AlbumsNovember 29, 201113,633 views

Agents Of Man Count Your Blessings


01. Death Of Me MP3 02. No Tomorrow 03. Blood Money 04. Repercussion 05. Without A Trace 06. Can't Run 07. Count Your Blessings 08. Truth You Hide 09. Murder 10. Be My Savior 11. Consequence 12. Headless
2005 Century Media Records
Our score 9

9/17/2005

Ever hypothesize that if Jesus Christ ever came back to earth as promised, few people these days would give a shit (except for the Solid State roster, past and present) Still yet, promise your resurrection, and prepare for a select handful of fanatics to watch their calendars as if they were girl-on-girl porno vids. That's exactly what I've been doing since Agents Of Man released their debut EP nearly five years ago; staring at my calendars, year after year. I'm every band's dream: A loyal fan following a breakup just as much as during its' active days. But can the same be said about those eager to hear more from the band when they emerged half a decade ago That is a longer time-span than most people remain involved with the hardcore scene. All skilled and extremely creative musicians, considering their simple hardcore roots, the members of Agents Of Man are well accustomed to going all-out with their previous bands. Bassist Mike was a staple in Cold As Life, singer George and drummer Chris both played in Bulldoze, and nearly all the members have been playing together for around ten years, initially as Train Of Thought. The latter's contributions to the legendary compilations East Coast Assault II and The Harder They Come still resonate, and early shades of what would become Agents Of Man are clear upon first listen. So what do Agents Of Man sound like A streetwise blend of crunchy NYHC, slowed down thrash riffs, and the defining ingredient, popular rock. Yes, popular rock. The choruses on Count Your Blessings are breathtaking. So full of ideas were the members tracing back to their previous outfit, that Train Of Thought's material (followed by that from their initial transformation into Agents Of Man) displayed a unique heaviness and emotive component which often displaced traditional song arrangements. As they matured as players however, evidently their songwriting did as well, so the songs on Count Your Blessings benefit from an underlying emphasis on trustworthy structure. And with all of the popular rock/emo/punk bands making musical and fashion waves nationwide, I doubt Agents Of Man would come under fire for that. If anything, they would come under fire by young ears trained on third and fourth generation European metal clones, and of course melodic metalcore. The derisive review of Count Your Blessings on popular yet increasingly unreliable news site Blabbermouth is case-and-point of this phenomenon, as few people arriving to the scene within the past five years will know how to categorize Agents Of Man. And while stylistic uniqueness is generally a priceless characteristic, its value is fading fast, as the swarm of new entrants to the underground scene seek to make up for their years as alternative or nu-metal fans by developing an ear exclusive to ultra-extreme hybrid metal; not to mention avoiding anything which sounds remotely like mainstream music. For that reason, Agents Of Man will appeal to a true music listener; one who enjoys eighties pop and metal right alongside nineties hardcore, rather than one obsessed with the old-school revival ala-Lockin' Out and Bridge 9, or the metalcore illness now being spread amply by Roadrunner, Prosthetic, and Metal Blade. The guitar textures and harmonics do not resemble anything being brought into music right now, because their influences are rooted in familiar yet past aformentioned styles. They don't go so far as to include solos but the guitars travel far enough throughout each song, that overcompensating solos aren't even needed to spice up the material. Singer George's voice bears uncanny resemblance to Leeway's inimitable Eddie Sutton on a number of tracks, such as Without A Trace, Truth You Hide, and Can't Run; the latter two being straightforward and powerful rock songs. Even on tracks like "Death Of Me" with an underlying Metallica riff in the verses, "No Tomorrow" with a huge eighties rock chorus, and "Blood Money" with a feel reminiscent of The Police, his voice proves its dexterity by bringing in the competent hardcore yell that he used for years in Train Of Thought. Candiria's longtime producer and collaborator Michael Barile handled Count Your Blessings, so the final mix (aided by Candiria's legendary drummer Ken Schalk, no less) is huge. If Agents Of Man struck while the iron was hot and this record came out with the same promotional push five years ago, it would have been huge. They will have to grind their asses to the bone if they are to make an impact in 2005, because no one else sounds remotely like this throwback style. As a fan of all previous eras however, I'm still in disbelief as to how great this record is. It was also a great touch to re-record "Headless" from their debut EP, a highly infectious song. Bottom Line: While hardcore is meant to incite and fuel open-mindedness, the opposite has been happening in recent years, as violence and aimless mob-mentality has robbed the scene of its' once-enlightening properties, no thanks to the propagation of mixed-message, aimlessly-proud, tough-guy gibberish. And while members of Agents Of Man performed for years in bands whose albums are the blueprints for today's copycats, the professionalism and hunger evident at every point throughout Count Your Blessings displays a leap in growth that even I could not dream of. One of my top five for the year.

