Review: “Agony Reborn” by Gorgatron

Named after a character from the T.V. show Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Fargo North Dakota Death Dealers Gorgatron have been a going concern since 2005 with original members in guitarist Paul Johnson (who has at times handled bass and vocal duties) alongside drummer Matt Johnson at the helm. Currently seeking a label for a freshly recorded fourth album, for “Agony Reborn” they are joined by vocalist Karl Schmidt, bassist Cameron Dewald and guitarist Neal Stein, the latter of whom has subsequently been replaced by Coop Schuh, a man known for his work in Carnographer, Orpheus and Ungoliant

…the story goes that Gorgatron were set to be on the road supporting 2020’s “Pathogenic Automation” but due to reasons outside of their control that didn’t happen. Instead they played a handful of one off shows including participation in Metal Injections Slay At Home series and recorded some new cuts because as we all know, idle hands are the Devil’s workshop. There is no disguising that “Execrated Liturgy” is merely a cinematic introduction moment, the sound of some form of meditative worship that calms the mind and cleanses the palette for what is in effect not only the first track proper but also the title track. Fortunately what we get is a sinister, menacing abrasion that slices and dices with lethal doses of both Groove and Trash Metal within the bands more traditional Death Metal framework. Throwing down the gauntlet with a ripper of a mid track solo, here the band sound like Suffocation playing Exodus covers with a raw edge to the recording quality that is perfectly suited to the genre. “The Unwilling” then blasts its way out of the prison cell with a classic drum sound as the band build the mountain with bursts of high energy aggression that are then expertly dialled back to create a smouldering atmosphere. The quality of the two original cuts here certainly bodes well for the aforementioned album. A cover of “Dead Embryonic Cells” by Sepultura rounds things off in style, even if it is an obvious choice given the nature of the band. Justice still needs to be done and Gorgatron do exactly that with Schmidt switching up his vocal, harnessing his inner Max Cavalera and as you would expect the solo is another absolute ripper. It would be easy to see “Agony Reborn” as something of a stop gap release but when you consider that the the physical edition has four exclusive live tracks on the flip side on top of the quality on show here, it is more than worth your time [7/10]

Track Listing

1. Execrated Liturgy
2, Agony Reborn
3, The Unwilling
4. Dead Embryonic Cells (Sepultura Cover)

Agony Reborn” by Gorgatron is out 4th November 2022 via Blood Blast Distribution

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