Agnostic Front

One Voice

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Originally intended as Agnostic Front's swan song, One Voice proved to be a disappointing finale for the heroic career one of New York City's most important '80s bands. The fact that it was recorded at all was nothing short of a miracle, however, seeing as AF frontman Roger Miret had only recently done time for a two-year drug conviction, and it was only through the bullish persistence of guitarist Vinnie Stigma that the band hadn't vanished altogether three years earlier. Like all previous Agnostic Front albums, One Voice paid little heed to fashion and harbored no preconceived notions about what their fans expected to hear from the band; but the who-gives-a-sh*t attitude which had somehow always worked in their favor in years past couldn't bail them out this time, and the album's metallic direction ended up sailing way off the mark. Not that you could really blame them for choosing the wrong path, since metal was saturating the era's musical landscape and the New York hardcore scene had dwindled significantly. The extended layoff certainly had a negative effect on their songwriting as well, and first single "New Jack" epitomized this confusion by failing to convince either as a metal anthem or as a punk rock rallying cry. Even worse, Miret's new and improved (?) spitting-bulldog delivery doesn't even sound like his old self, and simply can't do justice to his lyrics about sociopolitical rage ("Infiltrate," "Crime Without Sin," "Retaliate"). Truth be told, the graffiti signaling the band's demise was written on the wall by then, and Agnostic Front would eventually accept its finality.

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