Christ Agony - _Darkside_
(Hammerheart Records, 1997)
by: Andrew Lewandowski (
While I do not believe that bands should remain confined to a particular genre, the current wave of gothic black metal bands (most notably Dimmu Borgir) have forsaken most of what makes a solid extreme metal album. Christ Agony is the latest black metal band to be absorbed by not only the gothic trend, but its correlating insistence on rudimentary song structures and lack of aggression. The epic songs of their past releases have been replaced by ten standard, four minute long ambient dark wave songs. The ideological shift would be acceptable if Christ Agony were capable of producing an emotive goth song, yet Cezar, who is now the band's sole member, tarnishes each of the more sedate tracks with his ludicrously hoarse attempts at clean singing. Worst of all, Cezar utilizes techno percussion on the two versions of "My Spirit Seal". The mechanized nature of a drum machine is the antithesis of the emotive and organic gothic ideology which Cezar attempts to follow on the rest of the album, and only reiterates his explicit desire of pandering to the goth/industial crowd.
(article published 10/16/1997)
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