(Andy Synn prepared this review of the new album by The Agony Scene, which will be released on July 20, digitally and in physical editions via Outerloop Records/Cooking Vinyl.)
So-called “comeback” albums can be a dicey affair. Attempts to recapture past glories can easily sound dated and contrived, while efforts to demonstrate progress and evolution can just as easily alienate the very audience who’ve been waiting so patiently for your band’s return.
It’s a difficult line to walk at the best of times, and I’ve lost count of the number of artists who’ve stumbled and fallen while attempting to navigate this particular musical minefield over the years.
However in this particular case The Agony Scene look to have succeeded where so many other have failed by producing an album which sounds like a natural extension of their earlier work – albeit one informed by a solid decade of growth and experience – as well as an exploration of fertile new pastures.
And I guess it doesn’t hurt that it also just so happens to be the darkest, most visceral album of their career.