The first in a series of four EPs from legendary grindcore act Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Arc is a three track release that comes in at twenty-seven minutes long. It’s also bloody good.
‘Not a Daughter’ kicks things off with little to no introduction. A slow crushing riff and a feeling of energy being reigned in. It makes the whole thing feel like it is on the verge of exploding and it is that tension which has you hooked on every groove laden riff and anguished scream from lead vocalist Katherine Katz.
The doom feel continues into ‘Deathbed’ and you can feel the influence that Katz has had on this album when you take into account her previous time in Salome. The riffs are what make this song though and they’re devastating in their precision. Slow and cumbersome they have the weight of a wooly mammoth behind them as they continually crash into you. When it speeds up a bit, although in reality it never gets much faster than a slow walk, the groove is upped and you can’t help but bang your head. This may feel like Katz’s EP but Agoraphobic Nosebleed mainstay Scott Hull makes his mark.
‘Gnaw’ closes things out and over its near twelve minutes continues the trend of being fucking awesome. To be honest, Agoraphobic Nosebleed are a band I’ve never given the time of day to before. My grindcore knowledge doesn’t go much further than the obvious suspects, but Arc is going to change that. This album is equal parts groove, doom and vicious assault. It feels real, and considering it is only three tracks long, gets a hell of a lot across in that period. If you are at all interested in this kind of music odds are you have already heard this, if you havent. What the hell are you doing?