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But it wasn't me...though you do rock. - 65%

hells_unicorn, December 6th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2011, CD, End of Music (Remastered)

Back in the good old days of punk-infused, rawer than a fleshly flooded sewer grindcore that took its cues directly from the hardcore and crust icons like Discharge and Amebix, there was one among a barrage of split efforts put out by Agathocles alongside Drudge titled Suppose It Was You that took a comparable, albeit more conservative take on things than their British contemporaries Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror. Though passing with modest interest outside their core fan base, this collection of 13 fleeting ditties played at warp speed were given the remaster treatment a few years back, and the results are a slightly posher, but still messy as hell and at times a bit indistinct.

The best way to characterize the sound that permeates this effort, which is precisely consistent from one song to the next, is a fuzz steeped, top heavy barrage of blasts and breakdowns that sits in fairly close proximity to what Repulsion was doing a couple years prior. Agathocles is definitely quite affixed in the hardcore world, featuring extremely thin sounding guitars that largely band out minimalist power chords, while the drums tower over the rest of the mix and provide most of the technical intrigue. But the most consequential element at play in terms of giving this album its sense of body is the highly distorted bass, which is actually fairly reminiscent of Peter Steele's tone during his tenure in Carnivore.

The lack of compression to the arrangement is rivaled only by how compressed and concise the songwriting here is, as idea fragments are hit in rapid succession and most variation comes from the varying pitch of the largely incoherent barks and shrieks of the vocals and the drum work, which is chaotic enough to put a rise in Pete Sandoval's Levi's. Basically things tend to proceed on either a mid-paced or moderately fast feel before pulling back into a short as hell breakdown, then in comes the blast, which is usually followed by either the song abruptly stopping in the case of the shorter ones, or cycling through a second round in the case of those ones that break the one minute mark.

Overall, this is a pretty decent outing, though maybe a tad generic and predictable when compared to where the style was being taken by Carcass and Repulsion back in the 1980s. Generally it works better when the songs go a bit longer and have more time to develop, as in the cases of the rather unsubtle jab at Anton LaVey "Squeeze Anton" and the ode to snakes in a buddy's clothing "Fake Friend" where the death metal elements of the style are likewise fairly pronounced. This is geared for people who tend to go outside of metal circles, but it wouldn't be much of a stretch to see old school death metal fans liking this, though it's not quite their best showing.