60 comments

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first post_ 9/17/2005 9:14:14 AM

what>?


horseheadxbookends_ 9/17/2005 9:23:18 AM

good cd


papertigers_ 9/17/2005 9:48:17 AM

couldnt get into it


Cory_ 9/17/2005 9:52:34 AM

I really hated this CD. Maybe I'll give it another shot.


thegoddamnawesome_ 9/17/2005 10:05:11 AM

9/10?? are you serious? this shit is awful.


ipoopedinyourcloset_ 9/17/2005 10:13:57 AM

This is perhaps one of the best put together reviews, whether you agree or not. Also, this is an excellent CD. I've read reviews from other sites dogging this CD as a commercial "cash in". I can see no way to make more money than playing a genre of music that is virtually dead, and signing to Century Media, whom nobody outside of the metal community gives a f*ck about. Yeah, their gonna get rich. So perhaps the reason they play the music is that they play it from the heart, regardless of trends,


elliot_ 9/17/2005 10:16:44 AM

i can't find anything to like about the mp3 i just listened to.


keepthechange_ 9/17/2005 11:03:20 AM

9/10?? are you serious? this shit is awful. posted by thegoddamnawesome () on 9/17/2005 10:05:11 AM are you f*cking retarded ? its just someones opinion.


xcowabungax_ 9/17/2005 12:16:14 PM

Bulldoze was better. good cd and good dudes though.


jshaft37_ 9/17/2005 1:18:26 PM

sounds like killswitch engage.


buckwheat_ 9/17/2005 1:32:22 PM

I saw these dudes with Merauder and thought they were horrid. Sounded like Madball trying to be Killswitch Engage. I'll give it another shot because of this review though.


kenwregget_ 9/17/2005 1:59:35 PM

comparing them to killswitch, good job idiot!


flair_ 9/17/2005 2:09:34 PM

ugh, horrible/10


rat_ 9/17/2005 3:46:01 PM

that mp3 sounded like a weak ass version of atreyu


xLIONOx_ 9/17/2005 4:07:57 PM

hahaha did you just say " weak version of atreyu" hahahahha WHAT THE f*ck


shoshin TRT_ 9/17/2005 4:34:42 PM

AOM deserves the 9/10. This is a great album, by far one of the best of 2005. Amazing band, even better people, and one of the tightest and most consistent live acts around. Word up!


dimmak_ 9/17/2005 6:12:06 PM

opinions are retarded


a_new_religion_ 9/17/2005 6:27:34 PM

this song is only ALMOST catchy. 9 out of f*cking 10? you either have the worst taste in music on lambgoat, or you got f*cking paid off. i can already tell the singer cant stay on key live. the vocal harmony is shitty, and it sounds overly processed. not to mention this band was made to cash in. and yes, theres st ill TONS of money to be made in this "genre". now i have to go fart on a snare drum. maybe if i release it, itll be good enough for a 9/10.


hxcobd_ 9/17/2005 7:58:11 PM

I am so, so disturbed that this got a 9/10. That mp3 literally DOES sound like Atreyu. The guitar riffs are kinda cool, but the vocals are horrifying bad, and the lyrics are laughable. I am not impressed at all right now.


JohnnyJohnny_ 9/17/2005 8:08:47 PM

A well deserved mark for a good solid album. This band delivers live- flawlessly tight and his vocals, despite the moron a couple people up from me concludes, are perfectly on pitch when preforming. Listening to a song or two, I know how this album sounds kind of generic. But really, if you can dig deeper into the heart of it and locate the true intricate workings of the band there are plenty of rewards. Give it and them a chance and surprise yourself.


DEAD_ 9/17/2005 8:11:05 PM

difference between atreyu and AOM. Atreyu are gays. AOM are not. Atreyu can't play their instruments or sing on key worth shit. AOM can. to me its a whole other ballpark of talent.


staredownthesky_ 9/17/2005 8:42:48 PM

I'll join you on that snare drum farting. Maybe we can make a (s)hit album.


