Sunday, October 9, 2016

Agatus" the Eternalist"

There is a more old school feel to this Greek band's new album than I expected going into this. The keyboards are way too high in the mix and the guitars don't get enough love until the verses. The vocals are sung with some grit to them but far from a growl. At times this even sounds like older Iced Earth in places. They proggy hints they have indulged in are given the spot light towards the end of the opener. They pick up the speed for "the Invisible" and the vocals take on more of a growl. The song oddly improves on the more prog metal chorus. "the Oath" turns back the clock with it's more gruff take on power metal , but I would rather listen to this than the pirate shirt wearing pansies that typically play Progpower. Some high pitched falsetto yodels are even attempted. It sounds like the notes are hit , but perhaps without the same authority some one like King Diamond would nail them with.

They thrash out a little more on the speedy "Gods of Fire" before slowing into more of an epic gallop. "Dreamer" fully commits to it's embrace of 80's metal going a more middle of the road approach. "Perils of the Sea" keeps the gallop going. The song loses focus when they build it up into more of a jam. "At Dusk I was Born" returns to the nitty gritty basics of old school power metal along the lines of Accept or Grim Reaper. There is more intricate guitar work in the bridge, but they never fully indulge the rock god guitar solo opening. "Flight Into Forever' has more melodic leanings and places more weight on guitar harmonies, though the solo fills like it's crammed into the section it pops up in.  The emphasis on guitar harmonies continues on "Gilgamesh" but is far from the kind of success Iron Maiden has with them.

They end the album with a more melodic note with an instrumental, but it doesn't add a whole lot. I'll give this album an 8. It's solid 80s styled metal with a gruff coating to it. Not what I normally expect from  metal out of Greece and not something I would listen to on a regular basis since I normally go straight for the source and grab Dio or Maiden , but a good album in it's own right.


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