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AGENESS

Neo-Prog • Finland


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Ageness biography
You don't need to be a cryptologist to notice immediately that AGENESS is almost an anagram for GENESIS, so it's easy to suspect who are the main influence of this Finnish band, and when you listen their music, it's more than evident they try to sound as the great British band with a touch of Rush. Despite one of the founders claims being influenced by KANSAS, JETHRO TULL and DIXIE DREGS, I feel nothing of them.

AGENESS was formed in Helsinki in 1991 by Tommy Eriksson (Flute, vocals) and Kari Saaristo (Drums & percussion) from the ruins of a very good band called SCARAB formed by a bunch of school kids who self produced an album and were only able to release 180 copies.

With Vesa Auvinen (guitars), Jari Laasanen (Keyboards, Backing vocals) and Jari Ukkonen in the Bass, they release in 1992 their debut album called "Showing Paces" which apart from the obvious GENESIS references, presents a hard edge with some resemblances of RUSH.

The 90's was a very active decade for the band and in 1995 they release their second album "Rituals" with a more evident Neo Prog sound closer to Marillion and IQ but without leaving their original influences behind.

The next year, the band re-releases SCARAB, this time with some AGENESS tracks recorded on stage.

In 1998 the band releases "Imageness" with Marko Karhu replacing Vesa Auvinen in the guitars, this album represents a return to the roots or more clearly to the borderline that divides Symphonic from Neo Prog.

AGENESS has not released a single album since 1998, but this doesn't mean they have been inactive; they have played in several Festivals and toured with some regularity. Mixing their own music with some Rush and Peter Gabriel covers..

According to an interview with Tommy Eriksson, the are working on a new album this time with Vesa Auvinen who has returned to the band, sadly this interview has some years and still there are no news this release.

Good band for Genesis fans and also for those who like Neo Prog with a hard edge.

UPDATE: After more than a decade of their last album, AGENESS has released "Songs From The Liar's Lair" in 2009.

Iván Melgar Morey - Perú

Ageness official website

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Scarab - Two Vintage Ageness RecordingsScarab - Two Vintage Ageness Recordings
Import
Ageness Recordings
Audio CD$21.99
ImagenessImageness
Import
Musea Records France 2001
Audio CD$21.75
$20.75 (used)
RitualsRituals
Musea 2003
Audio CD$65.32
$64.14 (used)
Songs From The Liar's LairSongs From The Liar's Lair
Presence Records
Audio CD$21.99
$18.29 (used)
Songs From the Liar's LiarSongs From the Liar's Liar
Audio CD$21.99
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AGENESS shows & tickets


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AGENESS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

AGENESS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.65 | 21 ratings
Scarab
1983
3.16 | 28 ratings
Showing Paces
1992
2.78 | 29 ratings
Rituals
1995
3.41 | 43 ratings
Imageness
1998
3.82 | 75 ratings
Songs From The Liar's Lair
2009

AGENESS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AGENESS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

AGENESS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AGENESS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

AGENESS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Scarab by AGENESS album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.65 | 21 ratings

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Scarab
Ageness Neo-Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars Finland, 1983. Just about the most anti-prog musical climate you can imagine. Not even the British Neo proggers MARILLION and others have found much sympathy in the public yet. Five school kids form SCARAB and make a prog album, distributing the 180 copies themselves. "The band broke up after a major tour was cancelled and frustration for the Finnish musical circles became unbearable to us (Finland was actually a New Wave Paradise)."

In the next decade AGENESS belonged to the small bunch of Finnish prog revivalists. At the time the prog association Colossus was founded too. Since the band's roots are unquestionably in SCARAB whose frontman and composer was the keyboardist-vocalist Tommy Eriksson as well, it makes very much sense that Scarab's studio and live recordings from 1983 were released on CD with the words 'Two Vintage AGENESS Recordings' printed on the cover. "Just recently it became in to my knowledge that the value of the original vinyl version (only a few copies left) has risen to unbelievable heights", Tommy writes in the liner notes. I'm very glad I finally got the chance to hear this brave chapter in the Finnish prog history.

