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Reviews

Stereo Stickman

Villainous is the debut EP from one man band and artist Eski, otherwise known as In Silent Agony. In addition to the impressive artwork that comes with the release, there’s a crisp and blissful polish to the project that consistently brings out the strengths of the songs, and these are things that really do multiply the effect of the music immensely.

 

The opening and title track crashes into action with the stylish and confident stab of that distorted guitar riff. There’s a speed and urgency to the sound, broken up intermittently by a more relaxed chorus section – an unusual and interesting way to structure the track, and it works really well; drawing you in with the energy, then keeping you captive with the vocal hook.

 

Sightless is a track that takes the darkness to an even more intense level. Right from the offset, the sound of the music has a certain madness to it that claws at you as you listen. The shudder of the leading guitar riff initiates this, and the vocal performances that make up the verse add to it further. The two vocal styles contrast well – the growl and the whisper – it gives off a pretty theatrical sort of feeling, an added dynamic that implies there’s a pretty big story taking place. As the track evolves you really get pulled into it, and the music seems strangely softer towards the end; just sort of filling out the space between thoughts – intense enough to let you know it matters, but not so much so that it’s completely detached from you as a listener.

 

This is a good time to point out the creative touch that is prominent throughout the production on these songs. That theatrical feeling as mentioned is something that comes partly from the structure and the various effects used to emphasise certain moments within the lyrics. It’s a clever and effective way of writing the songs, it suggests far more than a simple set of metal chords and some heavy vocals – there’s a lot of feeling and a lot of thought that has gone into this collection.

 

The third track A Dark Embrace is a definite highlight. The musicality of this piece is complex and creatively inventive. There is still that fast to slow set up that has been part of the signature sound of the project until now, but there’s an entire atmosphere to this piece; the arrangement of chords and the way the music changes from the aggressive to the melodic is hugely effective. The louder you listen, the more it takes over you, and there are certain sections of the song that really strike hard – these addictive moments where the sound is just so, the rising guitar riff with those whispered vocals over the top, particularly alongside the alternative moments, has great impact.

 

Then you get to Plaguerism, and the energy is at full speed; the riffs are strong and mesmerising, and that classic vocal is performed with great character and confidence. The darkness is intense once again, the way the voices weave in and around each other brings back that dramatic dynamic, and in between these moments you get those awesome distorted chord riffs to really make you move. You can also more clearly pick out some of the lyrics in this track from the very first listen, at which point you can appreciate the depth and the thought process involved in the artist’s writing. There’s a hell of a lot more to these tracks than just the heavy hit of the music.

 

Diminishing Returns brings things to a close in really strong way. Another definite highlight, and a great way to leave you wanting more once you’ve heard the whole collection. The energy of those guitars and those drums has every bit of power that is needed to hold heavy metal fans captive. There’s a pretty emotional feeling given off by the hook of this song as well, which you can listen to and listen past if you choose to, but when you really listen – there’s once again far more to it than the initial output of the sound.

 

The creative structure is a massive part of the strength in this one as well, as are the lyrics. The whole idea of the higher we build our walls is something many of us will take note of and immediately relate to, particularly in lieu of recent events around the world. This is an EP well worth listening to a few times over, and it’s something that fans of heavy metal and various sub-genres of the thicker, harder hitting rock sound will love.

 

Get involved – find and follow In Silent Agony over on Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter and Instagram. The Villainous EP was released on September 5th – grab your copy via Bandcamp or iTunes (US). You can also head over to the Website for more info.

NataliezWorld

In Silent Agony a solo project by one of the former members of another act known as Morphine Killer, who spent their time in the sunshine, to only fade to dust. After their attempt, one of the members went solo as mentioned, and created In Silent Agony with its debut release "Villainous". A debut EP release that is simply put, loud guitars with even louder vocal chords, the EP offers 5 songs, a few of which aren't half bad. Some of those include one's like "Sightless", "A Dark Embrace", and "Diminishing Returns". These selected tunes really captures the essence of the material, the loud guitar work, is catching, loud, and impressive. Whereas the vocal chords, are done rather well than just good, they sound aggressive and pulse pounding, really pushing at the music, as it engulfs it altogether, if you will. All in all, this EP is a good sounding mix of "loudness" that anyone who's into heavy music will surely enjoy.

