Relief is Agents of Abhorrence's first actual full length LP not counting several EP's, a 9" LP, and a single sided 12" LP. The band is from Australia, and they play an incredibly unique style of grindcore that is just as reminiscent of His Hero Is Gone style hardcore as they are of the seedier elements of powerviolence and Insect Warfare influenced grind.
We're not talking about some pedestrian buzzsaw grinding violence in the vein of Afgrund or Phobia, rather a sound that is almost uniquely their own, brimming with huge guitar distortion, odd timing, and a relentless pace that is difficult to keep up with at times. Melancholic and rage-ridden and just straight up deviant, and all the better for it. It's not as challenging as anything Psudoku or Body Hammer has released, but it also falls into a different category.
Key to any grindcore band worth their salt, and I would argue more vital than even the frenetically paced perfectly toned guitar, would be a competent rhythm section. AoA's drumming is tight and perfectly relentless and given plenty of space in the production to shine. Like the guitar work (there is no bass here), the drums are tight and controlled, punishing and brutal, going from blast beats to d-beat rhythms and back with little to no pause.
Simply calling Agents of Abhorrence grindcore is selling them short. This isn't your run of the mill Terrorizer worship. Rather, it's a challenging and highly rewarding take on the genre and other unique styles it can espouse. Crust, d-beat, powerviolence, elements of fastcore? Check and then some. If you get stoked on tunes that might fit into this mold then I can't recommend this album enough.
|(Note: pictures are not mine, and I could not find the owner in order to give credit)|