So I’ll be honest here…when this Agos song appeared in my inbox, I didn’t hit play with very much in the way of expectations or enthusiasm. For starters, the one-man project is from Greece, and I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Greek black metal sound. With the exception of Dødsferd and Spectral Lore, both of whom I tend to forget are Greek, the style is too bombastic for me – even the comparatively more raw bands like Nocternity that people always mention when I say I don’t like Greek black metal. ‘But dude, what about Nocternity?’ Sorry – not really a fan.
Second, and I’ll admit this is probably more me being nit-picky than anything else, “Death to All False Oaths” really does seem a bit on-the-nose as the title for a black metal song. Even so, I still hit play, and it took all of about ten seconds for me to understand the error of my ways. This song fucking rips.
First, though, a bit of background. Agos is the solo project of ex-Acherontas guitarist Van Gimot, The name Agos comes from the Greek word ΑΓΟΣ, which means ‘miasma,’ or one cursed by the gods. Lyrically, his debut album Aonian Invocation deals primarily with themes from Greek mythology, though bits of Eastern cultures find their way into the mix as well – which is probably evident from that completely badass cover art. I have no clue what the hell that thing is, but it kind of terrifies me…
Musically, “Death to All False Oaths” is lean and all kinds of nasty, with a sound that feels at times like a blackened take on 90s death metal. The riffs have teeth, the drums swagger thanks to a mostly mid-tempo pace, and the vocals carry the foul stench of the underworld. There’s just enough melody to keep it from being a total shovel-to-the-face style beating, but it’s still heavy as all get-out, with only a trace of the folk elements that are more prevalent on some of Aonian Invocation‘s other tracks, like the previously released “Glorious Return” or “Trojan Desolation” – both of which, incidentally, also basically kick all of the ass. In short, it’s everything I could possibly want from this style of music, and instead of writing any more about it, I’m going to drop in the purchase links and then go listen to it again.
Aonian Invocation will be available on October 28 from Satanath Records, Deathhammer Records, and Heathen Tribes. Grab a preorder from your merchant of choice, and then check out “Death to All False Oaths” below.