EP Review: Art Against Agony – Russian Tales

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Russian Tales

If you are looking for your progressive music to take you on a gentle and serene trip through the forest of elves and nymphs, you might as well save some time and stop reading now. If, however, you want your senses to be barraged from all conceivable angles than this band might be for you.

Art Against Agony is a German progressive rock/metal/fusion/jazz band which was formed in 2011, and “Russian Tales” is the group’s fourth overall release and second EP. The EP was mostly written during the band’s tour through Russia in the winter of 2016. The band commented: “driving 12000km and playing 20 shows in 3 weeks was heaven and hell, with wonderful hospitality & delicious food, marvelous nature & wild animals, but also including insomnia, anxiety & social break ups.”

The rhythmic complexity on display throughout the EP will be appreciated by fellow progressive rock musicians and those music fans who want to be challenged through every note, riff and chord. The songs vary greatly in dynamics from thick heavy djent style riffage to ambient dissonance.

The pieces are incredibly complex so if you are wanting an ‘easy’ listen you have come to the wrong record. Tempo changes galore with the music often venturing in total chaos. All the players are excellent musicians taking these songs in unexpected and totally unorthodox directions. While the melodies haven’t grabbed me yet it is hard not to be impressed with this album. Art Against Agony is a band making their own rules and I get the feeling they wouldn’t have it any other way. Check out the band’s website for more information.

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