I have a lot of pet peeves when it comes to music. Possibly my biggest is when a band puts out a great debut album and then breaks up, leaving us with just that one disc to go back to. Today that band I'm revisiting is Agents of Oblivion
Agents of Oblivion crawled out of the swamps of New Orleans, releasing their self-titled debut in 2000. The band formed out of the ashes of another classic NOLA band - Acid Bath. After the death of Acid Bath's bass player in an car accident vocalist Dax Riggs and guitarist Mike Sanchez would go on to find another outlet for their brand of depressing, doom inspired metal. Agents of Oblivion though weren't as heavy as Acid Bath. Gone were the screaming vocals that would occasionally pop up every other song, replaced solely by the smooth, crooning of Riggs, who in my opinion is one of the most underrated vocalists in all of heavy music.
This album is 13 songs of down-tuned, melodic, doom/stoner rock. I actually hesitate lumping them into the stoner rock subgenre at all because I think their influences and resulting output are more varied but for strictly classification purposes that's about as close as I can come up with. In reality though they are the bastard child of doom and the blues. Slow, brooding songs about murder, death, depravity, the end of days and other such uplifting topics are what this band was best at. I mean, this is honestly a really depressing record. If you are feeling suicidal I highly suggest you avoid this one like the plague. Yet, somehow, I feel like this band had a shot to reel in a wider audience if they stuck around long enough. Maybe it's because of Riggs' superb vocals, maybe it's the fact that the songs have extremely catchy melodies, I'm not really sure why. But it's all a moot point anyway. This album is highly recommended for fans of everything from Ghost, Christian Mistress and Kyuss, to The Cult, Black Sabbath and Alice In Chains.