Agathodaimon is the standard gothic/face paint/keyboard-oriented/true/vampiric band and hails from Mainz, Germany. The group dropped the face paint in later years however. They were formed in 1995 and released the Carpe Noctem demo in 1996. Following much interest from labels like Listenable and Century Media the band signed to Nuclear Blast which inevitably meant touring with Benediction, Hypocrisy and the like.
When Vlad wasn't let back into Germany from Romania, the band didn't miss a beat and had Akaias do the vocals on the band's debut. The band played Wacken in 1998 and travelled to Romania to record the second album with Vlad. Agathodaimon lost bass player Marko T in late 2002. He decided to leave the band due to health problems. Serpent's Embrace - initially billed as Darkened Days - was issued three years after its predecessor. Nuclear Blast also issued a two-CD version of the album. Bassist Darin 'Eddie' Smith left in April of 2006. Frank 'Akaias' Nordmann left for vocational reasons in the tail end of 2006. Jonas Iscariot left the vocalist position in 2008 a year after joining. The band, which was working on a new album called Phoenix, was seeking a replacement. The group picked up singer Chris 'Ashtrael' Bonner and was working on its Phoenix album. Matthias Rodig was replaced by Manuel Steitz of Ancient Ceremony. The band would release a new album, Phoenix, on March 20th through Massacre Records. It features new singer Chris "Ashtrael" Bonner. Agathodaimon parted ways with guitarist Jan Jansohn "due to musical and personal differences" in the summer of 2010 and replaced him with Thilo Feucht. The new guitarist had worked with the band before.
In mid-2013, Agathodaimon was at the Kohlekeller Studio with producer Kristian "Kohle" Kohlmannslehner recording a new album, called In Darkness, for a June 28th release through Massacre Records.
AGATHODAIMON - SERPENT'S EMBRACE - NUCLEAR BLAST
It looks like fans of this Germany-based band have had to endure a long wait for a new album. It is here, and this being my introduction to the quintet, the album does not fare as badly as expected. The presence of a keyboardist and hints of trendiness had Agathodaimon sound like a write-off in advance, but the band has good moments and is not a complete waste of a metal fan's time.
Agathodaimon harbours elements of Borknagar, Amorphis and Hypocrisy. If one can imagine how the bastard child of this threesome would come across, this bunch would probably be it. The vocals take the soft-one-moment-and-screeching-another tact that many bands opt for nowadays and the music follows a similarly schizophrenic path. The sound is good. Were the band banish the keyboardist, incorporate more guitar leads like the one on the song Faded Years and generally abandon the trendier elements for a more serious approach things will look up sharply. In the meanwhile, the band will be mostly of appeal to the younger participants in the scene who don't mind taking a little gravel with their metal. - Ali "The Metallian"