Get Damned (Century Media)
by Scott Hefflon
Album three for this Tulsa metalcore band, and their third label to boot. Solid State to Roadrunner to Century Media, for those of you keeping score. I loved the first. It was an honest release, not an intentional album. I consider many debuts “accidental genius,” where bands toil away and make their art to little hoopla, and when they blow up huge, they realize they don’t know how to manufacture their “style” on command, on schedule, and they often falter as they try to force what once was effortless and natural. Maybe the second record had highlights I never absorbed because it just left me cold on initial listens and I abandon ship too soon. Maybe not. Get Damned is an angry record, yet hints at more mature rage over hardcore’s circular repetition. Something about ripping out stitches on the debut always makes me chuckle. While Rage ATM and Atari Teenage Riot could repeat some slogan to death (surely thinking that alone will change the world), there’s just something cute about the earnestness of hardcore’s roaring some over-dramatic nonsense. Bleeding Through (and plenty of others) have made a tidy career of such melodrama.
Eleven tracks that kinda blend a little after a bit, but there are breakdowns to anticipate, roars to marvel at, and guitarwork to learn. Very, very little “clean singing” (thankfully), and only a couple keyboard flourishes. While perhaps now “honing their craft” and “incorporating elements,” The Agony Scene has evolved into a metal band with a lot of obvious talent, and one that should be with us for some time.