It was only a few years ago that I stumbled upon The Agonist, too. They had all the makings of a metalcore band, like chugga-chugga riffs, generic breakdowns, and the worst harsh vocals you could ever imagine. As if fate, I accidentally ran into the band again during my freshman year of college. After giving them a serious look, I decided that they weren't all that bad because, yes, the harsh vocals were terrible, but the clean vocals were actually decent enough to keep me interested. And did I mention that The Agonist's vocalist is a female?
Yes, you read that correctly. The woman's got impressive chops. I just wish she would switch over to clean vocals entirely, but I digress.
Even though Lullabies for the Dormant Mind is a great album filled with energy that enjoys reasonable creativity for metalcore, listeners should avoid The Agonist's first album, Once Only Imagined, at all costs. It's incredibly generic, and the song writing is among the worst in the business. It's best described as the work of an amateur. Past that, however, I expect big things from The Agonist. Their next record should be killer.