THEMUSIC.reviews

Do you ever turn on the radio and hear a band and you are honestly not sure what you are listening to? Well recently this happened to me. I am a fan of metal and rock and sometimes screamo, but this band just didn’t sit well with me. I guess the reason is that I can’t really understand what the singer is saying. What I will say about this band is that the music behind the singer is absolutely amazing. Oh, I am not saying the singer is bad, his style of singing is just not what my ears like. As a professional music reviewer, I listen to everything and anything. Sometimes you aren’t gonna like what ya hear, but what you do is, you find the good in it.

 

Like I said before, the musical instrumentation with the band, In Silent Agony, is absolutely on my top 20 bands with amazing guitar riffs. The bass lines and everything with this band are top notch. They have a unique style will make your head spin. Though I have never heard of a singer like in this band, they have a style that after a few listens that I could def get into. Check them out .

 

I think this band could redefine what metal is. They are on their way to a whole new experience with their latest release!

Jamsphere

In Silent Agony: “Villainous” pulls no punches!

In Silent Agony is a project by Eski, who performs all instruments and vocals, as well as handling production and recording duties. A month back In Silent Agony dropped its 5 track metal induced EP “Villainous”. Right out of the gate, with the title track Eski defines a distinct guitar sound, hitting on a technical and varied sound that almost makes you forget this is can be extreme death metal at times.

 

The whole thing just knocks you over, this being the perfect blend of aggression and technicality. It is a brutal barrage that pulls no punches and pummels the listener’s ear drums. With its impenetrable wall of sound, killer bass, hard hitting drumming, and fiery guitar work.

 

On “Sightless”, In Silent Agony makes the beat a big, relentless wave which gets shoved down the listener’s throat. But he sometimes creates breakdowns that change the beat. The growling here will pound your ears and crack your bones, grinding them into dust.

 

Those of you who don’t listen to a lot of underground music but are looking to expand their catalog of heavy music should really hear the mix on “A Dark Embrace”, one of the standout tracks in this concise collection. This is far from a simple testosterone fest.

 

Instead, the EP combines unrelenting aggression with devastating precision and killer songwriting chops, making for a superb metal listen. In Silent Agony can slow down and really drive the heaviness into you, or he can speed things up and blast you straight through a wall.

 

No matter what though, the music is always gut-wrenchingly heavy, and played with an amazing level of skill, as is the case on the riff heavy “Plaguerism”.

 

Eski’s vocals are basically guttural, semi-intelligible growls typical of extreme metal, but they’re sufficiently angry and hateful for the music being played, that they fit perfectly. The rhythm section sounds really good too, while the drum and bass are inevitably pushed to the background by the more attention-grabbing nature of the guitars and vocals.

 

If you like heavy music that mixes brains with brawn, you can’t go wrong with “Diminishing Returns”, the EP closer which is very intense and rageful. The guitars are meaty, sharp, ultra-distorted and just plain heavy. Although I would appreciate some more guitar solos, the overall structure of In Silent Agony’s sound doesn’t make you miss them very much.

 

In an age of formulaic and predictable bands passed as metal or hard rock by the major labels, In Silent Agony sticks a defiant middle finger to the big record companies and just does his own thing. “Villainous” will bash your skull into the pavement and leave you begging for more.

 

Eski is leading the charge away from the flashy and fake nu-metal mania and into new ground…which is actually the original old ground. So if you’re not jaded on metalcore, hardcore whatever other label people come up with, then check this EP out because it’s a legitimate part of good heavy metal!

Sleeping Bag Studios

Ohhh I can never quite remember…is this Black Metal…Dark Industrial…Goth…where does the music of In Silent Agony fall into genre-wise?  To go further with that thought…what point would there be to putting a beast in any kind of box?  However you want to categorize the music of In Silent Agony isn’t likely going to help you contain the untamed, wild & straight-up demonic sound of the songs you’ll hear on the new Villainous EP…it’s just another label…and it’s the music that speaks for itself.

