When I first heard the track, I found it fabulously raucous. A cacophony of extremity, both through vocals and instrumentation, the single proved a striking debut for the band.
Once the song hit around the 1:40 mark, things changed when from a flurry of energetic and extreme metal, a saxophone emerged like a swarm of tweaked-out wasps.
I’ve always loved a good saxophone solo, but I never fully grasped just how sublime a marriage of rock aggression and experimental jazz would be.
The result was intoxicating, and not just because it scratched the itch in my attention-decifit-hyperactive brain.
Agabas doesn’t pretend to be a regular metal band.
Clad in neat slacks and buttoned-up 70s-style floral shirts, the band’s image clashes severely with its unrestrained and often hellish sound.
This fusion of aesthetics translates into the band’s work, producing a fusion of genres as the band’s extreme metal foundation is infused with experimental jazz.
The result is a “disgusting harmony” the band has called “deathjazz.”
While some may argue against the band’s marriage of jazz and metal, likening deathjazz to a musical Frankenstein’s monster, I disagree. If anything, it’s a perfect match.
Anyone who really listens to jazz is fully aware that the common perception of jazz as inherently smooth and delicate — the kind of music one listens to while reading a book at a coffee shop — isn’t wholly representative of the genre.
Jazz can get wild, blurring the line between order and utter chaos, completely unrestrained by rules and stricture.
With that kind of framework, I can’t think of a better match for jazz than metal, a genre which pioneers itself on the basis of its vibrant sensations.
The allure of Agabas’ music lies in its saxophone, which takes the place of the classic “metal breakdown” to lay out a convoluted and often (pleasantly) ear-piercing slurry of notes.
Since their start in early 2023, Agabas has produced two albums.
While some people may see deathjazz as gimmicky and unoriginal, I see it as an interesting opportunity to witness the intersection of two highly elastic genres.
I look forward to seeing how Agabas changes over time, as I’m sure they will, and what this will mean for the future of metal, jazz and their newborn child.