giovedì 11 agosto 2011

Agathocles - "Mince Core History 1985 - 1990"

Agathocles (Belgium) is by far one of the most prolific bands of all time, and would you believe that this is the first time I've ever really heard 'em!? Sure, I've heard a couple of tracks here and there over the years, but this is the first time I've ever sat down, Agathocles release in hand, and listened to the band as a standalone. I think they've just released so damn much that I never even wanted to bother checking anything out because I knew at some point a CD like this would likely come along and throw out a shitload of tracks in well over an hour, collected all in one place. Their style is a sort of sludge/grind hybrid, swaying from bludgeoning slow riffs to blast beats and thrashy speeds, all the while with barked vocal growls unloading assaults galore. At times they bear resemblances to early Carcass (musically and vocally), but they definitely have their own vibe in that respect. And some of the songs (the band's earlier work from around 1988) that are faster and utilize a more straightforward shouting vocal approach sound more like fast, thrashing crossover hardcore with grind mixed in. Even others still are more along the lines of pummeling death metal (such as "Mutilated Regurgitator") - generally a bit longer and more involved than the one-minute grind tracks. Included herein are the Agathocles tracks from their split 7"s with Violent Noise Attack, Putrid Offal, Riek Boois, Blood, Nasum, Smegma, and Morbid Organs Mutilation, as well as the "If this is gore, what's meat then?" cassette, the "Cabbalic Gnosticism" cassette/7", the "Fascination of Mutilation" one-sided flexidisc 7", and the "If this is cruel, what is vivisection then?" 7"... not to mention various other rare bits and pieces. The tracklist reads 49 tracks, but there are only 41 on the actual CD, so I don't know if certain "tracks" have more than one song in them or what? There's definitely something wrong though, because I can't tell if any of the lyrics match up with the track numbers, but I know that many don't. The CD face does say that it's the "Mince Core History 1985 - 1990" CD, but the "Mince Core History 1989 - 1993" CD has 41 tracks, so maybe the wrong material was pressed onto some of the discs!? I'm totally lost. The mastering could be better as many of the tracks have different output volumes, but it's not that big of a deal as most of the recordings are really raw anyway. They never achieve a great deal of density, but very few tracks are unlistenable. I'd like to hear more bass in the mix most of the time, but there's not much you can do at this point. The layout is all black and white, but very thorough and well done. First up is a two page biography of the band, then four pages of lyrics, then a massive six pages dedicated to showing all of the old record covers and details accounting for where these tracks came from.


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