IronBalls_ 9/17/2005 9:21:43 PM

how the f*ck did this crap get a 9/10??? this track im listening to is almost as bad as nw - suffer survive


sydbarret_ 9/17/2005 10:48:27 PM

Very good review i can agree with it but i dont know about 9/10


kaveh_ 9/17/2005 10:53:49 PM

i think a 9/10 was way too generous, they kind of sound like papa roach, which is most certainly not a good thing.


chadster_ 9/18/2005 2:17:23 AM

Based on how many other albums have gotten 7s or 8s in the past, I'm disturbed that this got a 9.


wakingjudea_ 9/18/2005 2:23:13 AM

bottom line - this cd sucks, and i realize he is entitled to his own opinion and so am i. my opinion is that his opinion sucks.


bigego_ 9/18/2005 2:46:20 AM

kinda bored me to death


siberianexpress_ 9/18/2005 3:42:13 AM

sounds like 100 demons trying for a mainstream sound. worst idea ever.


Tony_ 9/18/2005 5:28:21 AM

wow, this is pretty not good at all. Very bland, i agree with the 7 and 8 reviews of MUCH better albums and this getting a 9 is f*cking bogus. whatever.


picturesofme_ 9/18/2005 12:38:50 PM

ridiculous review. seriously, why the shit does a band completely rehashing the weaker parts of late-90's heavy music snag a 9, while, like mentioned above, everything else is getting 7's and 8's? bleh. I remember now why I try not to read LG reviews.


kingben_ 9/18/2005 4:45:03 PM

9 out of 10!? pretty f*cking lame. especially if you listen to the arsis mp3 right before this one. not that i'm comparing the two, arsis being f*cking killer, and this being uniteresting poo.


Kevin_ 9/18/2005 5:34:07 PM

In my opinion, I think that this album lies squarely in the middle of all of these opinions. It's definitely not as bad as some of the trash it's being compared to, while also being much more creative. But it's also not nearly as good as the score or the review makes it out to be. I agree that there are people who will bash anything and everything remotely mainstream, but this phenomenon has also created a second group of people who will defend bands of this style that they like in increasingly


vegans_taste_good_ 9/18/2005 10:43:38 PM

wahh wahh wahh


vegans_taste_good_ 9/18/2005 10:43:52 PM

.......WAHHHHHHHHHH


vegans_taste_good_ 9/18/2005 10:44:17 PM

WAHH


Trance_ 9/18/2005 10:47:09 PM

New jacks listen and learn, scenesters suck a di*k! This band has been around and unsigned for a looooong minute. Since late 99' and their sound hasn't really changed. How can anyone shit talk on a singer like this guy especially when he can pull it off live!! Does no one know honest talent? No matter how much you try to compare them to anything that's out today, they still have their own sound simply judging by the diversity of the album. Let me not forget to mention, the mp3 up on the


Jenn_ 9/18/2005 10:59:34 PM

If you really listen to the lyrics (not just the chorus) It's all truth. Hating on the rat race and mundane existence most people live, doing something they dislike to survive. Love it!


Joe Joe_ 9/19/2005 2:28:33 AM

Great how someone mentioned LEEWAY... Unfourtunatly 9 outta 10 people looking at this site have no idea who they are. Do some research your history people. Good music will always speak for its self and be around forever. Thankfully all these other homo bands with every song on the album sounding the same are all short lived. This band and even more these guys deserve everyones respect.


jonny_ 9/19/2005 11:47:52 AM

9?? This group doesn't sound that bad, but seriously, they sound like fifety other bands I've heard.It makes me want to cut my ears off. When will all the brain dead people of the world come to there senses, and realize what music is really about. Lambgoat... For a decent music site, you have some lackluster reviewers.


jonny_ 9/19/2005 11:56:50 AM

And to put my two cents in... The guy who said that this music may be from the heart. True that may be, but there is still a lack of originality(creative vision). Bottom line, this cd should not have recieved such a high mark.


Mist_ 9/19/2005 12:30:00 PM

I hope that Century Media paid you enough money to give this a good write up. I hope they did because this review is blowing your credibility. Seriously.


2scene4u_ 9/19/2005 12:58:41 PM

ok i know i like some gay shit. but this shit is horrible. papa roach/ nickelback shit i tell you.


ipoopedinyourcloset_ 9/19/2005 1:17:52 PM

Please Johnny, tell us what "real music" is all about, since you seem to have the answer.


