Hailing from Los Angeles, the self dubbed ‘ecstatic black metal’ band Agriculture releases their self titled debut album. Its certainly quite the experience and produces some sort of emotion, though I don’t know if ecstatic would be it. But the album certainly does capture quite the beautiful sound with some creative songwriting to boot. Certainly a heavy hitting album.
This album has a very recognizable sound, much like Deafheaven or Lantlos, but with a more raw and noisier approach. The guitars are tremolo picked and the drums keep on blastbeating, as well as harsh screeching vocals that are performed very well. Even a clean passage on the second track, The Well where the vocals are sung in a emotionally tortured way. It could’ve easily have fit in some emo album from the early 2000s. But what was really cool and caught my attention was how on the following track, the guitars blast into the same melody as The Well and the vocals are now screeching out in the same sort of tortured way. The drums certainly carrying it along heavily with the endless blast beats, certainly an impressive feat. This track Look, Pt. 1 is a journey all through out and only continues to go on deeper in the second and third parts. The final track, Relier does feel like a true crescendo, though, with it completing in this blissfully depressive manner that pulls at those metaphorical heart strings.
I feel as though sometimes, people do get hung up on the title of black metal and what makes something black metal or not. This album kinda pushes that aside and I think is trying to push on that heavier ‘blackgaze’ sounds that other bands have done in the past. They’re really bringing it back to light in a much more creative and authentic way that speaks to who they truly are as themselves. I certainly enjoyed listening to this album and the experience that it provided and I think most people would find something interesting to take away from this.