Poorer man’s Arch Enemy? Funny version of Tiamat? It’s amusing how badly Agathodaimon wants kids shouting out lines from their songs at concerts, with fists pumping in the air and a sense of familiarity at knowing the wannabe anthemic parts. But that can be said only for In Darkness (We Shall Be Reborn) and I’ve Risen, because the third song Favourite Sin has the vocalist singing clean vocals, explaining to you why people go to church and other things you aren’t dying to know. Funny as it is, it does sound like a decent attempt at Tiamat worship, I have to give Agathodaimon that.
When Agathodaimon isn’t trying to be other bands, however, they sound really good. Oceans Of Black could’ve been the album opener and I would have been sucked right in. The tasteful piano-and-violin use on sections does the songs a lot of good, as do the black-metal roots, which reminds me that I’d heard Agathodaimon very, very long ago, when I was getting out of the cheese factories called Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth, bands I don’t even consider black metal anymore. Not that Agathodaimon were elite black metal, but it was interesting for me to hear “black metal” bands that could sound different.
For the rest of In Darkness, the band stays in check, and it is satisfactory gothic metal with black-metal vocals used sparingly, along with the clean singing and powerless growling. On Somewhere, Somewhere, Agathodaimon uses female screams to good effect and fuck, I’m surprised at how effortlessly these guys can conjure a pleasantly dark black-metal atmosphere; it’s something that doesn’t come easily even to quite a few black-metal bands. I don’t mind the clear production at all because it suits the songwriting, and what I like about In Darkness is that it shows Agathodaimon care about writing good songs; it’s mature songwriting when the band isn’t trying to make rock-arena anthems for the sake of being catchy, because they don’t seem to be very good at it.
METAL REVIEWS: Tiamat’s The Scarred People