To call Agoraphobic Nosebleed merely fast understates the velocity of their sound. As someone who was looking for the craziest music in existence, my search ended abruptly upon the discovery of this cybergrind four-piece. Featuring some of the fastest music ever recorded, courtesy of Scott Hull of Pig Destroyer fame, albums such as “Frozen Corpse Stuffed With Dope” and “Altered States of America” represent a pinnacle of musical and lyrical extremity.
All of which have made the group almost entirely inaccessible to the average listener. With songs less than ten seconds long and lyric sheets I feel guilty about owning, Agoraphobic Nosebleed albums were something to be kept under the mattress.
Within the last few years, this seems to have changed. Hull and company, now featuring the insanely ferocious vocals of Katherine Katz, have slowed down, released a number of split EPs – including one with the excellent and now sadly defunct Insect Warfare – and adopted a sound reminiscent of early grind and powerviolence.
“Agorapocalypse” continues in this vein. The opening thrasher sounds like early Exodus on amphetamines. This frantic pace keeps up for the entirety of the album, with the exception of a surprisingly effective minute-long programmed drum solo.
There are still numerous instances of offensive humor, including a couple of songs titles unfit for print in this fine paper. Whether or not this affects your enjoyment of the music will depend on your tolerance for lyrics that are decidedly not politically correct. I took most of what I could understand to be satirical, but there will inevitably be those who are offended by song titles like . oh wait. Nevermind.
Regardless of the introduction of less chaotic song structures and tracks that push the three-minute mark, “Agorapocalypse” is still going to be an incomprehensible barrage of noise to those unaccustomed to grindcore. While most listeners today are jaded to the majority of punk and metal, few will be able to tolerate Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Fortunately for fans of the genre, this earns the band a stamp of approval.