 

Sometimes instead of speaking, it screams at you…like In Silent Agony is doing over the five raging cuts on the brand new record.  As far as I can tell…it all traces back to the mind, creativity and talent of one man…a dude named Eski.  Making music this enormous is a challenge for most BANDS out there, nevermind a solo-artist!  In that sense…you’ll find the Villainous EP to be seriously impressive from the sheer scale, size & scope of the tunes…and if you like the hard-stuff, you’ll definitely dig the dangerous, menacing and throat-ripping sounds spread-out all over these new cuts.

 

For an opening tune on a record, you pretty much can’t ask for a more immediate impact than you get in the beginning of “Villainous,” the EP’s title-tune.  This track instantly becomes enormous through the intensity of the riffs and pounding kick-drum combination…and shortly after that, becomes all-out monstrous.  Slithering his way through a whispered verse before hurling out the chorus of “Villainous” from the very bottom of the pit of his stomach, the words are brought-up like a Technicolor yawn early on a Saturday morning after a wicked Friday night.  The vocals are well-executed and certainly something you’ll notice in the song…as to whether or not it’ll resonate and connect with you, that’s another story entirely.  It’s a sound that appeals to a niche section of the planet…Eski knows this I’m sure; I don’t think you end up creating this kind of music without at least knowing it represents a minority of the mainstream.  And oddly enough…it’s because of knowing that…that you also have to assume that truly dark, gritty & gripping sounds like this are also actually created out of a true love for the sound, style and art of it all.  The music of In Silent Agony might sound evil…but at the root of it all, you’ll actually find an unbreakable bond and genuine love of the craft.

 

If you’re a fan of the real heavy…like…Meshuggah kind of heavy…you’ll dig the bone-crunching guitar chops of “Sightless” and the hard-edge to the vocal growls and rasp.  I dig the pacing…dig the guitars and the strength of the transitions from part to part; in a way, I suppose it’s a bit more straight-ahead or accessible than the opening tune was…or it could be that this one just started to make more sense to my brain as I got right into the sound of In Silent Agony.  I’m slightly removed from this sound in whatever genre you’d consider it to be a part of, but not that far off really…I’ve spent my life listening to intensity found in extremes like Meshuggah and Jesus Lizard…so I do appreciate the brutalizing & punishing approach you hear in the sound of “Sightless” and can still audibly relate with enthusiasm.  Like for me…the money moment in “Sightless” is close to the end…the final minute or so you could argue heads almost into noise-rock/thrash territory which is a hangout I like to haunt frequently.  It’s all well-executed and certainly well-played though…everything you’ll hear from In Silent Agony merely comes down to a matter of personal taste on whether or not you can handle its raw-power and untamed aggression.  Some people dig that extremely, others not so much…like all music, not much we can do about that…but skill-wise & writing-wise, all the ingredients are here and Eski delivers large-scale…like seriously large-scale, gigantic, enormous, behemoth-size entertainment undoubtedly.

 

I enjoy the extremes though…and as an audiophile, I appreciate the effort that’s been put into the placement of sounds and the mix on this EP – it wouldn’t have been an easy task to harness the power in these tunes but Eski has pulled it off impressively.  The songs have intensity and knockout-punch in the mix and have really come out sounding no-holds barred & full-force.  I’ll play you an example of this later on the SBS Podcast being released tonight…I’m gonna spin a tune called “A Dark Embrace” to give you a taste of the bold meatiness of these guitar riffs and the versatile range of dynamics on display in the vocals.  From the whispering and low-down sounds of his tone to the throat-ripping violent & tortured screams – Eski has clearly committed to his performances and delivers with a seriously threatening confidence; each of these songs are out to kill you…you’ve been warned.  “A Dark Embrace” is a solid cut though…a great representation of what this artist is all about from beginning to end with solid hooks you can grasp onto and a completely deadly performance.

