Review 1598 : Agarwaen – Channel:Lunacy – English

Agarwaen strikes again.

Created in 2006 in Finland, the band released its first EP in 2010, then disappeared. In 2019, Anthony « Vryko » Hodju (vocals) revives his creature with a first album, then seeks new members to continue his adventure. In 2023, Channel:Lunacy, the band’s second album, was unveiled with Dr. Wolfram (bass), Pete Bay (guitar), Jason Rayon (guitar) and Szilard de la Costa (drums).

After an ominous introduction, the band locks us into their horrific universe with Channel of Lunacy, an airy and very ambient track that borrows from many styles while combining horrific keyboards and raw screams with aggressive riffs. Blast and double kick answer the heavy but heady atmosphere before letting Mass Hypnosis place its jerky rhythmic on a softer and majestic basis before voices come to spread chaos in this devastated and dark but captivating landscape. The track knows how to let rage speak while keeping softer breaks dedicated to live performances just like Lobotomy and its Industrial roots, but also its creators’ madness, easily shining through, especially on vocal parts. The track remains quite simple but effective with some more worked parts which also resurface on Graveyard Shift which places its chaotic leads with medieval influences on a solid basis. Heavy Metal spikes are also present on the solo, but the band concentrates on rawer and aggressive sounds which we also find on Call Of The Void, a rather rich composition which skillfully mixes all the band’s influences while keeping the theatrical approach. The incisive riffs will slow down to let Delirium introduce a more disturbing approach coupled with Punk patterns as well as the band’s impressive approach, being fully unleashed before offering us an epic final by leading us to Deathrow and its soothing introduction. But quietness won’t last, and it will let frantic riffs resurface with fury without ever forgetting the strange orchestrations on which explosions of rage are based to let madness act before the final charge, leading us to Bloodstained, a last composition which will once again feed this contrast between mysterious and dark airy sounds, coupled with fast and aggressive jerky riffs. Just like in theaters, stay until the end.

Agarwaen can only surprise you. Between their Industrial, Horror Punk and Black Metal roots, the band develops a unique universe which comes to life with Channel:Lunacy, a solid and rhythmic album with a strong identity.


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