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Friday, 19 March 2010

For the Good, the Glory and the GRIND!

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Agathocles are pretty much the Marmite of the Grindcore genre. I am not sure how well Marmite is known outside the U.K, but it is pretty much a product that people love or hate, there is a lack of middle ground and mediocrity, it is either rubbish or insanely good. I personally like my Marmite, in addition to liking Marmite I also like very much Agathocles, perhaps there does exist a correlation between Marmite likers and Agathocles, who knows? However I didn't spend the last few hours researching about Marmite, I infact spent that researching Agathocles.
To those of you who have not heard of Agathocles yet classify yourself a Grindcore fanatic, then I suggest you re evaluate your stance from to just grindcore fan. The self labelled Mincecore Legends play a style of Grindcore that is high politicised and has its own sound of sorts. I am not entirely sure why they would need create their own sub-genre to my knowledge the grindcore scene at the time was highly politicised just look at the likes of Napalm Death.
On the other hand, I do tend to find that Agathocles play a very unique style of grindcore which distinguishes themselves from other Political Grind bands, and they tend to be more blunt and straight to their point with their political message, unlike most bands who adopt countless metaphors and sublime imagery to paint their political views.
Agathocles are notorious for the number of releases they have done, most of the releases they do are with up and coming Grindcore bands, examples of this are Nasum. I honestly have no idea as to the number of Agathocles releases, although at a guess I place it at well over 200.
For those of you who frequent this Blog, you may be aware that I usually like to play with words in my title and then explain it prior to the review, well this is also the case today. Agathocles is named after the Greek Poet of the same name, and his name stands for Good Glory, hence the Good, Glory and Grind.

The Review
This best of compilation released in 2008 is for me the best Agathocles release so far, although I doubt I have even heard 5% of Agathocles material. The title itself really sets the tone of everything Agathocles represent. In my internet travels I have come across many a blog with a image stating Grind is Protest, and it seems to be the unofficial slogan for Mincecore Maniacs across the globe.
The compilation is a 40 track of foggy guitaring intertwined with a static bass, and then add in a rampant raging fast drum beats. To add to this already monstrous political machine is a 2 man satire founded rage, spewing forth all manner of political discourse with that added tint of European Satire which is somewhat lacking from our friends over the seas.
Totalling an entire 34 minutes and 36 seconds, with the exception of the first song there is a non stop assault of the finest mincecore, songs like Bon apetit and Ministries of Arms, you get a high level of diversity with the sub genre. The first track mentioned I associate as a cross of Insect Warfare and old timers Repulsion, and then with Ministry of Arms you have a sort of early death metal outfit encapsulated by grind. Through a high level of borrowed elements from D-Beat, death metal etc which varies track to track, you never feel like it is one continous song or sound for that matter, but more a collection of fine materials taken from all ends of the mincecore spectrum.
This really is a great compilation after reading a somewhat shocking review on Encyclopedia Metallum,  I do respect peoples freedom of speech and opinions and do not have any problems with scoring this album at a mere 10%, however what I did find to my distaste was as follows. As within his rights can complain about the Musicianship, but he treats it as if it was an album and is complaining how only a few years ago they were of much better quality, after looking up a random sample of tracks, I can conclude that those tracks pre-date the given date he has said Agathocles has gone down hill. Now the purpose of the last paragraph was not to spite a fellow journalist (If I may be so humble to be blessed with such a title) or to criticize him for his musical opinion, the message is a much more important one. Do your research before you make a statement or conclusion, now to be honest I am being a hypocrite, as I make assumptions and hold them as fact, however by actually researching his statement I have in fact learnt what he said is wrong, thus teaching me the importance of research.
I will make the conclusion quick and concise: You either like Agathocles or you don't, if you so happen to like your fuzzy and somewhat amateurish musicality infused with a raging agenda of Anti-(Insert Whatever Noun you see fit for mincecore), grounded together with fast drumming and a range of styles and a tad of quirkeness then this is definitely a must have for you.
Rating 76/100
25 Years of Mincing!!! RIP Tony Schepkens, suicide was a bad move!