Format: Digital, 2CD.
Background/Info: “666 Degrees Below” was a solid teaser to Agonoize’s seventh album to date. The Berlin-based combo released their second album on RepoRecords and again asked Gerrit Thomas (Funker Vogt, Eisfabrik) to mix and master the album. The album again included a second disc featuring six extra tracks.
Content: The influences and sound formula of the ‘Hellectro’ band hasn’t changed. Frontman Chris L. seems to be warding the sound formula to remain the same. The sonic universe of Agonoize is made of provocation, which you can notice in the titles, artwork and of course the songs versus lyrics. The sound remains driven by furious beats overloaded by dark strings and carried by heavy, melodic sequences. On top of it all you’ll hear Chris L. singing in his familiar enraged way. The songs are sung in German, but some choruses feature English words while there also is one song in English. Some of the melodies are reminding me of Suicide Commando, but where Johan Van Roy also likes calmer, moody songs, Agonoize holds on a constant and merciless power. The album features 13 songs and among the tracklist you’ll recognize the already familiar “666 Degrees Below” plus the original edits of “Komakind”, “Angst Ist Macht”, “Faux Amis” and “Dein Gott”, which were featured in an alternative- and/or remixed version at the EP.
The bonus disc brings a bit more diversity revealing a few ‘softer’ songs, but the main trend remains harsh and merciless. The tracklist features and “Frozen”-edit of “666 Degrees Below” plus alternative edits of “Mststck” and “L.ove I.s L.ost” plus 3 real new songs. One of these songs (cf. “Every Day, I Die”) is a kind of hell-electro ballad while both other cuts are pure rage.
+ + + : I think it was not easy releasing a new album after the successful“Midget Vampire Porn”, released in 2019. But Agonoize seems to like challenges and did it again. The work doesn’t innovate, but the band simply becomes better and better. The songs are just what you might expect from Dark-Electro music; harsh, dark, powerful and provocative. Agonoize brings all these ingredients together in a perfect, balanced work. “666 Degrees Below” remains an absolute hit, but I also want to mention “Faux Amis”, the English sung “Love To Hate”, which is a song that will appeal to Suicide Commando fans and “The Age Of Depression”. On the bonus disc I recommend “Tease & Denial” and Krank”, the last cut featuring cool epic chants. “Mststck – Sucht” sounds also more convincing than the original version on the main disc. The nearly constant power of this album is great. I also highly recommend the CD-version for its –once again, great, artistic digipak and artwork.
– – – : You get a total amount of 19 songs and there’s only one single piece –the atypical ballad-like “Every Day, I Die”, which couldn’t convince me. So you’ll have to agree there’s no reason to complain.
Conclusion: Agonoize moves on there where the previous album stopped, and it’s again an undeniable masterpiece and for sure what will become one of the best Dark-Electro albums of 2021!
Best songs: “666 Degrees Below”, “Love To Hate”, “Faux Amis”, “The Age Of Depression”, “Mststck”, “A Hole” + “Krank”, “Tease & Denial”, “Mststck – Sucht”.