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One Track Mind: The Agonist – Prisoners – Ideomotor

Natalie Zina Walschots

My relationship with The Agonist has not always been positive or enthusiastic. The melodic death metalcore band from Ottawa, Ont., have released a total of three full-length albums over the course of their career, and their previous efforts always struck me as a bit bland and showy, all sound and fury, the instrumentation almost an afterthought to support Alissa White-Gluz’s voice. With Prisoners, however, they are finally living up to their potential. The music is as nimble and dynamic as their vocalist’s pipes, as light and diaphanous and beaten silver or thick and oiled as gunmetal as a song demands. The entire record is tightly strung, stretched on a rack and screaming. Finally, The Agonist are living up to their name.

“Ideomotor” is one of the harsher, more mechanical and grinding numbers on this record, and shows off how the band has evolved perfectly. Tight and metallic, this song illustrates how The Agonist have become a cyborg of a band, screaming machine and taught flesh together.

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