The opener 'Day of Doom' starting with a wind effect is aptly titled as one immediately senses the dark drama in the music. The sound reminds the 80's commercial hard rock, with an emphasis on organ-oriented keyboards and the addition of violin & viola. KANSAS of this era may sound similar to some degree. The GENESIS influence is not quite as obvious as on the Ageness output, but it comes audible here and there. And I bet the "musical box" in the lyrics of 'Asylum 32' refers to no other than Genesis. That track gives a big role to the violin, though mostly in a riff approach.The short and tight 'Haze and Visions' feels at first like a very straight-forward rocker, but it's not without a prog attitude either. 'Dor-en-Dor' offers more Genesis-reminding complexity and Banks-y keyboards. By the way, Eriksson's vocals remind a lot of IQ's Peter Nicholls!

The brief album's compositions get better towards the end. The minute-long 'Sand Finale' is the only instrumental, and the tracks after it have a deeper and more mature atmosphere. Maybe we should talk about an EP or mini-LP because without the 7-minute, originally excluded 'Mortal Wings of Sin I' (a highlight, no doubt) the vinyl has been approximately half an hour long.

If Marillion's debut was very strikingly against the contemporary pop/rock especially in the epic song structures, Scarab's music stays a bit closer to the slightly poppy, hard edged rock of its time, but without sacrificing the totally unfashionable progness. They definitely were pioneers who were swimming against the tide. For an advanced prog listener this hardly offers anything new but it has stood the test of time better than I expected.

It's interesting to note that the live set (recorded in Helsinki's Tavastia, June 30th 1983) offers six other tracks. They're quite similar in style with the studio tracks, but sadly the sonic quality really could be better. Anyway they are a welcome addition already for the curiosity value alone. 3½ stars!

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 Rituals by AGENESS album cover Studio Album, 1995
2.78 | 29 ratings

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Rituals
Ageness Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars According to Tommy Eriksson, ''Marigold'' from ''Showing paces'' was also released as a single in 1993 and Ageness received some positive reviews regarding their fresh start.This gave the strength to the band to move on to a second album, which was definitely a more difficult creation.Guitarist Vesa Auvinen moved to the States, where he would live for the next few years, and he only contributed in the new work during his brief summer visits in Finland.As a result, some guitar parts were recorded with guest musicians.Even so, ''Rituals'' became reality in 1995, yet another independent offering by the band.

With ''Rituals'' Ageness tried to move away a bit from their strong GENESIS influences and came up with a happier, more accesible and personal style, which would reflect on the mass of groovy parts, the melodic guitar solos and the AOR-flavored synthesizers of the album.They sounded closer to acts such as FINAL CONFLICT, TIMELOCK or TRISTAN PARK, giving emphasis on pleasant synth lines, powerful singing, edgy guitar solos and leads and more compact song structures with less symphonic flourishes and more straight performances, despite the fact that the tracks were generally longer.Compositionally they remained at a very good level with extremely tight playing, great choruses and memorable themes, having an excellent bassist in the line-up and offering some very powerful and passionate music.However the unexpected twists, the GENESIS-inspired symphonic lines and the more professional executions of ''Showing paces'' are missing from this album.Lots of dramatic textures are absent and the focus in here is on positive, energetic pieces with convincing keyboard and guitar melodies.The second half of the album though comes closer to Ageness' previous attempt with more flexible compositions, featuring acoustic lines, flashy keyboard solos and eventually some well-crafted, dramatic atmospheres.

A bit of a let down compared to Ageness' impressive comeback, but ''Rituals'' is still an album to be appreciated by the whole Neo Prog community and fans of the more accesible side of Progressive Rock due to its solid and memorable material.Recommended.

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 Songs From The Liar's Lair by AGENESS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.82 | 75 ratings

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Songs From The Liar's Lair
Ageness Neo-Prog

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars My first experiences of this Finnish group were from the local concert stages, maybe being some Colossus prog music association event, and once I recall them warming up Anekdoten at Stoa. I had listened their earlier records, but didn't like either their aesthetic approach nor humoristic touch - how evere honest that might be. But on this disc, the music's ability to touch my emothions to some extent was the biggest merit for me on whole record. The singer, whose vocal style I do not completelly adore, manages to find very convincing balance in his fine quality perform. The compositions are done in professional manner, even with so sincere piety that more marginal pop-style search motives slip in my mind, but I won't suggest I'm correct. A very fine, international neo-classic prog easy listening album, worth recommebdable for taking a test listen.

