One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Prague has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Whilst multiple thousands flock there every year, Heavy Metal quartet The Agony are aiming to be the city’s biggest export, ready to launch this new album on the world as their next stage of planned global domination.
The Agony – Rising
Release Date: 27 April 2023
Words: Paul Monkhouse
With a number of high-profile shows already under their belts, the big challenge was to translate the fire of their live shows into studio recordings and with Rising, the band seemed to have caught their power in a way that’s going to blow down doors.
Opener House Of Mirrors is a take-no-prisoners declaration, the monstrous riff and locomotive rhythms a grandstanding show of strength that rocks big and hard as Nikola Kandoussi’s tough-as-nails vocals roar.
There’s so much more to the band than brute force, though, the ability to shake the rafters blended with killer hooks and the sort of huge melodies that KISS built a career on as the ground-shaking punch of You finds itself soaring with its unmissable earworm chorus.
A sense of menace pervades Wine, Lies, Lust and the fretwork of Petra Pohanková prowls and snarls with a dangerous edge, Kandoussi’s guitar adding layers of venom to the mix. Elsewhere, the thundering arena anthem She Said brings some touches of glam sparkle to its hard rock drive and is soaked with a 1980s feel that shows their influences writ large.
There’s much more to the quartet than heads-down fun, though. Their grasp of dynamics brings a powerful light and shade to the grand layers of Nothing In The World, its blend bringing to mind Blackfoot’s classic Diary Of A Working Man, making it stand out as a highpoint of Rising.
With the wrecking ball rhythm section of Martina Balcarová’s drums and the bass of Domi Mrázková bringing their own weight and groove to numbers like Instant Reality and Just What I Needed, there’s an all-pervading sense that The Agony are destined for greatness.
With the loving tribute to their hometown in PRG4ever and a defiant History, No Future wrapping things up, the band are not just standing on the shoulders of giants but making their claim to join them in the roll call of the greats.
It hasn’t been an easy road so far, but The Agony are fighters, and they’re ready to launch the knock-out blow. Turn it up and join the revolution.
Annie is from The Agnoy’s EP Eclectic.