‘Irkalla Transcendence’ by Agos is a stonking blackened death record. Now the brief summary is out the way here is a little more detail why.
As with all music it was having the time and place to absorb the creativity and listening to Agos was no different. I had real life stuff to attend (read driving my girlfriend and her friend to a hen party which meant enduring an hour of prosecco fuelled chatting and chart music) before I could stick in Agos on the way home. Needless to say I was impressed with what I heard. Due to the main need of “get this on my phone” my moments of free time were spent on the downloading and not reading the promo material so it came as a pleasant surprise to see that thought of “this reminds me of Rotting Christ and Septicflesh” part way into the crushing “Akkadian Cenotaph” was geographically spot on.
Im not sure if its something in the water or the turbulent times the Greeks find themselves in but Van Gimot and Astrous have tapped into something grand. The blend of Sumerian inspired lyrics (and anyone who then doesn’t think of Conan the Cimmerian is lying!) and blend of relentless black metal riffing, blast beats and Bolt Thrower like death metal chugging mean we have a savage beast that makes you think its approachable before it shreds your face right off, just like a Nic Cage movie, with a tremendous solo.
With all that said is it the best blackened death ever? No. But will I have no issue jamming it in my playlist alongside the big dogs of the genre. It made the journey home all the easier and cleansed my ears after a hour which makes waterboarding appealing. It is very much worth the time and I look forward to more.