Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy, aka the Joyful Gadfly! Musician, podcaster, writer, historian ... here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Embrace Agony ~ Path To Redemption (EP)




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Style: heavy metal, experimental, death metal
Label: self-released
Year: 2010
Home: New York City

Members: Youssef Benlamlih ~ vocals
Ivan Serge ~ guitars
Kiyomi Kubo ~ drums
n/a ~ bass



This New York outfit churns out some melodic metal that falls between the experimental energy of a raw garage band & the darkness of Tool. Tool might not be the best reference but they're the first that comes to mind, particularly given the occasional use of quasi-talking vocals. "Scars", which also features an excellent example of the aforementioned talking vocals moving between growling, has a particularly dark opening with ringing guitar chords & African-like drumming that becomes a moody riffing beast with a melodic & underplayed guitar solo to embrace the mood. This song demonstrates that agony is more than just a name but actually a description of the music. No, this isn't agony to listen to, but it is someone's cries of agony wrapped in a musical blanket. That's probably the best description I can give to the band overall, without listing further bands they sound like. Cries of agony within a range of straight-ahead metal to more experimental arrangements. I often hear metal bands as just loud & destructive riffing but Embrace Agony is the first band in a long time where I've actually felt the underlying dark mood. A mentionable highlight includes an exciting instrumental bridge in "Bleed & Burn" that briefly transforms the otherwise straight-ahead death metal. The EP also includes the destructively intense "Untouchable" that feels almost too short & "Inner Cure" with probably the most raw guitar playing on the release.


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