Agenda Of Swine - Waves Of Human Suffering
Relapse Records
13 songs (34'20")
Release year: 2008
Agenda Of Swine, Relapse Records
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

Napalm Death having a fistfight with Discharge in a moshpit. That, crusties and grinders, is what the debut album from Agenda Of Swine sounds like in a nutshell, and the fact that I’ve spent more time headbanging whilst listening to this than anything else this week speaks volumes. Fronted by Pete Pontikoff and made up of scene veterans from the likes of Benumb and Vulgar Pigeons, Relapse are definitely onto a winner here, and from the first few seconds of intro Gethseamane you’ll be helpless, your neck moving virtually of its own accord. With both a thunderous drum sound and one of the biggest, fattest, and meatiest guitar tones around for a while, Agenda Of Swine have the perfect recipe for a perfect Grind sound, and from the moment Pete starts his absolutely furious vocals, spitting mad throughout and never letting up – well, if there’s a Grindcore heaven, this is it.

Leaning slightly towards the Hardcore end of the Grind, there’s still plenty here to keep the Metalhead enthralled. Take Stains Of Accountability alone; technical breakdowns, amazing drumwork, audible bass, solos... you’ll shed tears when it fades out as it unbelievably does, yet each track following manages to be as good if not better. Grindcore generally isn’t known for its intelligence, yet it’s impossible to miss the amount of thought that’s gone into this album. And fear not; this band don’t stoop to polka sections to keep the wayward attention glued – why would they with riffs so good? From slow (intro to Amongst The Forgotten) to fast (the wonderfully-named Anatomy Of Social Issues: Problem + Contribution vs Solution) there’s barely a moment on the album that doesn’t have a variety of excellent riffs flying at you. Machine Head at their finest would weep tears of joy if they could manage riffs this good.

As mentioned, vocalist Pete sounds enraged beyond measure here, angrier than Barney Greenway at his finest, even, which is high praise indeed coming from a Napalm Death fanboy such as me. Even on lengthy, Sludgy interlude Eradication Of The Seeds Of Purity his panicked screams still ring out, and a standard growler just wouldn’t have been the same. Whilst this may dip into Suffocation territory at times, that deep chug is pretty unmistakable after all, this feeds from the same pool as the New York legends – there’s more Bolt Thrower here than anything else, and admirably Agenda Of Swine avoid typical Deathcore pitfalls. No pig squeals here!

The scene is currently full of bands vying with each other to make music this heavy; that most of them fail is only to be expected with such a copycat genre as Grind. Agenda Of Swine blow all but the big names away (prime-time Nasum still beats this, just about) and on a debut album too! Any slave to the Grind should be aware of this, but for those who aren’t, Waves Of Human Suffering is a killer album.

Killing Songs :
Stains Of Accountability, Amongst The Forgotten, End Of All Ends, Fragments Of Reason, Conditioned For Failure
Goat quoted 83 / 100
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