Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Altered States of America (2003)

I remember back in the day when I first heard of this album. I remember how ridiculously excited I was to hear something so musically challenging. 100 songs? Less than 20 minutes? Bitch please, you must be trippin’! And trippin’ I was when I first got this record in it’s original 3″ CD package from some crazy-mainstream outlet like Virgin Megastore or Zavvi (I forget which). I now own this testament to insanity three times; on the original 3″ CD, the double shaped/blank CD package featuring ANbRX II (which is a fuckton of Delta Nine remixes) and on white 10″ vinyl. All pressed by Relapse, of course. The vinyl version conveniently plays track 0 for you right at the start, which was always a nightmare to hear on the CD version because you had to rewind from 00:00 as soon as the first song started. If you wound back too far it’d just fucking cut out, which was a pain in the ass. Agorapocalypse also has this cool but rather annoying gimmick with it’s first track too.

The 10″ LP version, in white.

When I first heard this at 15 years old I expected 100 micro-grind blasts to the face and was initially disappointed with the electronic passages. I felt like I was being robbed of precious grindcore, ha ha! Although I still think it’s a bit shit that the electronics are cut up into little pieces and passed off as songs, I have grown to like these just as much as the grind on display here. Some of the samples here are absolutely timeless when blended with such harsh noise (there is a lot taken from the film Holy Mountain). I always thought that the 12 Days of Sodom section in the middle of the record would be excellent as an EP in it’s own right, as something crazy like a 4″ or something.

The ANbRX II 3″ CD which came with the reissue.

So yeah, I’ll go ahead and cut this off now before I ramble for seven thousand paragraphs about every single micro-song on this record. I’ve kinda fizzled myself out on grind these days but Agoraphobic Nosebleed remain one of my favourite bands of all time and this record stands in the halls of awesome grind as proof that such sonically mindfucking music can exist.