Agiel

Dark Pantheons

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It's common knowledge that most of the world's best death metal and black metal originates in Scandinavia. Whether this can be attributed to cultural reasons or perhaps the unforgiving weather conditions is unknown, but Agiel makes a statement for the latter theory, since they hail from the similarly cold and dreary environs of Rochester, NY. In fact, everything about Dark Pantheons Again Will Reign pays tribute to the band's Swedish and Norwegian heroes; from the incredibly brutal, yet carefully orchestrated wall of sound that pervades grandly named songs like "Deeds Rendered Upon the Flesh," "Yaweh Is My Sacrifice," and "The Eternal Triumvirate," to the ancient mythology-laced lyrics barked out by lead screamer and keyboard player James Taylor (yes, James Taylor). None of it is terribly original, mind you, but it's hard not to be impressed by the sheer force of standouts like "Serpent Masquerade" and "The Kingdom Complete."

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