Agnostic Front is an American Punk band. The band began playing Hardcore Punk similar to their contemporaries, and were thrust to the forefront of the burgeoning New York Hardcore scene in the mid-1980s with their widely regarded 1984 classic Victim in Pain before incorporating Thrash Metal elements into their music.
Agnostic Front became thought of as playing a major role in The New Wave of American Heavy Metal.
Forming the line up
Formed by guitarist Vinnie Stigma (formerly of the Eliminators) towards the end of 1980, with Diego on bass and Rob Krekus on drums. The band then went through a list of singers singers, one being John Watson another being Jimmy "The Mad Russian", finally settling on Roger Miret who was the one time bass player of The Psychos. Shortly after this came Ray Barbieri, aka Raybeez (Warzone), on drums and finally Adam Mucci on bass.
Their debut EP United Blood, came along in 1983 on an independent label and has gone on to become a collector's item. At this time, the band consisted entirely of skinheads. Although this would change over time, Agnostic Front would continue to feature Skinheads as part of their line-up.
The follow-up, Victim in Pain turned up in 1984, this release is regarded as a seminal New York hardcore release. There were more line up changes around this time as well. Dave Jones replaced Raybeez as the drummer and Rob Kabula became the bassist. In 1984, Jimmy "The Kid" Colletti from Justified Violence fame, took over the drums and the band went to tour with The Exploited later that same year. Victim in Pain pushed the band to the forefront of the fledgling New York Hardcore scene, which seemed to be centered around CBGB’s. At this venue they played with bands like The Cro-Mags and Murphy's Law.
Roger Miret maintains that all the songs on this album - "are totally inspired by the streets of New York and my life and what was going on with my friends. It was dangerous. We did what we had to do to survive by any means necessary. It was like a war or a battlefield, and we stood our ground".
1986 bought along "Cause for Alarm" not an easy album to record, partly due to the constant line-up changes, but this album got released on Combat Records, it bought a Thrash Metal sound to the mix as well. This bought them into the mix with bands such as Suicidal Tendencies and Stormtroopers of Death, and marked Agnostic Front's journey into the world of crossover. It even featured some lyrics written by Peter Steele (later of Type O Negative) and drumming by Louie Beateaux (both of Carnivore)
With yet another new line-up, they released Liberty and Justice for... in 1987. This album bought along a more stripped down Punk sound with the thrash influences missing, although many metal-style guitar solos could be heard. Sadly not as successful as their previous releases.
A while after this, Miret found himself arrested on drug charges and spent his time in prison writing new songs while Stigma and the band toured Europe for the first time. The lyrics written by Miret while incarcerated formed most of 1992's One Voice, which featured members of Madball and Sick of It All. Shortly after it's release, the band called it a day. Their last show being at CBGB’s on December 20, 1992; Last Warning, was also released along with the United Blood EP. Vinnie Stigma apparently remarking that he hated Last Warning.
Stigma and Miret reformed Agnostic Front in May 1996 leading on to a few reunion shows in December 1996, later signing to Hardcore Punk label Epitaph Records, then recruiting Jimmy Colletti for the drums and Rob Kabula, of Against The Grain fame, on bass. The latest release was called Something's Gotta Give, although Miret announced to the U.K. that the title would be Today, Tomorrow, Forever.
Ending the 90s
In 1999, they had a follow up release with Riot, Riot, Upstart. This earned them an MTV award for the music video of title track. The comeback albums publicly acclaimed, selling well and also critically acclaimed for their "pure hardcore sound".
Into the 2000s
In 2001, they released the album Dead Yuppies. Songs from this rarely got played live, the band thought of it as more a product of Loved and Hated, Jimmy Colletti's side-project band.
Agnostic Front's 2004 album, Another Voice, was regarded mainly as a follow-up to One Voice, it did receive criticism from both fans and press for "changing their music to fit the current wave of 'tough guy' bands". Musically, though, the album has a resemblance to bands that were influenced by Agnostic Front, bands such as Hatebreed.
March 7, '06, Agnostic Front finally release a DVD "Live at CBGB". This was all part of the efforts of many many bands to try and save this legendary venue from shutting down. Miret claiming - "We played more shows at CBGB than any band ever, and we played more benefit shows for CBGB than any band ever" although when the club did close it was the 1970's Punk bands that got most of the credit.
November 6, '07, The band release "Warriors" with the hit "For My Family" Moving the band further into that crossover thrash sound.
November 17, '09. The 25th anniversary of their debut "Victim in Pain", Bridge Nine Records released and remastered versions of that album as well as their first EP, United Blood. Purists would surely like the original more raw and not remastered sound.
2010 and onwards
Something will appear here soon, or if anyone else want to fill something in, please feel free.
1) Victim in Pain (1984) Rat Cage Records
2) Cause for Alarm (1986) Relativity/Combat Records
3) Liberty and Justice for... (1987) Relativity/Combat Records
4) One Voice (1992) Relativity/Roadrunner Records
5) Something's Gotta Give (1998) Epitaph Records
6) Riot, Riot, Upstart (1999) Epitaph Records
7) Dead Yuppies (2001) Epitaph Records
8) Another Voice (2004) Nuclear Blast Records
9) Warriors (2007) Nuclear Blast Records
10) My Life My Way (2011) Nuclear Blast Records
11) The American Dream Died (2015) Nuclear Blast Records
1) Live at CBGB (1989) Relativity Records
2) Last Warning (1993) Relativity/Roadrunner Records
3) Working Class Heroes (2002) I Scream Records split with Discipline
4) Live at CBGB - 25 Years of Blood, Honor and Truth (2006) Nuclear Blast Records
Raw Unleashed (1995) Grand Theft Audio
United Blood EP (1983) Last Warning Records
Puro Des Madre (en espanol) EP (1998) Hellcat Records
For My Family EP (2007) Nuclear Blast Records
That's Life 7" (2011) Bridge 9 Records
Live at CBGB DVD 2006
"LIVE in N.Y.C. '91... with Sick of It All & Gorilla Biscuits