The Agony Scene - The Agony Scene (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Agony Scene

The Agony Scene (2003)

Solid State

I first heard of Tulsa, Oklahoma's The Agony Scene on I thought they were decent, but somewhat generic. Now fast forward a couple months, I find this CD in my mailbox with a fairly hype filled press release from Solid State. Press releases are always good for a laugh. They try to sound so import and official, all while spewing out a bunch of superlatives about the band. Apparently "The Agony Scene takes the best elements of metal and none of the worst." Translation: metalcore band.

The Agony Scene is talented, this band knows how to play, and play well. Unfortunately, they sound like a million other bands that came before them. After listening to this I was sure I had heard these songs some place before. Another band who worships the likes of In Flames and At The Gates is nothing new or even all that interesting. Maybe three years ago I would've been excited about this, but it's been done before and it's been done better.

Maybe I'm just getting jaded, but it seems to me like every band playing heavy music has to give nods to European metal. Now don't get wrong, I love metal, but there is more out there. There are some nice riffs here and there, and the drumming can be very impressive at times, but that simply isn't enough to salvage an otherwise mediocre album. On the plus side of things, Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage produced this album and everything sounds exactly how it should. If there was ever the perfect production for this type of album, this would be it.

Apparently Solid State thinks this band is the savior of American melodic metal/metalcore, well I would have to disagree. As Hope Dies, Darkest Hour, Age of Ruin, Killswitch Engage, hell even Dead to Fall and Atreyu are miles ahead of this band right now. I want to like this band, I know they can pull this off and be something more than another face in the crowd. But before anything can happen they need to find their niche and develop their own sound. Until then they'll just be another band with a bad name.