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Agoraphobic Nosebleed Agorapocalypse

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01. Agorapocalypse Now 02. Timelord One (Loneliness Of The Long Distance Drug Runner) 03. Dick To Mouth Resuscitation 04. Moral Distortion 05. Hung From The Rising Sun 06. National Stem Cell And Clone 07. A Question Of Integrity 08. Timelord Two (Paradoxical Reaction) 09. Trauma Queen 10. White On White Crime 11. Druggernaut Jug Fuck 12. Ex-Cop 13. Flamingo Snuff
2009 Relapse Records
Our score 9

by Rob Parker
7/29/2009

Whether you think they're gimmicky, "forward-thinking" or simply psychotic, Agoraphobic Nosebleed have made it their goal to push extremity to its end logic. Their approach to grind until this point has consisted of ultra-short blasts of drum-machine mindfuckery, damaged guitar work that almost spitefully borders on catchiness and outrageously offensive (and mostly incoherent) vocals. With their first proper album since Altered States of America (disregarding a slew of splits, anthology releases, and re-releases) the question looms: After years of systematically defying every musical convention they can think of, is it possible for Scott Hull and company to outdo themselves What's left to do after packing 100 "songs" on a 3-inch, 20-minute CD that isn't just re-treading the same ground With Agorapocalypse, Agoraphobic Nosebleed do the impossible (for them): they release an album that nearly sounds conventional. Where the band once revelled in catastrophic thirty-second blasts of noise and digitized, 1000 bpm squalls, they now deploy longer tracks that incorporate slower tempos and more organic sounds. For the first time in their career, ANb emphasizes songcraft. The drum patterns are nearly playable by human hands and there's an actual sense of dynamics at work here that does wonders to open up the band's sound. Hull continues to construct interesting and blindingly fast riffs, and backs off at several points to give the drum programming a chance to, uh, show off its chops. These changes were odd decisions for a band that's based their career on sounding as alien and inhuman as possible. I was initially concerned, since I count myself a fan of their earlier work (if anyone can really be a "fan" of older ANb.) And then there was the announcement that Salome vocalist Katherine Katz would be joining Jay and Richard on vocals. In light of these evolutions, would they even still sound like Agoraphobic Nosebleed Is it possible that Katz is just the Sarah Palin of ANb - a pretty face to counterpoint their brand of ugly ultraviolence Perhaps her addition is an attempt to subtly avoid the unfair charge levelled at them after some too-serious asshats got hold of their lyrics and figured they were just a bunch of homophobic and misogynistic misanthropes Would they just become Pig Destroyer with 3 vocalists and faster drums How many rhetorical questions can I get away with in a review Is anyone on this mother-loving and hope-crammed hardcore // metal website still reading this After listening to the final product, it's clear that everyone involved knows exactly what they're doing. The longer song structures let Hull and Johnson stretch their muscles, and allows for some excellent interplay between the guitar and bass, which gives each song its own character (A definite first for ANb.) Hull proves that coupling a drum machine with grindcore is an art that requires something approximating finesse (as far as grindcore and finesse can be mentioned in the same sentence.) As for the three vocalists, the random switch-ups can be jarring, but it would be a sign of utter vulgarity on my part to fault an Agoraphobic Nosebleed album for being a jarring experience. I found that Katz's focused shrieks form a natural counterpoint to Richard and Jay's hysterical screeds. The lyrical content is still just as perplexingly hilarious, especially when Randall tackles head-on both Pig Destroyer's and ANb's popularity on "A Question of Integrity," which is to say nothing of the song titles, with gems like "Dick-To-Mouth Resuscitation," "Druggernaut Jug Fuck" and "White on White Crime" - which serve to emphasize the fact that ANb have never been and never will be a subtle band, even with a newfound sense of finesse. Bottom Line: How does an Agoraphobic Nosebleed album with a 3 vocalists and halfway normal song structures sound Really, really fucking good. I honestly can't think of any further criticism. If you consider yourself a fan of grindcore, you've probably already picked this up. If not, pick it up anyways, honky. I'm willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that you won't hear anything else like it this year.

Comments (42) post new comment
--_ 7/29/2009 12:40:56 PM

spot on review. but.. holy f*cking late.


zero_x_potential_ 7/29/2009 12:42:42 PM

Good review. Their best work, I think.


honkyhonkyhonky_ 7/29/2009 12:43:23 PM

shit review. lame, gimmicky band.


MarginError_ 7/29/2009 12:51:19 PM

I'll back the spot-on but late comment


thegreatsatan_ 7/29/2009 12:55:37 PM

agorapocalypse is meh at best. it’s self-indulgent wankery by scott hull, and to me at least, it seems like richard johnson does about 90% of the vocals on the album. everyone keeps talking about j randall’s lyrics and the addition of kat, but richard johnson is the vocal work horse in this band. kat’s not fit to wipe the asses of the other three members of agoraphobic. she’s only in this band because she used to date JR back in the day. she used to brag about dating him to anyone who would list


thegreatsatan_ 7/29/2009 12:55:48 PM

she was in love with her art teacher and everyone at school knew it, and knew that he was preying on a little girl’s feelings and sheltered ideology. but since she’s a self-centered idealist, no amount of reality penetrates her bubble. she doesn’t take into consideration that she had the potential to wreck that married man’s home for her own selfishness, and she thought she was so cool playing the mistress to a man twice her age. kat is an idiot who passes off a lack of artistic talent and skill


anaturaldisaster_ 7/29/2009 1:12:58 PM

The Great Satan = one of Katherine's harem of men


Fur_Beach_ 7/29/2009 1:13:59 PM

The only ANb album that ive actually listened to more than a few times.