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 Imageness by AGENESS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.41 | 43 ratings

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Imageness
Ageness Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Third album Imageness issued in 1998 at same Musea records, this is less intresting then previous one, really, and is better viewed and rated then Rituals, quite starnge to me. Featuring only 5 pieces, one of them clocking around 26 min, Imageness brings nothing new in the sound of Ageness and in neo prog in general. Being more edgy in some parts like on Chain reaction, posibly the weakest trak of the album. The best track to me is Metamorphosis, 10 min of good neo prog, balanced arrangements, good guitar and keyboards. The ending epic Sequels (The Feast of Fools) is maybe to long for me, if were 5 min shorter would be better, because after 10-15 min I begone to lose intrest in the piece overall. The most intresting passages are the first 6-7 min, after that even has some good parts and catchy arrangements is to little boring and usual. Again influences from IQ, Iluvatar with vocals going somewhere between Gabriel and Nicholls, Ageness manage to pull another good album but far from being something of a real intrest, I found it less captivating then Rituals for ex. 3 stars is best I can give, good but forgetable neo prog.

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 Rituals by AGENESS album cover Studio Album, 1995
2.78 | 29 ratings

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Rituals
Ageness Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ageness from Finland, a neo prog band that was formed from ashes of Scarab who manage to release one album in 1983. They were born in 1991 with the first album released in 1992. Three years later comes the second one named Rituals , issued in 1995 on Musea records. Well, this band was a surprise , because I guess I don't know 2 or 3 names from neo prog zone that comes from Finland and second I really enjoy this album quite contary with waht ratings have here. They play the kind of neo prog up tempo most of the time that reminds me of IQ meets Arena with a voice that sounds like Gabriel meets the guy from american prog rock band North Star. Despite the fact that the voice of Tommy Eriksson is an acquired taste but I got used to after several listnings, the instrumental arrangements are quite ok most of the time. I can't find that bad sections other mentioned here, every piece sounds good and in places even great. Pieces like Forver retutns, Chainsaw murders and the best track of the album to me is Polyphemus - a really solid pieces with good guitar , keybords and a busy bass. Another good one id the ending track Mortal Wings Of Sin II. Th e weakest tune is Hidden space, here the voice sounds pretty forced and in the most quite and mellowe moments is little hard to digest. Overall to me Rituals is good, practicaly I've enjoy it from start to finish. Ok is not a groundbreaking release or something alike, but I like what I've heared here in contrast with bad feedback got from others. 3 stars easy maybe in places 3.5.

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 Showing Paces by AGENESS album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.16 | 28 ratings

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Showing Paces
Ageness Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars The Scarab story ended sharply in the 80's after the release of the self-titled album,but vocalist/keyboardist Tommy Eriksson wasn't done yet.The high school teenager became a mature adult and revived his music ability in 1991, forming Ageness.The next year a vinyl 7'' single appeared entitled ''Misunderstanding After Mistake/Broken Heart" and this was the precursor of the upcoming Ageness debut.''Showing Paces'' finally came out as an indepedent release.

And what a great comeback this is by Eriksson and his new bandmates.''Showing paces'' is extremely clever Neo Prog with plenty of catchy tunes, memorable melodies, interesting instrumental parts and a heavy GENESIS atmosphere,though in its modern version.The overall style holds similarities with bands such as IQ, PALLAS and FINAL CONFLICT,that means Ageness switch from melodic vintage Symphonic Rock to powerful heavier Neo Prog with good riffs and bombastic atmospheres.Eriksson is the undoubtful leader of the effort, both with his flashy performance on synths and his GABRIEL-esque voice tone, supported by a second keyboard player named Jari Laasanen.The rest of the band supports in a fantastic way as well,with the great guitarist Vesa Auvinen filling the sound with nice riffs and melodic solos and the rhythm section being very solid.The way the band offers these GENESIS-inspired delightful retro tunes with the good use of even acoustic parts and then heads for some fiery rockier moments is simply outstanding and a great proof og Ageness' talent.Still the average production and some cheesy synths parts could have been treated some improvement.Notice also the smart auto-biographical ''Revelation'' song, composed by Eriksson and borrowing the GENESIS tune from ''I know what I like'', of how he came in touch with Progressive Rock with even references to Marillion,Twelfth Night and Rush.

