Tulsa, OK has never been what one might consider a Petri dish for talent. Besides being the hometown of now fading stardom of the Hanson brothers, Tulsa is little more than a restroom break when you're going across country. All of that is about to change with the birth of Tulsa natives The Agony Scene and their debut self titled release that drops on June 10, 2003.
With viper like subtlety the Agony Scene's debut starts with a ferocious bite. There's little build up except for a short swell of distortion and what soon transpires happens with such utter abandon that it can only be compared to some vulgar stigmata-like appearance. The band has transformed over the years from a spastic math / hardcore band to a legitimate technical metal beast, frothing at the mouth to be let loose on the world.
Produced by Adam Dutkiewicz, guitarist and mastermind of Killswitch Engage and man behind the knobs for label-mates Norma Jean as well as others, the band's self-titled release combines American metal, ala "Far Beyond Driven" era Pantera, with European bands like In Flames, The Haunted and even the mighty Cradle Of Filth. Few American bands have captured this kind of ferocity on wax but The Agony Scene have taken hold of it and called it their own quite nicely.
Another startling example of The Agony Scene's distinctiveness is the band's lyrics. They're, well, intelligent and allegorical, something sadly missing from the current crop of "My Mom and Dad suck!" diatribes that mix with enough bad poetry to make Keats himself roll over in his grave. Each song tells a story and it's cast of characters are as varied as a John Waters film. If the music business doesn't pay the bills they at least have a literary crutch to fall back on!
If some have given up on American metal they have to look no further than The Agony Scene's debut to find that there is indeed hope coming over the horizon and The Agony Scene will be the valiant musicians to bring it into the future.