The Agonist – Orphans



Rodeostar Records

Release: September 20, 2019


Canadian extreme metal outfit The Agonist are back in tip top shape with their sixth album “Orphans”, set to be released on September 20, via Rodeostar Records. The hype surrounding this record began to spread with the release of the first single “In Vertigo”, and reached a boiling point with “Burn it all down”. It was clear that powerhouse vocalist Vicky Psarakis, guitarists Danny Marino and Pascal Jobin, bassist Chris Kells and drummer Simon McKay have created a very solid and intense album.


Extremely melodic but also melodically extreme, “Orphans” is a very well crafted metal album that sways between melodic death metal, metalcore and even some rocking moments resulting in a varied yet coherent collection of songs that are both brutal and frail. It also has a darker atmosphere and a neat sense of fluidity and continuity that will captivate the listeners from the opening chants of “In vertigo” and keep them engaged until the final notes of “Burn it all down” fade from the speakers (or headphones). 



In vertigo

As one we survive

The gift of silence

Blood as my guide

Mr. Cold

Dust to dust

A devil made me do it

The killing I


Burn it all down

In between these two singles (actually the first and the last track on the album) you’ll find pulsating instrumental and superb yet varied vocal delivery, and I don’t know which one of these two elements is better. One thing is certain: Vicky Psarakis’s vocal delivery on this album is her best yet. Each of the 10 songs highlight different aspects of her voice, range, and versatility. She really shines and shows all she is capable of, with beautiful melodic vocal delivery mixed with harsh vocals, and deep growls, like on “The gift of silence”, whose light, almost poppy chorus is in stark contrast with the rest of the song. I think that in between the aforementioned “The gift of silence”, the dramatic yet upbeat rocker “Mr. Cold” and the title track “Orphans”, where we get to hear some of her operatic vocals, cleans and harsh in a beautiful mix of softer and harder moment, the listener is given a good handle on Vicky’s vocal prowess.

Instrumental-wise, the album is just a relentless downpour of fierce riffs, powerful drum beats and bass lines, offering incredible solos like the hefty one on “The gift of silence”, intense drumming patterns as on the fast paced battle hymn “Blood as my guide”, and vibrant guitar parts like the chugging riffs that go so well with the vocal lines on the metalcore anthem “As one we survive”. Elsewhere, we have a fast paced madness that is “Dust to dust”, that boast vibrant guitar work, intense drumming, and some screamed vocals, the brutal assault of “The killing I”, which ebbs and flows between melodic vocals passages and deep gutturals with a brilliant guitar solo to cap it all off. There is such a nice balance between clean vocals and growls on this album, with many melodic and catchy aspects to it (after only a couple of listens I had the chorus to “Orphans” stuck in my head) that make it so intriguing and fascinating. I mentioned earlier something about atmosphere on this album, and such songs as the title track “Orphans”, “Mr. Cold”, or “Blood as my guide” really do have a certain dose of darkness and gloom to them that add not only variety but also a sense of mystery to “Orphans”. On the other hand, such songs as “As one we survive”, “The gift of silence”, “Dust to dust” and “The killing I” showcase not just the top notch technical side of the band, but also their ease and ability to play with different styles making everything sound cohesive and fluid.

Long story short, this albums bring to the forefront all of the band’s trademark elements, while also delivering a fresh perspective on who The Agonist are nowadays, everything wrapped up in power and melody. They went all in with this album and the end result is a ‘no filler, all killer’ type of album, each track off of “Orphans” could be a single in its own right. A phenomenal sonic experience for any metalhead.


Pre-order the album at this link.


Rating: 10 / 10



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By Andrea



Vicky Psarakis – Vocals

Danny Marino – Guitar

Pascal "Paco" Jobin – Guitar

Chris Kells – Bass

Simon McKay- Drums

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