Sound: I can honestly say I'm not that big of a grindcore fan, unless you count Genghis Tron, although you probably shouldn't. I do however like some Pig Destroyer, but I wouldn't call myself a fan of them. It was just out of sure curiosity that I decided to check out Agoraphobic Nosebleed's new effort, (and in my opinion, their opus) Agorapocalypse. My first thought upon finishing the record the first time went something like, what is this I don't even. The title of the album hits the nail on the head. This is the sonic equivalent of an apocalypse through the eyes of ANb mastermind Scott Hull. It's nothing short of chaos.
There are a number of different things that sets this album apart from other ANb albums. The biggest one to me is that the songs are actually cohesive pieces. Every song but one lasts longer than a minute. I'd much rather have a 13 track album with complete songs than a 50 track album with songs lasting a whole 5 seconds. The other thing that certainly stands out is the utilization of three different vocalists: Katherine Katz, Jay Randall, and Richard Johnson, each bringing in a different and discernible flavor and style to the table. Vocals are all harsh, you wont catch any clean singing here. At the most, you'll get some talking, but it's all snarls, blood curdling screams, and grunts.
The production on Agorapocalypse is perfect. It's so tight, you could bounce a quarter off of it. You can pick out every little detail. You can clearly hear the bass laying a crunchy foundation, which is something you don't hear all that often in a grindcore record. The guitar goes all over the place here. You get thrash tremolo picking, crushing riffs, grooves, general noise and feedback, and the occasional melodic guitar line, which are few and far between. I'm impressed by how great these drums sound. Hull used Drumkit From Hell software, which I've experimented with before. I have no idea how he makes it sound so good. You can tell Hull put everything into this album. He didn't rush through this; He took his time and wrote, programmed, performed, and mastered this perfectly. His hard work definitely pays off. This album is a masterpiece. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics in this album are all about drugs, sex, and violence. But this is a grindcore album. You knew what you were getting into. The vocals are intense. Like I said before, the multiple vocalists brought out for this album keeps things interesting. // 7
Overall Impression: This is probably one of the better extreme metal records that will come out this year. I own the longbox edition of the album. It's definitely a prized possession and I would definitely replace it if it were lost.
My personal favorite track is Question of Integrity. It features one of the most bad ass drum solos I've ever heard. It's impressive, even though it is programmed.
I recommend this album for everyone who enjoys metal. Like I said, I'm not a big fan of grindcore, but I think this album was amazing // 9