From left to right: Danny, Paco, Vicky, Chris, Simon.
Does history guide you, or do you set out to change it? — Business Suits and Combat Boots
The Agonist (formerly known as The Tempest) is a Canadian Melodic Death Metal/metalcore band from Montreal, characterised by topical lyrics, complex guitar work and a female lead who can sing (well) in both clean and growling vocals.Their lyrics often consider themes that you might not expect from a death metal band, such as animal rights, social injustice and other contemporary issues. This fits in with the band's name: "Agonist" means initiator/starter of something.In March of 2014, Alissa White-Gluz announced that she had been chosen as the next frontwoman for Arch-Enemy. She also revealed that the band, as fans knew it, was "over", and that Vicky Psarakis would be taking over as vocalist. They have new material in production, and the new album will be released on November 10 2014. You heard it here first.Their current line-up is:
Vicky Psarakais - Vocals
Danny Marino - Guitar
Chris Kells - Bass, Background Growls
Simon McKay - Drums
Pascal "Paco" Jobin - Guitar
Former members include:
Derek Nadon - Drums
Andrew Tapley - Guitar
Chris Adolph - Guitar on tour (2009)
Justin Deguire - Guitar on tour (2011)
Alissa White-Gluz - Vocals, Lyrics
So far they have released three studio albums and one EP:
The Cameo - Youri Raymond from Cryptopsy and Unhuman on Lullabies for the Dormant Mind. Also Melina Soochan, Avi Ludmer and Jonathan Lefrancois Leduc (Blackguard) performing additional instruments. Their producer even got in a few sneaky Metal Screams on their first single Business Suits and Combat Boots.
In turn Alissa has cameo'd in songs for Synastry, The Plasmarifle, Blackguard, Erimha and Kamelot! You can see her wearing a Plasmarifle t-shirt at the end of the Business Suits music video.
Gratuitous French - At the end of Martyr Art, and at the start of Revenge of the Dadaists. Less gratuitous than most, however, seeing as they're from Quebec.
Green Aesop - Many of their songs touch on this (Business Suits and Combat Boots, Globus Hystericus and The Sentient being the most obvious ones, though even those tend to deal with a great deal more than just environmental issues).
Lullabies for the Dormant Mind was overall faster and had less emphasis on breakdowns, along with a more pronounced Melodic Death Metal influence.
Prisoners had more Progressive Metal influences than both of the earlier albums. This probably has to do with them being from the Canadian Death Metal scene, which is big on the more aggressive prog metal.
Red Oni, Blue Oni - A minor but noticeable case with the band's singers: Alissa's stage persona was very stern and controlled, while Vicky tends to smile more and mess around with the other band members during instrumental sections.
Subdued Section - Both within the context of the album (Chiaroscuro for Imagined, Swan Lake for Lullabies) and within individual songs (such as Void of Sympathy, Chlorpromazine, and several songs on Prisoners).
Technician Vs Performer - A mild example: Danny comes up with intricate and technical riffs, to which Paco adds shredding solos. This carries over to live shows, where Danny is generally the most subdued of the three guitarists.
Throw It In - The "false start" at the beginning of Eulogies is an out-take that they decided to keep.