September 7, 2005 | | 1

Agents of Man, Count Your Blessings

This album wasn’t total crap, but it was pretty damned close. It reminded a great deal of Freya‘s As the Light Drains but 10 times worse. It sounds nothing like the afore mentioned album, but it has the same problem with regard to the injection of harmony and singing into, in this case, hardcore tinged metal. The listener is greeted with some heavy riffing, hardcore style shouts (even some gang vocals), and then in comes the weak singing and harmony.

Agents of Man‘s lead singer (or who ever in the band is singing) has a pretty decent hardcore scream/shout, but can’t carry a tune to save his life. If you are going to employ lots of harmony into your songs make sure that your front man is powerful enough a singer to do the job well. Every harmonic portion on this album sounds exactly the same. There is not variety or range in his voice.

Musically, the band sounds pretty generic. For a band with the pedigree including past members Bulldoze and Sworn Enemy, you would expect something a bit more crushing. There was nothing that stood out on this album that wowed me. Through a few of the tracks, I kept thinking of Machinehead‘s Burn My Eyes as I listened to this album—I had to force myself to listen to it all the way through before forming an opinion.

So, for those of you that want a hardcore tinged metal album that is both formulaic and generic (perfect of commercial success) then go out and purchase this one. Otherwise avoid it like the plague.

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