2014 looks set to be a momentous year for The Agonist. The Montreal-based death metal outfit was thrust into the limelight when Alissa White-Gluz jumped ship to take Angela Gossow’s place in Arch Enemy. With newcomer Vicky Psarakis joining their ranks, The Agonist are finishing up their fourth album in Montreal’s The Grid studio.
“The album isn’t even complete or mixed, but I’m already so blown away by the outcome. This album means a lot to me, not only musically but personally,” admits guitarist Danny Marino. The departure of White-Gluz was not without some friction. “It was by no means an easy choice but it was one The Agonist needed to make,” he says.
“Alissa did say she wanted to balance both bands however, as you can see by their current touring and promotional schedule, there was little room for us. We would have needed to cancel all our touring plans indefinitely, including our first ever appearances on the European festival scene. On top of this, the album would be delayed indefinitely. This album is the most important of our career and we are still a growing band.”
Psarakis came onto the band’s radar with her YouTube cover of Thank You Pain. “But it was her first few shots at writing on our new material that really sealed it for us! We needed another creative person in this band, not just a fill-in singer,” Marino reflects. “We took the old school approach and actually lived together for the majority of the writing process. This allowed inspiration and collaboration to happen anytime.”
“It’s funny how things happen sometimes,” says Athens native Psarakis. “I was still in Greece when this whole thing came about. I was planning to move to Chicago and try my luck with the music scene there. Now, I’m mostly in Montreal working with the band on new music, jamming, getting ready for upcoming gigs.”
Social and political issues have been recurring themes in The Agonist’s music, a trend that Psarakis plans to continue. “Personally, I love writing about the state of the world and modern issues, so social and political problems are never-ending inspiration. Technology is probably the biggest theme in this album though,” she reveals.
“I personally have a lot of faith in this album. It’s different. Some classic The Agonist elements are still there of course but there are parts where we weren’t afraid to experiment.”