rating icon 7.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Timelord Zero (Chronovore)/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. First National Stem Cell and Clone
07. 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

Well, it does not contain 100 songs, every tune isn't a blindingly fast electro-grinder, and there are no frozen corpses stuffed with dope to found anywhere (a long distance drug runner is involved though). "Agorapocalypse", AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED's second full-length album is however a grand proclamation of the offensive and a certified face-grinder. It just happens to contain arrangements that restrict the whiz-by effect and sections that are slow enough to allow one to recognize the driver as he cruises by with middle finger thrust high into the air.

Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your degree of satisfaction with light-speed machine grind, the kind that Scott Hull and company perfected on releases like "Frozen Corpse Stuffed with Dope" and especially "Altered States of America". There has always been a fright factor to go along with the prurient obsessions inherent in those releases. There is no lack of morals-fucking here (have you seen the artwork and read the lyrics in the super cool booklet?),but the frightfulness has been tempered a bit in favor of a relatively more traditional, though no less nerve fraying, grindcore experience.

If anything, the powerviolence leanings are more pronounced, the fresh blend maintaining, if not elevating, the violence to inhuman levels. And it is not like the drum machine has been replaced either. In relative terms, the drums sound rather organic, as well as overtly grind-worthy. The drum solo included during "Timelord Two (Paradoxical Reaction)" is an intriguing touch.

So "Agorapocalypse" continues to be more of an envelope-pusher than the average grind release, not to mention taking any iota of mellow and crushing into dust, followed by a public urination on the remains. It is 13 tracks in 28 minutes; right, it's not a doom metal epic. The multi-vocalist approach makes for an even nastier affair, not the least of which is attributable to new member Kat (just listen to her peel paint over a rumbling pace on "Question of Integrity" or the pure insanity of "Druggernaut Jug Fuck"). She adds a layer of viciousness that complements vocals from Scott Hull and Richard Johnson that include moments that bring to mind Tom Araya (think about an Araya-led ANB for a moment),powerviolence belligerence, and grindcore bludgeon.

"New" or "new and improved?" Well, it is a progression, yet one that continues to leave a bloody wake. Whether it is improved depends on whether your love affair with the "old" ANB was a torrid one. Stripping away all the comparisons though, "Agorapocalypse" is obscene and extreme, which is what ANB has been about since the beginning. No amount of speed control can change that.

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