What if you were told that one of the best grindcore bands of the last twenty years, a band that has built its stellar reputation on blinding speed and brutality through brevity, was about to release one of the sludgiest, grooviest, most thunderous doom records you’ll probably hear this year? Would you believe it? Grab yourself a clean pair of pants because when you hear the Earth-shaking, bowel-rupturing new EP from Agoraphobic Nosebleed you’re gonna need them.
Agoraphobic Nosebleed are planning quite the unique artistic endeavor in 2016. The plan on the books is to release a four-part series of EPs highlighting the favorite influences of each band member. Anyone who has been in and/or around bands long enough could tell you that there has never, ever been a time when every member of any band has completely agreed on what constitutes a full discography of “good” music. In other words this has the potential to get real weird, real quick in the best way possible. In fact, it kind of has already.
With the impending release of the first EP in the series, fittingly entitled Arc, Agoraphobic Nosebleed have already stepped out of their perceived comfort zone. While the band has always had moments that occasionally hinted at their potential crusty underbelly, the full-on sludge-filled onslaught of Arc is a pleasant surprise. What makes it so pleasant is just how damn good it is. Picture a cheetah being chained to a hundred anvils and then watching it try to drag those things across the plains, screaming and crying out with every pained step and you’d get a close approximation of how a decelerating Agoraphobic Nosebleed sounds. Their sound has become beautifully tortured and made to slough through a thousand swamps of despair only to come out on the other side perhaps stronger, but certainly nastier.
It’s only three songs deep, but honestly future releases that crawl up from the metal underground are going to be hard-pressed to keep up with the angst-fueled, monstrous, riff-fest found here. If this first EP is any indication of what the upcoming year holds for this band we are all in for one vicious and ill-tempered treat after another. It’s going to be fascinating to see what unexpected twists and turns await this band and their following on the next three EPs. Regardless, with this one they’ve managed to give us something wholly memorable if nothing else.
Arc is due out January 22 via Relapse Records. In the interim you can experience the opening track “Not A Daughter” at the Relapse Bandcamp page.