EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Agriculture Revere "The Glory of the Ocean" with explosive new track

I'm really fortunate to have gotten "The Glory of the Ocean", the latest and opening track from their upcoming, self-titled album, to premiere!

Yeah, explosive is really the only adjective I could have gone with here, considering how this new Agriculture track opens. Ever since the group erupted into popularity on online metal circles last year with their incredible debut, The Circle Chant, I have been obsessed with their capacity to create these evocative and effective bursts of earnest emotion and emotion with a decidedly brighter palate than "traditional" black metal. It's perhaps what makes their home-brewed genre tag of "ecstatic black metal" make the most sense; there is a sense of uncontainable, frenetic, and electrified power that crackles from the haggard screams, enthused guitars, and knife-sharp drums that make Agriculture run.

Which is why I'm really fortunate to have gotten "The Glory of the Ocean", the latest and opening track from their upcoming, self-titled album, to premiere. It is a marvelous showcase of all of these attributes and then more. Plus, it has a kick-ass video as well! Head on down below to check it all out and make sure to keep scrolling for a quick interview with the band as well, where we go deeper into the idea of "ecstatic black metal" and even name-drop Spinoza!

The three minute mark on this track and the guitars which accompany it is honestly one of my favorite musical moments of 2023; it seems to encapsulate so much of themes and sensations that I described above. In general, the self-titled second album from Agriculture has a better sense of structure and development then the (already great) debut had and "The Glory of the Ocean" works incredibly well within that structure. Its direct, powerful, and heavy sound is placed ahead of somewhat more abrasive and contemplative pieces, turning it into a real fulcrum of the album even as it opens it. The fact that it also works well in isolation, channeling those "ecstatic" vibes we mentioned not only in contrast but in and of themselves, is just the cherry on top.

With this track and, indeed, the entire forthcoming album (scheduled for release on July 21st via the mighty The Flenser), Agriculture further cement themselves as one of the most exciting up and coming names in black metal. Which is why I was ecstatic (get it) to get the chance to ask them a few quick question. Before we head to that though, make sure to click through here and pre-order this album; it is one of 2023's best. Okay, on to the interview!

Ecstatic hails, Agriculture! Hope you’re all doing well. Tell me, how was the experience of seeing The Circle Chant suddenly blow up in popularity? There were a few weeks last year where it was all I could see in online metal circles!

Hey there! Thanks so much for reaching out.

It’s been amazing to experience the response people have to the music. We started getting DMs from people sharing how the music had been helping them get through things, or just get in touch with a more joyful side of their experience. That really means a lot, obviously. I guess the thing with this music is that on the one hand we’re using a lot of brutal black metal techniques, but we’re really wielding them to try and bring people good feelings. I think that the black metal stuff we’re referencing and using helps us to make joyful music that also contains the experience of suffering. I don’t know, I guess that’s how I see it. But people seemed to be connecting to it in a deep way which is amazing.

As far as like ‘blowing up’ I think we experienced it from the responses we were getting at live shows. More people started coming and the shows just kept getting more and more fun. Playing live with this band is the most fun thing in the world.

I love the idea of “ecstatic” black metal and your music truly sounds like it. What came first, the idea for making explosive, more boisterous black metal or the music itself?

Great question! I have no idea. I think they probably sort of developed together. I love black metal but I’m not very interested in music that promotes or rolls around in suffering for suffering’s sake. I remember reading this interview with some European BM band talking about how they wanted to make their audiences feel shame and suffer and I was like ‘OK I want to do the exact opposite of that.’

It’s like, OK obviously life involves a lot of suffering but there is also time for dancing and yelling with your friends. I wanted the music to be like that.

The other thing is that we really love playing in this band and we have a lot of fun putting the music together and playing it live. We’re approaching the creation of the music with the intention to have fun.

Kern Haug (drums): And, I'm no scholar of Spinoza, but I know he has this idea of pleasure and pain, where pleasure is a function of the body's capacity to act, and pain is the diminution of that capacity. And for me as the drummer, this music really stretches my body's capacity to act, so in a Spinozian sense, it's super pleasurable for me. And I like the idea of inspiring people to stretch their own capacities.

Do you think there are other black metal artists out there you would call “ecstatic”? Any particular favorites currently making interesting black metal?

Hmm. I dont know about other ecstatic black metal. Maybe that Curta’an Wall record haha. I really like the album Gudsforladt put out last year. The new Liturgy record is fantastic.

I’m not really listening to a ton of BM right now. I tend to only be able to listen to one thing at a time and right now I’m just really going hard on the John Coltrane live recordings from 1960-1967. Talk about ecstatic music!!!! His playing opens up so many possibilities. That level of freedom is just remarkable and takes me somewhere.

Maybe check back in like 6 months and I’ll be back on BM and share some new favorites!

When you set out to record/release your upcoming self-titled album, was there anything you did different as opposed to the debut EP? Or did the music simply take its own direction?

Ha! Ok so we actually wrote the LP first but conceived it as a large scale work, with multiple long-form statements. We knew we wanted something of that scope to have label support behind it, so while working on the production of that record we decided to write and record an EP that we could self release while we finished production on the LP. We spent almost a full year mixing the record - we really wanted to get it right. We’re incredibly lucky that our guitarist  Richard Chowenhill and drummer Kern Haug are both mixing/mastering engineers which gave us the opportunity to spend literally hundreds of hours getting every detail right. It was a really fun process.

The album really fleshes out some of the themes that we outlined on Circle Chant. I can’t wait for everybody to hear it.

Lastly, this isn’t necessarily a question, but please consider making more of those amazing bumper stickers. I require one.

Hahaha ok noted! Hope to get those reprinted soon.

Thanks again for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with you! Super excited for you to hear the record!



Eden Kupermintz

Published a year ago