Agents Of Empire |Black Cell/TDM/Universal, 2005|
1. People Is Ugly, 2. Venus Complex, 3. American Gods, 4. Agents Of Empire, 5. For You, 6. In Decline, 7. Fixer, 8. Father Of Lies, 9. Bone (With The Judas Hole), 10. Stasis, 11. Show You Mean It, 12. Disconnect From Me
I always love it when I listen to an album for the first time, and I already feel like I know the songs. When it feels predictable - not in a bad way - just that it seems familiar. Such is the case when I first heard “Agents of Empire”, an excellent album from Ireland’s Lluther. I felt like it was every band I’d ever liked wrapped up into one record. There are a lot of obvious influences here that listeners will recognize, but lead singer/producer Gerry Owens manages to make Lluther have a sound that is still fresh and unique.
So what can I say about the album? Well for starters, it’s a polished record, front-to-back. Each track is very well crafted and professionally produced by Owens, and the mixes by Mark Carolan sound phat as hell. Every track is clear and full, while still hitting you in the face with balls out rock.
The guitars are ripping and solid, and combined with the drums by Ger Farrell, provide power and groove that you can’t help but bang your head to. Also, there is a lot of cool sonic mayhem going on here, which will no doubt satisfy industrial music fans. Lots of well programmed beats, synths, and ear candy tastefully populate the tracks.
The vocals are well performed; from screaming choruses, to breathy melodies, Owen’s vocals are dynamic and tasteful. Overall, the musicianship on this album is on par with any of the best bands out there playing hard rock/industrial.
There are a lot of standout moments that caught my ear as well, such as the intense intros to “Show You Mean It” , “People Is Ugly” and “Fixer”. They simply suck the listener right into the track - you just can’t pull away from grooves like that. There are also many great mellow moments that are well played out, and help provide a great balance with the heavier material. Parts like the bridge in “Father of Lies”, and the ambient/dub-rock feel of “Bone (With The Judas Hole)”, help provide some solace from being smashed over the head with heavy. Lastly, the ending of “Disconnect From Me”, is, for lack of a better term, out of fucking control. This is a very cool way to end the album.
To sum up: Go check this record out. I can pretty much guarantee that if you like heavy music you won’t be disappointed. “Agents of Empire” is a well-crafted package, and I’m really looking forward to hearing future releases from Lluther. (James Chapple)