Agony Scene The Agony Scene

With equal amounts of At the Gates/the Haunted-styled thrash and Witchery-inspired melody, the Agony Scene contribute to the metalcore subgenre with their self-titled debut, sonically honed by Killswitch Engage’s Adam Durkiewicz (who also produced Norma Jean’s newest platter). This Tulsa, Oklahoma-based quintet commences the shredding with the aptly titled "We Bury Our Dead at Dawn” and "Habeas Corpus” before the slower but no less jugular-slashing hits "Judas” and "Lines of Suicide.” The sprawling "Nausea” has the same sombre yet constricting atmospherics like Morgoth’s "Submission” or Mindrot’s "Burden” before opening up into the NWOSDM-hewn "Shotgun Wedding.” Ultimately, the Agony Scene are not quite as inventive as Victory’s Between the Buried and Me or as traditional hardcore-sounding as Trustkill’s Bleeding Through, but they aren’t trying to be either; just check out their cover of the Stones’ "Paint It Black.” These Okies are metalheads first and foremost, as they — and certainly not Lamb of God — continue to preach the new American (metal) gospel. (Solid State)