An amazing comeback from the old Scarab leader and his new outfit.''Showing Paces'' is a must-have for any Neo Prog fan out there,but also a great addition for fans of Melodic Rock,Retro Prog and Symphonic Rock.This is propably how Genesis would have sounded if trying to carry their sound through the 80's.Highly recommended.

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 Scarab by AGENESS album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.65 | 21 ratings

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Scarab
Ageness Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Strictly speaking, Scarab and Ageness are different bands, but since the subsequent's group career has entirely eclipsed its predecessor this rerelease of old Scarab material (their self- titled album plus some live tracks) comes under the Ageness name. It's decent but forgettable neo-prog stuff with weak vocals and a lack of standout tracks. There's a few quite pretty acoustic sections but otherwise the tracks rather run together, and by the time you finish listening to the album you'll have already forgotten what the first track sounded like. As others have pointed out, there's a lot of Kansas and Saga influence here, so it might be a bit more worthwhile if you're a big fan of those bands.

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 Showing Paces by AGENESS album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.16 | 28 ratings

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Showing Paces
Ageness Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The second Ageness album is really their debut album. The Scarab album was under the Scarab name.

Ageness is spelled Genesis backwards and that shows. Well, almost. Ageness approaches Genesis and Marillion from an hard rock angle. That and from AOR. Plenty of guitars and keyboards here. A vocalist that tries to imitate Peter Gabriel is also included. His imitation act fails though.

Ageness tries their best. But I cringe when they sings about Rush, Genesis and Marillion and then include a piece of Genesis music into one of their songs. Please, don't do it...... The rest of the album contains of pretty moody nordic symphonic prog. The quality is not that great though, even exluding the cringe worthy parts. Most of this album can send a speekfreak to sleep. It is that boring. Boring is not a good thing when you have forked out 3 x the packet of 12 x sleeping tablets on this album. Should had bought the sleeping tablets instead.

Competent, but boring.

2 stars

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 Imageness by AGENESS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.41 | 43 ratings

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Imageness
Ageness Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars I guess this album at least partly explains the similarity between G-E-N-E-S-I-S and A-G-E-N-E-S-S.

Imageness is the fourt album by Ageness and they has clearly found their voice. Which is a mix of Genesis, Marillion and some Dream Theater. And that's it, really.

The vocalist is not the greatest one in the business and slightly awkward. The rest of the band does a competent job. The songs are all good with a variation of great melody lines and not so great melodies. This is therefore an enjoyable album which really butters my ears, but does not really bother my brain that much. There is no great songs here too and that is why this is a good, but not a great album in my books. But fans of the three above mentioned bands cannot go wrong with this album.

3 stars

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 Rituals by AGENESS album cover Studio Album, 1995
2.78 | 29 ratings

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Rituals
Ageness Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Not their finest hour.

Ageness from Finland returns with their third album. Officially, it is their second album though. The Scarab album is more a Scarab album than an Ageness album. Well, enough about that.

It seems like Ageness is having problems finding their feet on this album. The result is some rather strange influences. Mostly from Marillion, but you can clearly also hear echoes from David Bowie and his days. There are also a lot of folk hall and theater music here aka Ange and the French symphonic prog scene. In other words; theatrical symphonic prog. And yes, it is impossible not to mention Peter Gabriel and Genesis too. It took me approx 100 words to do that. A new PA review records for Ageness, I gather.

The instrumentations is a pretty questionable vocalist which fits the theatre aspect but nothing else, tangents, guitars, bass and drums. The instruments skills is OK.

The quality of music is not particular great though. There is nothing substantial good here. Some good melody lines yes, but nothing more. This album feels a bit generic and I would not be able to get this band or album in a blind test. In other words; this is not an album I would recommend. It is not a hopeless album by all means, but it is obvious the band was struggling to find an identity and to come up with some good songs. They failed on both accounts. But there were some green shoots along the way, though.

2.5 stars

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