I had first heard of this band when I was browsing through www.mp3.com. The first song I heard was "Tongue Of Thorns", an excellent example of symphonic Black Metal. The second song I downloaded was from their first album ("Blacken The Angel") and was called "Banner Of Blasphemy". From those two songs, I was under the impression that AGATHODAIMON were a symphonic Black Metal-band. And if I had purchased "Blacken The Angel" instead of "Higher Art Of Rebellion", then that assumption would have been correct.
"Higher Art of Rebellion" takes the Black Metal-foundation found on "Blacken The Angel" and mixes it with gothic/romantic elements, often incorporating clean vocals in with the harsh Black-vocals. For the most part, this combination works out very well. This is proven in excellent songs like "Ne Cheamă Pămîntul", "Tongue Of Thorns", "Glasul Artei Viitoare", and "A Death In Its Plenitude." AGATHODAIMON also perform a very fine ballad by the name of "Body Of Clay", which showcases clean vocalist Byron.
Despite the great tunes mentioned above, songs like "When She Is Mute", "Norvus Ordo Seclorum", and "Neovampirism" among others fall short. They lack dynamics. They have no intense parts to combat the calm moments, or vice versa. In fact, some of the songs are just plain boring. Luckily, this isn't the case on all songs.
And for those of you who manage to get the limited edition-version (like me!!), there are two bonus tracks: A 1999 self-cover of "Ribbons / Requiem", recorded with AGATHODAIMON's new style, and a remix of "Body Of Clay" (both of which are quite good).
"Higher Art Of Rebellion" is a GOOD album, and it has provided me with some excellent music….it's just not a GREAT album.