Disconcert Music have gathered an impressive number of quality acts and releases to mark their debut as a label. Among their better selections, AGONY’s re-release of “Apocalyptic Dawning” (1995) consists of twelve original tracks plus four bonus works taken from the “Eve Of Destruction” demo (1993).
This is Death Metal in its purest and most primitive sense. Lyrically every song depicts humanity wasting through various elements, whether cloning in “Cyberpsychosis” or suffocation at the mouth of a vagina in “Death By Suffocation.” “Post-Cataclysm . . . Suffering Days” depicts the world engulfed by storms as nature revolts on the wasteful human population.
Nature's revenge of our strange behaviors,
A life on this planet earth, are you sure?
After these centuries of pure destruction,
A life on this toilet earth are your sure?
The lyrics shift from descriptive passages to a collective first person to depict fear and panic. “Afraid of things we cannot see, Ignorance will draw us easily!” Although poetic, the lyrical content of this release remains consistent with much of what Death Metal offered to listeners in the mid-1990s and offers little other than an encyclopedia of creative ways to die.
In “Apocalyptic Dawning” Stef Gauvreau offers some evisceral squealing similar to early experiments by MORGOTH and PESTILENCE. The remainder of the release sticks with straight-forward gutturals while the musicians deliver a standard twelve-course meal based on thrashing riffs and turbulent double-bass. The only head-turning elements by today’s standards lie in Erik Beaudeath’s experimental drumming (particularly in regard to cymbal and snare work) as his style incorporates much of what others (like Pete Sandoval) were doing at the time. With Erik’s passing “Apocalyptic Dawning” serves as a time capsule capturing his finer moments.
The four bonus tracks encompass a simpler array of guitar and drum work, but the bass lines are more audible and give each track a darker feel. “Eve Of Destruction” and “Mortuary Oppulent” warrant the inclusion of these four tracks as these tracks indicate the band’s direction for the full-length release in 1995. The clarity and quality of the demo material favors well in comparison to the full-length release and serves as a pleasant conclusion to AGONY’s resurrection through a second label.
(Online May 24, 2007)