..._ 9/19/2005 1:25:21 PM

wow...what a steaming pile of radio rock bullshit. Lambgoat = mtv2


Kenny_ 9/19/2005 1:33:41 PM

I Had no idea about these guys. I saw them with Full Blown Chaos & Winter Solostice. They were f*cking incrediable!! Crazy on stage. I bought a CD and the more and more I heard it, the more and more I liked it. To the point it hasn't left my player. The mp3 is only one song. I think this record is really great. Songs I can listen to and chill, songs I can go off to and get nuts. There is more to a book then the 1st page.


jonny_ 9/19/2005 4:43:48 PM

Dear Poop, we obviously have different viewpoints on this album, and many others I'm sure, so I'm not gonna start a review war with you. I'm just sick of hearing the same old crap, and for me, this album falls in to that category. Regards


Rambo_ 9/19/2005 6:34:19 PM

Jonny, Tell us how much of this album have you heard? 1 song? maybe 2? Also I wanna know who your Fav bands are.. Me I have a lot of musical taste, not just one genre. This album suits me well. It adds variety to life reflecting on all emotions. I would hate to have to eat only one kind of food everyday. However I guess there are some close minded people out there that don't mind.


Bellusch_ 9/20/2005 1:06:50 AM

Wow! This is probably the most outstanding album review I have ever read, or at least in quite some time. The ideas expressed within, captured my thoughts exactly. Most reviewers are extremely biased and/or vulnerable music listeners with a chronic history of bad taste. Others like to bash anything and everything in order to showcase their "wit". However, in this situation, it is fairly evident that a well-schooled fan of a wide variety of music, forged a very honest, well written, and thought p


monolithic_ 9/20/2005 12:37:44 PM

I thought this album was powerful-boring, but then again I don't even remotely like any of the styles that these guys borrow from.


jonny_ 9/20/2005 1:14:58 PM

first of all, it doesn't matter who my favorite bands are. I'm not on here to be cool and impress everyone with my musical taste. I listen to everything from the grateful dead, PFC, next step up, wu tang clan,Immortal- So you can take your close minded statment(obviously aimed at me) and shove it up your ass. You are just another braindead human who makes no sense. Sure this band may not "sound" like anyone else, but that's just one factor. Listen to the pathetically played out formula they use


ipoopedinyourcloset_ 9/20/2005 3:25:36 PM

Sorry there Johnny, and I'm not trying to bash you. But when you defend your opinion in one statement, you bash the reviewers in your first, calling them lackluster. My guess is because their opinion doesn't click with your. And a comment like we need to figure out what real music is opens the floodgates. Real music is defined by each person, not a group of pissed off people who agree or disagree with a review, and certainly not by a website. Cheers, Jonny. Hopefully too many people don't break


jonny_ 9/20/2005 4:26:27 PM

I will admit, I did go a little far, and I shouldn't have been so harsh on the reviewer. This doesn't mean that I agree with his take on this album, but I guess some people like this kind of music. To each his own! Poop... I love ya man!


Rambo_ 9/20/2005 4:30:29 PM

grateful dead, PFC, next step up, wu tang clan,Immortal. Yes all great artists which once were shit on by simple minded people such as yourself. Listen to some Stevie Wonder and Dizzy to really open up your mind. You are right you are entitled to your opinion, however in this case your opinion SUCKS! And thats the bottom line.


Im a loser too_ 9/20/2005 5:33:11 PM

You people should be ashamed of yourselves! Don't be like me, get a life! LOL As the old saying goes, 'opinions are like jerks, everybody has one' My opinion is you all suck!! But that's just my opinion. LOL Now go review your lives!


MOMO_ 9/20/2005 6:28:09 PM

hahahahaha


Natas-101_ 9/22/2005 5:26:18 PM

"Hardcore is meant to incite and fuel open-mindedness, the opposite has been happening in recent years, as violence and aimless mob-mentality has robbed the scene of its' once-enlightening properties, no thanks to the propagation of mixed-message, aimlessly-proud, tough-guy gibberish." Best message on Lambgoat ever, pay attention morons.


Matt_ 9/24/2005 11:45:10 AM

Its ok, but the things that drove me nuts with Train of Thought are still present in this band. Repetative lyrics with very simplistic messages that seem hollow and lacking thought. Agents of Man = not nearly as good as the sum of its parts, but hey they almost never are.


sawtooth_ 1/16/2006 8:18:54 AM

agents of man > you


m_ 1/24/2006 10:52:28 AM

this is f*cking GREAT and in no way anything like most of today's metalcore.. remember, they were around doing the same thing way before any of those bands! they're not f*cking unoriginal, if you just gave it a f*cking chance... its a shame that moron reviewed this and mp3d the first song as it's easily the weakest one herein, but whatever.