Agony is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, Chicago based death metal act Oppressor. The album was released in October 1996 by Olympic Recordings in the US and by Die Hard Music in Europe.
The music on Agony is death metal with a technical edge. I´ve often seen Oppressor compared to bands such as Pestilence, Atheist and Cynic but the music on Agony rather reminds me of the technical yet brutal death metal style on the first two albums by Gorguts. The quality level is also about the same as on the mentioned albums by Gorguts. Which is high allthough I´m not exactly blown away. I really enjoy the vocals by Tim King. Deep growling and very brutal. The band was formed back in 1990 and there´s a distinct old school US death metal sound to the music on this album that´s greatly enjoyable IMO. The technical playing makes the album a bit more than your regular old schood US death metal album though.
The production is powerful and brutal with the growling vocals high in the mix. I´m not a fan of the rather weak bass drum sound, but that might be an aquired taste.
Agony is a pretty great death metal album and it does what good death metal albums should do. It´s brutal yet the songs are memorable and there are several hooks throughout the album´s playing time that helps keep my attention on the music. I wouldn´t call it out and out excellent but a big 3.5 star rating is certainly deserved.