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Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Agorapocalypse is upon us (Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Agorapocalypse, 2009)

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Scott Hull can not only be credited with creating an audio emulation of epilepsy,  but also as being the front man and driving force for some of Grindcore's biggest names.Under Agoraphobic Nosebleed he used a slew of unconventional methods such as electric drums, masses of microsongs, frantic guitaring & vocals alongside manic music videos, carving a new family of extremity in the metal music scene; known to those who relish in his work simply as; Drum Machine Grind.
Agorapocalypse is the latest in a long line of beasts unleashed by Scott Hull and Co, and is by far the most "normal". Normality by no means that Agoraphobic Nosebleed have lost their touch, this beast of an album is untamed and livid as ever, enough to induce you into a raging fit any time someone mentions the terms; drugs or crime.
Abandoning the mass micro song concept, they flex their metaphorical musical muscles into the realm of conventionality with generally songs lasting between a minute and three, and all this across an unlucky number of tracks, namely 13, again breaking away from their infamous barrages of 100+ tracks of mind bleeding mayhem.
I think for the first time in the age of the Compact Disc an album art is 100% representative of the contents that lay within. Symbolising a flurry of narcotic abuse, police brutality, corporate greed and mass media to name an array of topics covered, this enveloping and vivid art drowns the viewer with all manner of social chaos which not only complements the lyrical themes touched upon, but also the way Agoraphobic Nosebleed force feed you their electrifying  360 degree Grind attack, which will deprive the listener of any coherent  line of thought.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed  greatest call to fame was the fact they had a disregard for the rules of music, and perhaps much like Anal Cunt actively sought to create a stigma and taboo attributed to their names in the peaceful world of music. And just like AxCx Top 40 Hits they decided to break their own rules and follow the standards they so actively desecrated and mocked.
The transition from rebel  without a cause to teachers pet has not hampered nor compromised the integrity of the extreme nature of ANb, the addition of female vocalist Katherine Katz has much to my surprise added a thick layer of aggression  to the music which I had no idea existed in the fairer sex. The twinning of the male and female vocalists are ideal, as they proceed to give you a verbal beat down, you come to realise that it is the girl is in fact the harshest of the two, and this is a scary realisation that such a femme fatale has probably  the harshest vocals on the planet.
The drumming has slowed down to a humane level of speed, and the introduction of a drum solo gives the drumming a touch of reality to it, betraying the fundamental digitally triggered fast as fuck rampage of mechanised drums in  their spawned genre Machine Gun Grind. Slowing the drumming down and elongating the songs forced the take on drumming to adapt to a more cohesive and coherent nature, and by doing so the role of the drums has fallen in line with the stereotypical metal drummer experience. However I cannot deny that despite the "degrading" of the role of the drums, the drums are still as kick ass as they always have been and are en par with the best drummers of better Grindcore acts. I can assure for the unconvinced more die hard ANb fans that the drumming will still beat you into a pile of blood and dust, personal guarantee.
As for the guitaring, expect your standard Scott Hull fast picked no bass present guitar only 7/8 string with plenty of amps assault, and unlike the shift in electric drumming his guitaring is one thing us fans will not allow him to go in a break away form, at least not without a universal vote.

Agorapocalypse  although breaking the mould of traditional ANb and lacking in its genre defining nature, it still will bestow upon the listener a considerable amount of unexplainable blunt force trauma alongside a fear of substance abuse. A perfect unison of man and machine on instruments, with the vocals which have redefined the term harsh, this album showcases Scott Hull's ability to kick as much obeying the rules as he did breaking them.