 

If you were somehow managing to sleep through the first three tunes, I’m positive that the rumble and extreme approach to “Plaguerism” will manage to wake you up.  Believe me…I’m wide-awake by now and I’ve already shit my shorts three times just from listening to this record and having these massive sounds thrown at me.  In Silent Agony is relentless…”Plaguerism” pounds even more aggressively than the rest and it seems like Eski is never going to run out of steam…this guy is a serious beast.  I’m honestly not quite sure what’s causing the mix on this one to come out a little bit strangely…if it’s the switches between the lefts & rights of what we’re hearing in sound…but after several repeat listens I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s something about “Plaguerism” that didn’t quite measure up to the rest in this department.  Good tune…but there’s like…compression issues or something that’s preventing this track from becoming the true behemoth it could become…something holding it back a bit.  Writing & performance-wise, still as solid as the rest of what we’ve heard but a tricky mix trips this one up a bit.

 

Wouldn’t you know it…In Silent Agony has saved a slickly cut radio-ready completely accessible top-40 hit at the end of the EP!  Okay…that’s like…at least 75% untrue…I’m just yanking your chain about the radio-friendly factor here…but I might be completely on-point with the larger degree of accessibility in this tune.  Eski’s written some extraordinarily flavorful guitar parts to this one, especially the accented melody that crawls into the chorus of this tune.  Flexing a nuclear level of power throughout the verse, “Diminishing Returns” ends up finding itself rooted in a much more widespread, accessible sound when it comes to the chorus of this tune…and quite honestly, it works really well.  There’s a good chance that this final cut ended up being my favorite on the entire EP personally…but no matter where it places on the podium, there’s no doubt in my mind that this made for a wickedly strong ending.  Back to maximum power in performance and production – In Silent Agony rages to victory at full-volume on the Villainous EP and establishes an enormous impact on the ears you certainly won’t forget anytime soon.

 

Be sure to check out the SBS Podcast episode 016 when it posts up later today and have a further listen into the extreme sounds of In Silent Agony.  For now – find out more about Eski’s project at the official homepage:  http://www.insilentagony.com/

The Bandcamp Diaries

Hailing from Southern California, In Silent Agony are an extreme metal band with an eclectic set of influences and a really diverse blend of sound.


The groups powerful arrangements and clever approach to compositions are the backbone of their recent release, Treacherous EP.


These EP features 6 tracks that blur the lines between various influences, from Thrash Metal to Industrial and even MetalCore. The music echoes the work of influential artists such as Metallica, Devin Townsend, Iced Earth or Nine Inch Nails, just to mention but a few. The band’s production hail back to the glory days of the genre, with a really great twist that blends in the pioneering innovation of the late 80s metal scene and the 90s punchy production approach, but with a modern twist bringing more air and energy.


Sophisticated, aggressive, melodic and forward-thinking are some of the words that come to mind when it comes to describing the band’s eclectic work and their powerful approach to sound. Find out more and stay connected with the band:
http://www.insilentagony.com/

Jamsphere

After the critically acclaimed EP, “Villainous”, In Silent Agony, a project by Eski, who performs all instruments and vocals, as well as handling production and recording duties, is back with his sophomore EP project, “Treacherous” which the promo notes describe as ‘the art of Villainy has been taught, now it’s time for a lesson in Treachery’. With a few exceptions most bands can barely put a decent album together. Then there is In Silent Agony – a one-man project who is in a whole different category. I didn’t think he could top the brilliant “Villainous” and not only did he top it, he blew it away!

 

“Treacherous” quite simply put is a metal masterpiece – with the first listen I just sat in awe! Every detail, every note, flawless right down to the cello performed by Kakophonix on “Our Darkest Shadows” just flows seamlessly. Six tracks of well-crafted metal and heavy rock with death growls and soaring melodies.

 

Musically the EP shows bone-crushing and expressive guitar work, with chunky riffs and a rhythm section that creates driving beats. Even when the music gets heavy as hell In Silent Agony still holds a form of ambience untouched by fellow Death Metal bands – atmospheric yet so brutal all in one dose!

