A horrible hack

Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Converge

The Poacher Diaries

Year Released: 1999
Format: LP
Label: Hydra Head
 
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Jun 13, 2007
Agoraphobic Nosebleed sound pretty much as brutal and crazy as you'd imagine a band with that name to sound - hyperspeed grind riffing, stop-start-on-a-dime rhythms, skull-battering drumming (my compliments to the drum-machine...) and incendiary vocals that sound like the guy must be coughing up a lung to get such a filthy noise out of his mouth, all with some filthy, vengeful lyrics that just about make your skin crawl with their hideous bleakness.

Much of what I've said about ANb actually applies to Converge, which, given the stark differences in the two bands' sounds is kinda weird. Things are equally crazy, mixing up beyond-metal guitar fuckery, Jacob Bannon's sickening my-life-is-pain vocals and the odd chugga part to keep the meatheads who haven't yet jumped ship onside. Then there are the slower, ethereal moments, ambient and atmospheric, quietly sinister with ghostlike crooning over the top. These more experimental parts seem to be geared towards Neurosis or latterday Swans homage, lending the songs an air of desperation and emptiness. Goddamn marvelous.

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