The Agonist is a Canadian metal band from Montreal, Quebec, formed in 2004. The current line up consists of guitarists Danny Marino and Pascal (Paco) Jobin, bassist Chris Kells, drummer Simon Mckay, and vocalist Vicky Psarakis, who joined in March 2014 following the departure of vocalist and founding member Alissa White-Gluz. Both Psarakis and White-Gluz use growled and clean vocals. Originally known as The Tempest, the band adopted their current moniker upon their signing to Century Media in 2007. To date, The Agonist has released four studio albums; the latest, Eye of Providence, was released in February 2015. Touring extensively since their first album, they have shared the stage with bands such as Arsonists Get All the Girls, Epica, The Faceless, Chelsea Grin, Kamelot, Visions of Atlantis, and many more.
Once Only Imagined (2004-2008):
The Agonist was formed in 2004 with the line-up of Vocalist Alissa White-Gluz, Guitarist Danny Marino and Bassist Chris Kells.
The band released their first album Once Only Imagined on August 14, 2007. Originally intended as a demo, the release of Once Only Imagined prompted The Agonist to add metal drummer Simon McKay to the band. Released August 28, 2007, the video for "Business Suits and Combat Boots" was filmed by acclaimed director David Brodsky (Strapping Young Lad, Gwar, God Forbid). The video was voted the number 6 video of the year 2007 on MTV2's Headbanger's Ball.
After releasing their first album, The Agonist toured with the likes of God Forbid, Arsis, The Faceless, Sonata Arctica, Overkill, Epica, Visions of Atlantis, and Enslaved. One of the band's tours was disrupted when their equipment trailer was damaged in a blizzard in the Rocky Mountains.
White-Gluz was named one of "the hottest chicks in metal" in the July 2007 issue of Revolver.
Lullabies for the Dormant Mind (2009-2011):
The band released their second album, called Lullabies for the Dormant Mind, in March 2009. The mini-video for "...And Their Eulogies Sang Me To Sleep" off the album Lullabies for the Dormant Mind, also filmed by director David Brodsky, was released April 18, 2009. Shortly following this, on April 22, 2009, was a video for the song "Birds Elope With The Sun," which consists of live concert footage from the band's tour. Their third video, for the single, Thank You Pain premiered on the Peta2 Blog on September 3, 2009. The band achieved major popularity with the release of Lullabies for the Dormant Mind, mostly for their single / video "Thank You Pain". The album debuted at No. 105 on the Billboard Heatseeksers album charts. Vocalist Alissa White-Gluz appeared in March on Blackguard's album Profugus Mortis on the song "The Sword" and then again as a "hottest chick in metal" in the May 2009 issue of Revolver.
While touring Lullabies for the Dormant Mind, The Agonist made their first trips to Mexico, Venezuela, Japan, China, Colombia, and toured Europe. After finishing a tour with Epica and Scar Symmetry in December 2010, the band confirmed on their Facebook page that they are writing a new album to be released in early 2012.
In late 2011, The Agonist took part in the "Pandemonium over North America" tour with Kamelot, Alestorm and Blackguard (except Guitarist Danny Marino, who was unable to tour with the band and was replaced by ex-Catalyst guitarist Justin Deguire). While on tour, the band sold an EP entitled The Escape which showcased two tracks scheduled to appear on the band's third full-length album. It was mixed by Tue Madsen who is known for his work with The Haunted, Dark Tranquility and Suicide Silence. The Escape was later made available on iTunes and through pre-order from CM Distro from September 3.
Vocalist Alissa White-Gluz told metalconcerts.net that the band's music has become more mature, not necessarily heavier or more melodic. She elaborated by saying there are more "classic" influences like Pantera and Radiohead. She told Lithium Magazine that the record could be good for someone with an open mind musical taste, or bad for someone who only likes Thank You, Pain. The album's final recording processes took place following the conclusion of the Kamelot tour.
The Agonist announced on March 5 on YouTube prior to a show in Montreal that their newly completed album would be called Prisoners. It was released on June 4 in Europe and on June 5, 2012 in North America via Century Media records and was produced by the band's longtime producer Christian Donaldson. "Ideomotor" has been confirmed as the first single. The music video of "Panophobia" was released October 24, 2012, and features live and behind the scenes footage of the band playing Montreal's Heavy MTL Festival. In support of Prisoners, The Agonist announced April 2013 tour dates with Danzig and Corrosion of Conformity.
Line-up changes and Eye of Providence (2014-present):
In March 2014, White-Gluz announced that she had been chosen as the replacement for Angela Gossow as frontwoman of the Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy. She also revealed that the group as fans knew it was "over" and that she and they had parted ways. Vicky Psarakis was then revealed as the new lead singer of the group.
On July 9th 2014, the band had officially announced via Facebook that their fourth album, Eye of Providence, was released on February 23rd.
The Agonist are known primarily for Vicky Psarakis and Alissa White-Gluz's ability to use both clean vocals and metal growls and Danny Marino's use of two or more intersecting melodies and unorthodox chords often featuring wide intervals and octave displacements. Songs' themes often revolve around moral concerns such as animal rights, societal dilemmas, and the state of the world.
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