anonymous 7/29/2009 1:18:00 PM

mehhhhhhhhhhhh


Conduit_ 7/29/2009 1:24:01 PM

It's their best work, but 9/10? Get the f*ck out of here.


anonymous 7/29/2009 2:44:45 PM

Thegreatsatan's review is spot on but he forgot to put a numerical rating.


anonymous 7/29/2009 2:49:18 PM

NOOO you broke the fourth wall!! *head explodes*


thegreatsatan_ 7/29/2009 2:55:54 PM

QQ/10


thereapersson_ 7/29/2009 3:55:45 PM

thegreatsatan = walloftext TL;DR gay


thegreatjesus_ 7/29/2009 5:37:00 PM

I really am baffled by the DRUG FREE message on the back of this album. Part of ANb's psychotic sound is built on hard drugs and free basing and they out that message on there?!?!?! I dont I felt kinda cheated.


twat_waffle_ 7/29/2009 5:55:43 PM

After a few spins, this album really grew on me. Richard Johnston is vocalist in another band called Drugs of Faith. I got a demo of there new stuff the other day and it's f*cking awesome!!!


g_g_ 7/29/2009 8:19:57 PM

review comes out just in time for their next album!


anonymous 7/30/2009 12:34:40 AM

one of my favorite albums this year


with a 3 vocalists_ 7/30/2009 1:55:07 AM

with a 3 vocalists with a 3 vocalists with a 3 vocalists


ffg55_ 7/30/2009 8:17:56 AM

10/10 @ thegreatsatan


fuckyou_ 7/30/2009 9:43:46 AM

thegreatsatan is a greatgay. katz' screams are nasty good.


alex_ 7/30/2009 10:34:11 AM

Thegreatsatan is a f*cking gay. who cares about what the band members did before they made this cd. f*ck yourself


Alex G. Schwarzer_ 7/30/2009 10:59:15 AM

WTF. Who posted a comment as me? I'm tight with thegreatsatan, whoever the above is, it wasn't me.


xenosapien_ 7/30/2009 11:58:38 AM

If not, pick it up anyways, honky.


meanmuggin_ 7/30/2009 3:59:34 PM

who ever is thegreatsatan is real jealous..


wiep_ 7/31/2009 4:06:08 AM

Agorapocalypse is better than Phantom Limb. Truth.


baobab_ 7/31/2009 12:23:15 PM

That greatsatan cp was stolen from Metal Sucks. Still hilarious though. On topic...great album, better than "Phantom Limb" maybe...


drewcifer_ 8/1/2009 9:47:36 AM

the review makes me consider giving this a listen, despite having no f*cking interest anymore in grindcore or anything agoraphobic nosebleed related. good job, rob.


cultclassic_ 8/3/2009 11:22:37 AM

real good review, pretty decent album


dicktomouthresuscitation6_ 8/4/2009 12:29:49 PM

phantom limb is good. this is way better. good review. great (gonzo-groove grind) album. f*ck the haters.


Alex G. Schwarzer_ 8/5/2009 3:33:28 PM

I'm the real Alex G. Schwarzer, and I'm going to kick the living f*ck out all of you. Including, my namesake, Alex Arnold.


alex_ 8/6/2009 4:15:28 PM

suck my dck, immature ass


minusmyself_ 8/7/2009 1:23:47 PM

fell asleep at this bands show...f*ckin ridiculous


grammarpolice_ 8/9/2009 1:52:59 PM

thegreatsatan wanted to f*ck and couldnt


RICK ROCK_ 8/9/2009 3:23:34 PM

TWO DUDES f*ckING.


anonymous 8/13/2009 2:55:29 PM

LAPDANCES AND SUCKIN' dck AS THE HONKY REDUCTION TEN INCH SPINNNNS


a_gutted_turtle420_ 8/27/2009 10:46:03 PM

its pretty shweet ive listeneddd to some of their shit before. but yeah like those otha folks said 9/10? cmon


ahab_ 9/5/2009 2:15:36 PM

spot on review hombre!


probablyyomomma_ 9/25/2009 1:32:22 PM

Lulz at greatsatan's post. good shit right there, i laughed my ass off reading about the part about the art teacher. lambgoat needs more of this, epic win.


probablyyomomma_ 10/1/2009 11:59:19 PM

HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK c-ckS


DJ_ 2/2/2010 1:15:58 PM

This Band sucks!! and you say deathcore bands suck. this is the wrose shit ever!!!


anonymous 12/12/2015 4:42:42 AM

Still my favorite album. Katz added something amazing to agoraphobic nosebleed. I hope that they continue with this sound. Upon hearing their new EP Arc (1/3, each to focus on a specific member of the band) is focusing on Katz and taking a more doom metal approach, I was doubtful. But I trust AnB to pull it off.