Agathocles / Satanic Malfunctions (Selfmadegod Records)

Since Ade Crawford made his own version of Satanic Malfunctions in 2013, this new band with the old name was seriously approached by Poland Selfmadegod Records. After the release of their debut album, guys delivered this split with the Belgian mincecore pioneers – Agathocles.
The artist, Jeferson Pizone was able to truly capture the essence of punk and implement one of the songs of Ag “Grind Is Protest” in his artwork. Especially in context of recent events, when the police allows itself too much, this work has some real meaning. But the nice things do not end there – the booklet contains all the lyrics, so if someone will decide to do a cover or two of some tracks – no internet search is required.
It’s hard to remember at least one band that was able to record and publish so many splits (only Japanese Unholy Grave come to mind but they barely reached half of that Ag. was able to do). Sometimes their split are really awful, and sometimes there are awesome, and contain interesting material, and have a very pleasant sound. 9 songs presented here were not recorded in some familiar studio in their native Belgium, but in Brazil in the city of Sao Paulo (in October 2013). The usual line up (Jan, Nils, Koen) was powered up with guest musicians – 4 people were invited in total. Curious fact, according to available information in the booklet, Nils does not touch the drums and just played the role of one of the 4 (!) singers here … (3 free vocals and Jan bass/vocals). This madness begins with the intro which is more like a voice from hell, with a demonic laugh (but how could they do without it?) and another monologue after it. And then the usual and familiar Ag goes in. Material quality and sound, perhaps, can be compared with the album “Grind Is Protest.” But the presence of guest musicians makes this record more interesting, each guest brought something special and it came out very cool. I especially liked the last track Crackland.

Quite interesting is that this version of Satanic Malfunctions plays thrash, grind and a bit of crust (as it is here in the track called Excavated), in addition to the solid base of hardcore punk. As it usually goes for punk, bass guitar and wild vocals are especially emphasized here. Music is quite fun, I feel the spirit of the English punk and some 80s. Clumsy d-beats and pleasant buzzing guitar combine seven different fighting tracks in a nice and solid picture.

Rating: 7.5 /10      Agathocles    Satanic Malfunctions   Selfmadegod rec

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