21 Oct 2011

Agga - Agga [Full length] (2008, Self-released)

Folk legends and traditional mythology of old, be it Celtic, Norse, Medieval or other, has been featured as musical inspiration and lyrical subjects in metal bands for a long time, dating back to the early releases of bands like Cruachan, Skyclad, Bathory and Subway to Sally. In more recent times the incorporation of mesopotamian, oriental, egyptian and mediterranean elements have seen the light of day with bands like Nile, Melechesh and Orphaned Land on the forefront of these glorifiers of the ancient days of the cradle of the Earth.

En Eabatu, the Lord of Babylon and the sole member of AGGA, is one such person. With lyrics firmly rooted in Babylonian and Sumerian mythology aswell as Lovecraftian lore and music in the genre of black metal with an absolute and dominant twist of ancient-sounding folk music, Agga is a phenomenal example of the fact that you don't have to follow tradition in music. En Eabatu has labeled Agga as "mystical metal", and I find this to be a very exact description as this 7 track album indeed has a huge emphasis on the mystical atmosphere. When listening to Agga I find myself imagining a dark, ancient mediterranean city.

It's obvious to the listener that Agga's main strength lies in the incorporation of this dark, ancient ambience in the otherwise standard black metal sound with incredibly catchy and atmospheric riffs aswell as catchy choruses. The overall feel goes great with the metal elements and the vocals which are mostly a mix between black and death vocals. The structure and flow of the individual tracks also help contribute to the overall feel that it's obvious Agga has gone for.

Overall I feel you could say that this debut album from 2008 exhibits an extrordinary sense for atmosphere. The only thing dragging the self-titled release down is dodgily mastered guitars and a final track that is definitely below par. Other than that: 8/10

1. Dance of the Fire Serpent
2. The Lord of Babylon
3. Desert Death Winds
4. The Calling
5. Neo Sumerian
6. The Rise of Gibil
7. Out of the Cold Desert

Agga - Agga is available for free download HERE
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