It’s been a long and relatively silent road to travel before reaching the first of four Agoraphobic Nosebleed EPs. Having been announced back in late 2012, Agoraphobic released inklings of details in regards to each members’ specific album. The design of these EPs is to allow each band member to write their own lyrics and drive the musical style of the album, though the trajectory of the respective releases remained uncertain. Enter Arc, vocalist Kat Katz’s doom-laden EP treading the heavy musical domain heretofore unexplored by the band. Marked with her signature guttural howl, Katz brings forth Agoraphobic’s versatility in composing songs which are a far cry from the catastrophic, bloody onslaught of machine gunning drums listener’s would generally anticipate from the grind outfit.
Arc opens with “Not a Daughter”, the shortest yet most delectable song, containing a plethora of head banging, crunching riffs. Its momentum steam rolls from one catchy riff to the next as the thick muddy bass buzzes tightly with pounding drums behind shrieks of afflicted malignant abuse. “Deathbed” plods with a leaden stride before erupting with an infectious hook to bring the song to a rocking tempo, whereas the album closer, “Gnaw”, broods in sludgy darkness, never rising from its gloomy tone. Agoraphobic Nosebleed have produced a short and sweet EP which showcases their experimental capabilities. Despite its brevity, they have illuminated a darker shade of an evolving sound which does not require the ridiculous pummeling assault of blast beats. Katz’s crushing vocals and the groovy head banging riffs interspersed throughout the misanthropic doom warrant for repeated spins of Arc, at least until their new EP is unleashed.
Score: 8.0 / 10.0
Listen to “Not a Daughter” above; purchase Arc here.