 

Fans of this artist have come to expect nothing less than constant evolution from In Silent Agony and that is precisely what Eski has delivered, but in ways no one could have anticipated: the hooks in “Fear” are immediately seared into your brain, riffs that take just one listen to fully lodge themselves in your consciousness and vocals that are growled both heavily and beautifully.

 

On “The Killage”, In Silent Agony again finds a way to add even more depth and enjoyment to its already hefty sound. Eski takes what he does best, he morphs and spins it and creates an absolutely thundering metal soundscape to challenge your complacent existence.

 

In Silent Agony delivers heavy and uncompromising technical and extreme metal for real metal-heads on “Disenchantment”. This is monstrous and complete sonic bliss. Put it through a good audio quality system and you will be absolutely blown away by the sound. You’ll soon realize that the best is left for last when “Our Darkest Shadows (ft. Kakophonix)” kicks in.

 

All of the beloved qualities of In Silent Agony are here in full force – the thunderous, shuddering guitar tones, the dizzyingly complex and mechanical drums, the oddly-cycling riffs that seem to avoid beginnings or ends, and of course the supremely nuanced vocal growls and unbelievably groovy rhythms. Add to this the dynamic cello playing and you have a multidimensional listening experience.

 

“Treacherous” is definitely yet another convincing argument for In Silent Agony rhythmic prowess and metal virtuosity. But what’s most impressive to me about this project isn’t the virtuosity. The music definitely does succeed on varying levels with all of the polyrhythms and riff cycling, but the true success of Eski and In Silent Agony is the ability to turn all of that complexity into something visceral that can be enjoyed regardless of your understanding of what’s going on under the hood!

Dancing About Architecture

I sometimes struggle with music in such an extreme end of the market, a lot of it doesn’t speak to me on a very personal level, that isn’t a problem, not everyone can be the target audience. But then I heard Our Darkest Shadows, a song that sits both comfortably within the sound that In Silent Agony make but also seems to explain to me the scope and potential of the music much better than any of the other songs.

 

There is a depth, drama and dark theatrical script at work here, a mad combination of Wagner, Jim Steinman, Fields of The Nephilim and Anne Rice; a metal opera for a dystopian world and once I had that key to the music I found I could unlock and appreciate what was going on around this central song.

 

 Approaching the rest of the EP with this new understanding I also realised that a second obstacle had been dealt with. Most of the music I have encountered in recent years that falls into such genres – thrash, metalcore, death metal – has been….now, let me be delicate…not very well conceived, all  front and bravado and  shown up by a record such as this. Part of the accessibility of Treacherous is the production, separation of sounds, the layering and textures, especially those that wash emotively behind those visceral riffs, textures that help build tension and sculpt otherworldly atmospheres.

 

 Existing fans of metal in all its forms will find a lot to like, the gothic set will appreciate its dark soundscapes and the more industrial minded will find its clinical beauty and cold apocalyptic foreboding to their tastes. But if like me you have been away from the extreme metal trenches for a while and are looking for a way back in, this is the perfect place to start. Okay chaps, over the top we go….

Stereo Stickman

One man band and artist Eski returns with a pretty phenomenal record to kick off the new year. Treacherous is a collection of insanely heavy and energetic metal tracks that effectively block out anything else around you for the entire time that you’re listening – the level of escapism is fierce.

 

Opening segment The Silent Inquisition exposes a theatrical and explicitly dark angle to the project, and title track Treacherous follows this up by throttling any sense of quiet in an instant. This first full length track brings about the vibe and attitude of the EP with intense energy and volume – the riffs are quick and manic, the vocal performance expresses a similar sentiment, and all the while that leading guitar melody winds its way into your mind without a second thought. As does the repetition of the leading hook.

 

Fear is of a similar heaviness to the previous track, though there’s a notable existence of space here – the instrumental interludes, as it were, the whispers, the evolution of the vocal rhythm. This feeling of theatre returns and there’s a sense of storytelling to the track, there’s a development that occurs and pulls you along as the music moves forwards, and the energy is so intense that everything passes on to you accordingly as the track plays – not to mention a subtle tip of the hat to the infamous Joker.

