Agent Fresco Destrier on 180g 2LP
Agent Fresco are as untamed, graceful, momentous, dangerous and unpredictable as the land they come from. Agent Fresco is from Iceland – a country almost impossible not to be influenced by. The band’s music is a reflection of this ever-changing landscape, with its overwhelming sense of freedom and vastness. This is a progressive art rock band that needs to be experienced from a few steps back to be grasped in its entirety, like a bold work of art. In the last couple of years, their iridescent, propulsive, arty and highly addictive music made the highly esteemed Reykjavik band – comprised of Arnór Dan, Þórarinn Guðnason, Hrafnkell Örn Guðjónsson and Vignir Rafn Hilmarsson – the favorite of a music-loving nation and an act sparking international interest.
All it took was one album. A Long Time Listening, released in 2010, caused disbelieving faces, breathless wonder and bottomless enthusiasm for a passionate musical display like this. ProgrRock, avantgarde, metal or alternative? Jazz, post rock or even djent? The critics raved, vying with each other in a futile attempt to label these tunes from Iceland. Five long years later and the band returns with their second album Destrier. Arnór Dan once again exorcises some pretty serious demons with the help of this record. “The emotional trigger for this album was a disgusting encounter with violence that I had three years ago,” he remembers. “Two guys attacked me very late one night and I was left behind with a broken eye socket, a cut to the eyebrow and a concussion. This changed me. I decided to let the anger and angst intensify and I kept them animated throughout the entire writing process to feed off of these raw emotions.”
That’s why the album is called Destrier. “A destrier (pronounced DES-treer) was a medieval warhorse, born and raised for battle. At long last, the mission Destrier is accomplished, and it outstrips its predecessor almost effortlessly. The 14 new pieces of music are a cornucopia of musical atmopsheres, ideas and textures, an emotional tour de force through lightless chasms, up to the skies, leading from the darkest aspects of human existence to moments of sheer beauty. Suddenly, it is all just too clear why this album took so long: works like these are not to be written between lunch break and dinner. Agent Fresco managed to maintain the musical variety of their debut, but stretch it even further. To be precise, Destrier is a journey through every guitar-drivengenre developed before, with influences ranging from classical music to philosophy, from poetry to ancient myth, to create their very own brew of emotionally packed pieces.
Agent Fresco Destrier Track Listing:
1. Let Them See Us
2. Dark Water
5. Wait For Me
7. The Autumn Red
9. See Hell
10. Let Fall The Curtain
13. Death Rattle
14. Mono No Aware