THE AGONY COLUMN — ...Away From Luciferian Claws (review)

THE AGONY COLUMN — ...Away From Luciferian Claws album cover EP · 2020 · Gothic Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
THE AGONY COLUMN was formed in 2018 in Baranavichy, Belarus in the Brest Region of the nation. The lineup features Ulya Kotozhuk (Vocal), David Kobain (Vocal), Aleksey Chirkun (Guitar), Dmitriy Maliuk (Bass), Anna Zlotnik (Violin) and Roman Stroiev (Drums) and so far the band has released the single “Delirium” in 2018 and in 2020 its first EP release titled AWAY FROM LUCIFERIAN CLAWS.

The EP features 7 tracks and is just shy of 25 minutes playing time. The sound of THE AGONY COLUMN is a doom flavored style of Gothic metal that mixes in various elements such as funeral doom, post-black, shoegaze and atmospheric black metal. The music is melodic and the male and female vocals engage in the classic beauty and beast exchange with Rusian providing the guttural growls and Alice delivering the Goth diva charm.

There are local Belarusian folk flavors to be heard as well as the melodies are primary mined from traditional sources. This is a highly atmospheric release with the neoclassical darkwave providing half of the entertainment value. In this regard they can be compared to classic neo-darkwave bands like Dead Can Dance or more recently Lingua Ignota. The metal aspects consist of a chugging fuzzed out guitar, thumping bass and competent series of drumming prowess.

The Goth aspects are crystal clear with a somber and gloomy atmosphere and a touch of romanticism. The down-tuned riffing style provides the proper accompaniment for the more intricate atmospheric embellishments. The single “Delirium” appears on this release and is one of the strongest with the catchiest hooks and the perfect balance between the sensual and aggressive. The production is also top notch, a trait that the Belarusians have excelled in despite remaining one of the poorer European nation’s since its near obliteration after WW2.

For its short duration the album is surprisingly diverse with nice variations between the tracks but the biggest surprise comes from the closing “Revelation of Death” which features full orchestration so it sounds even richer in its attempt to nurture atmospheric tones and timbres. The digital version features the bonus track “Symphony of Delirium” which totally deviates from the album’s metal sound and solely features an orchestrated neoclassical darkwave sound which is more like the Game of Thrones theme track than metal but still very well executed.

Wow. I wasn’t expecting this to be so good. This sounds like a totally professional band with tons of background experience as classical performers who decided to go Goth metal. The details are all shined to perfection and the mixing of the neoclassical darkwave with the metal is impeccable. The last two tracks (one is a bonus track) show the symphonic side of the band which opens up an entirely new level of appreciation. I actually like this band’s one EP more than i like many classic Goth metal bands like Tiamat, The Gathering or Lacuna Coil.
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