 

Fear comes to a close with a superbly stylish yet terrifying vocal growl, a brief moment of a Capella no less, that will leave you appropriately shaken. It’s one of those moments that only a real instance of emotion can create – a one off recording of a sound soaked in a certain something that represents and highlights the feeling behind the track with striking relevancy. It’s an incredible snippet of real, raw, artistic expression, and it comes with a genuine wave of fear that successfully backs up the whole essence of the track. Fortunately, The Killage offers a brief moment of gentle guitar ambiance to ease you back into the music.

 

The Killage has a lengthy chorus section that is rhythmically memorable, and the music itself continues to present this ambiance alongside the manic energy and the distortion. It’s a really effective combination of elements, and the track undeniably has something special about it that creates a very diverse set of images and feelings as it plays. The lyrics are a little more bare sounding at times, you get a sense of the back story more intensely than before, the darkness is laid in full view, and the mood is reinforced with this creative and theatrical musical backdrop that grows and evolves at every turn.

 

Disenchantment reclaims the high energy and volume of the EP’s opening track – the riffs are fast and powerful, the vocal performance and added snippets of angst and attitude add a whole lot to intensify the effect. However, once again, Eski’s crisp and smooth finish to these intense and heavy metal tracks brings about a superb feeling of completeness, and with this an unusual sense of calm. The music of Disenchantment has a hypnotic presentation to it; this simple guitar riff, featuring just a few different notes, gets wrapped around your mind and lets you really lose yourself to the sound.

 

The attitude of the song is all at once heavy and mellow – the guitar riff that starts things up has a rock and roll melody about it, and the vibe created by the track on the whole is dark and reflective, though the vocal performance has a whispered sort of growl for the most part, and this lets you get pretty close to the essence of the songwriting and the sound, which is an impressive effect. The rhythm of the vocal performance is very distinct as well, as is the case with the majority of the Treacherous EP. You leave this one knowing you’d recognise it again in an instant.

 

Closing track Our Darkest Shadows (Feat. Kakophonix) takes things in a vastly different direction. The music in this case fuses the darkness and energy of death metal with the organic and melodic sound of what comes across as somewhere between big-band, indie, and circus-rock. The backdrop features an array of instruments that come as quite a surprise at this point in the release, though the heart of the track is perfectly in keeping with everything experienced in the collection so far. There’s a slightly disjointed and haunting ambiance created by these two worlds colliding for this final track, and it’s massively attention grabbing and undeniably memorable to experience. Often collaboration is the key to the depths of our creative abilities, and in this case something hugely mesmerizing has come about.

 

The project leaves it’s mark on you in a number of ways, the most effective of which is, once again, the inclination to listen more than once to really take it all in. The riff’s on the EP are brilliant, the energy of the project is perhaps the main thing, but the heaviness also has a striking sense of style to it, and that’s something quite rare in modern and independent rock and metal.

Beyond The Record

 

This project is written, recorded and produced by multi-instrumentalist Eski. Taking on an extreme metal front, he has been building a following within the underground scene and continues to grow his fan base. In Silent Agony has three releases to date and entices fans and critics with his latest release Treacherous.

'The Silent Inquisition' paves the way for what has yet to come and flows similar to that of a movie; building the suspense into the next track,  'Fear ' (which happens to be one of my personal favorites.) The entire record is entwined with guttural vocals, crushing guitar riffage and a tank-like rhythmic bass; set out to conquer. Treacherous uncovers itself as an impressive addition to the metal genre and has a wide variety of inspirations collected from within. Keeping the modern metal appeal at the forefront, Eski expands on the metal sound from yesterday which takes refuge in tracks like The Killage. In Silent Agony is setting out to be a pioneer of this style and his signature sound lies here within this very release. Effortlessly leading from track to track, the music remains consistent like a film and a series.

 

With six tracks in total on Treacherous, I would not expect anything less than something that takes you places. A journey, a ride and destination of arrival that is familiar of a different time. Delivering to his following and branching out within his community, this record is brilliant. Delving into yesterday's sound with a front of tomorrow, this record is brilliant.

Rating : 7.0 / 10.0

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