Having previously existed under the slightly cumbersome moniker of What Doesn’t Kill Me, New York crossover/thrash mob Agony Kings are set to release their eponymous debut album in October 2017. We’ll be completely honest and admit that other than those two small nuggets of information, we knew bugger all about these chaps. But, having listened intently to the album a few times, we can now add another fact to our admittedly small repertoire…..they are very, very angry about something!
Agony Kings is an album of seething rage. From opener “Futureburn” to the closing “Heathen”, the band thrash like men possessed, while vocalist Mike roars his bollocks off. So much so that the poor chap is lucky that he doesn’t give himself an aneurysm! The production is suitably raw, while the mix gives the album a claustrophic feeling that suits the band down to the ground.
The thing with metal – and its assorted sub genres – is that there’s precious little room to hide. For want of a better term, it’s glaringly obvious when a band are ‘faking it’ but all it takes is one listen to Agony Kings to realise that this band live, sweat and breathe their music. They may not be the greatest musicians in the world but by fuck, do they play with passion!
There is one problem though and unfortunately it’s a big one! The songs. For all their passion and intensity – live, they could probably flay the skin from your face at a 100 paces – Agony Kings are missing out on some truly killer tunes which makes pretty much every track here interchangeable. That being said, this is the Agony Kings debut album so there’s plenty of time to work on those much needed hooks. 6/10