Published Jan 20, 2016It's been seven years since Agoraphobic Nosebleed unleashed their last full-length album, Agorapocalypse, so a new release from the legendary grindcore act has been highly anticipated, to say the least. They've switched things up with their newest offering, a three-song sludge/doom EP dubbed Arc, and the results are pleasantly surprising. Who would have thought a band known for some of the most intense and extremely visceral grind could be this crushing? Arc is the first in a four-EP series that will represent the influences of each band member, respectively; this release clearly highlights the tastes of vocalist Kat Katz, whose previous work in doom band Salome was nothing short of stunning.
"Not a Daughter" starts the 25-minute-long EP with some typical feedback, but instead of fast, violent chaos, it leads into dense, sludge-soaked riffs and Katz's abrasive howl. "Deathbed" is an exceptionally dark and heavy doom-style dirge, filled with Scott Hull's murky guitar work that transitions midway through to epic, stoner rock territory. "Gnaw" finishes the EP with monolithic, earth-shattering grooves that dissolve and build back up, each time heavier than the last, throughout the 12-minute track. While some fans might have reservations about this side of Agoraphobic Nosebleed, what they've done on Arc is outstanding. Embrace it. (Relapse)