotti and Alessandro Uberti build layer upon layer of schizophrenic noise on top the quite highly impressive Alesandro Bassi (drums) MIrko Montrasio (bass). The band take their influences from the likes of Cynic, Pestilence and Atheist as well as progressive rock such as King Crimson, mixing these together to create something a bit special.
The album ends as unpredictably as the rest of it, with a lone bugle sounding out a solemn goodbye before being drowned in a swamp of electronic noise. The descriptions surrounding the record are quite apt, but could easily mislead folk as to being a bit pretentious, when what you have here is a really good technical progressive death metal album, different enough to hold attention, but not being too ‘out there’. Definitely a band worth checking out, it is well worth your time.