The Agonist

Live at The Regent Theater

Los Angeles, CA

November 19th, 2016

Review and Photos by Travis Baumann

The Agonist are a Symphonic Death Metal band out of Montreal, Canada. They have been around quite some time and are known for having a female vocalist that sings both in Extreme and Melodic Metal styles, often utilizing both in the same song.

I have seen The Agonist many times over the years, at least three times with their former lead singer and now twice with the current singer, Vicky Psarakis.

The musical foundation of the band has remained true to form with founding guitarist, Danny Marino as well as bassist and back up vocalist, Chris Kells still handling the instrumentation. They are joined by Simon McKay on drums and Pascal "Paco" Jobin on additional guitar.

Since Vicky came on board two years ago, they have put out an equal number of albums and have been going strong in the global music scene.

For this tour they were supporting their new album, "Five" and had joined on to a massive juggernaut of talent with Arkona from Russia, Fleshgod Apocalypse from Italia, and Epica from the Netherlands.

They opened the set with a song from their previous album, "Eye of Providence" called "My Witness, Your Victim". Vicky would fluctuate back and forth from her aggressive growled delivery to her beautiful melodic side throughout the songs. I imagine this would be extremely taxing on the vocal chords but she sounded great once again.

They featured some material from the new album with the songs "The Villain", "The Hunt", and "The Moment". They only did one song from the albums that came out prior to Vicky's tenure that I can recall and that was one of their first hit songs, "Thank You, Pain".

The previous song along with "Business Suits and Combat Boots" and "Rise and Fall" were the big ones that put them on the map years ago and initially caught my attention but luckily they are still writing equally excellent material so these two tracks were not missed.

They finished up with another track from their previous release, "Gates of Horn and Ivory" which is one of the first songs I heard with Vicky singing, and it assured fans that they were still in the game.  

My favorite songs of the night were the tracks from the new album. It is great to hear "Thank You, Pain" because everyone knows that one well enough to sing along with but given time, I suspect "The Villain" will be a preferred sing along once everyone gets to know the lyrics a bit better.

The Agonist were very personable after their performance, and hung out upstairs at their merch booth for fans to come up and speak to them or get things signed (and without a ridiculous meet and greet fee).

It was a good show and they had a great turnout despite going on fairly early in the evening as the place was completely sold out for headliners Epica. Everyone showed up early to compete for placement in the downtown venue which had the added bonus of the crowd getting to witness a great band like The Agonist.

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