Not a metal band, Agathocles' brand of grindcore is nonetheless of great appeal to death metal fans. Long an ardent supporter of many social causes, the Belgians started life in 1981 as a punk band and then became a noisecore band before settling for a more subdued (!) hard/grindcore sound - or mincecore according to the fans. The band has issued a massive number of EPs and splits of which the band itself has lost count. Cliche and Use Your Anger are live records. Drummer Erwin switched to bass in 1991 before leaving the fold.
Beyens joined Insanity Reigns Supreme in 2002. He also ran Uxicon Records. Displeased Records re-issued Theatric Symbolisation Of Life from 1991 + Live Aalst '90 as a bonus in 2007. Agathcoles toured South America in late 2007. The band was next completing the recording of Grind Is Protest, which was due for release in the autumn of 2008 through Displeased Records. Tony was on bass and Nils Laureys was on drums meaning aside from Jan everyone was new once again. The band announced the suicide of the group's bassist Tony Schepkens. He died on August 1st at the age of 35. The band had recently completed the recording of its album, Grind Is Protest, which was due that autumn through Displeased Records. Selfmadegod Records released Peel Sessions in March of 2010. The album includes 15 songs recorded at BBC Radio for John Peel back in 1997. In late 2010 Selfmadegod Records announced its next release as This is Not A Threat, It’s a Promise, the new album from Belgian mincecore band Agathocles. The 27-song album was recorded at Soundshape Studio in Belgium, where the band had recorded most of its releases to date, such as Razor Sharp Daggers, Grind Is Protest and Black Clouds Determinate. A split with Cyanamid was also issued at the same time through Vomi D'Porc Records. Selfmadegod Records announced a split 7" EP between two long running metal veterans. Agathocles and Nunslaughter for 2011, which included three recently recorded songs from Belgium's mincecore kings (Trail Of Despair, Nazional Sozial(ist) Security, Flanders’ Little Cesspool) and two from the Ohio's death metal band (To Sin Again and Your Soul Belongs To Me). 100 copies were available on black/white/grey marbled vinyl and the remaining 400 on the standard black wax.
AGATHOCLES - HUMARROGANCE - MORBID
I have lost count of the number of full-lengths, let alone releases, Belgium's Agathocles has issued. Even the biography-supplied information seems lacking. Regardless, the band's earliest grindcore maneuvers from the late '80s, which bordered on noisecore, were the band's finest hours. Hardcore, you see, is not my forte. It is therefore with both surprise and amusement that I soak in Humarrogance for the band was never equated with metal. This album though has metal pouring out of its every pore. Be it the riffs, tempo changes and, dare one say it in the context of Agathocles, the technicality this reeks of metal which is surprising. The band might have lost its purity, but has gained the glamour of metal. - Ali "The Metallian"
AGATHOCLES – MINCER – DISPLEASED
Agathocles has always been an easy band to respect. The band has consistently stuck to its gun in order to spread its political message and dissent without much in the way of posturing, arrogance or monetary demands or returns. Be it through the noisecore of the late ‘80s, hardcore of the mid-‘90s or the death metal of the turn of the century the Belgians have stood up for their principles, all the while releasing tens of releases at a brisk pace.
The band that adopted the term mincecore – there even was a compilation called Mince Core History several years back - as its own has now issued something of a self-referencing album. Musically, it is just that too. Save for a couple of beefier tracks, like Empty Frame for instance, Mincer is political crustcore complete with vocals a la early Carcass, grinding noise and a noisy set of tunes without much in the way of structured riff-o-rama. Here is where the band comes short. Given a choice, Mincer should have come across as thicker, louder, heavier and less dependent on the same old rudimentary noise. It is hard faulting the band for its trademarks, but getting past the noise and the articulate messaging of songs like Goredom – Boredom (gore metal), Expendable Goods and Dethrone The Tyrant (America) or Diary Of White Trash (Flemmish fascists) Agathocles needs more speed, more heaviness and ideally both to become less a cover of itself and more of a powerhouse in 2006. Then again, what does a fed-up reviewer into heavy metal know? – Ali “The Metallian”
AGATHOCLES – GRIND IS PROTEST – DISPLEASED
With its new album the fathers of grindcore turn their canons towards compromise and attack everything from right-wingers (liberal or fascist) to fake grind bands and the easy target that is religion. The band unleashes in a bout of non-compromise that is music to these ears. And that is just the lyrics. The music is uncompromising too and a return to form for a band that has not let go of its anger, convictions or resolve.
As the title suggests, the band is wary of those who ‘grind’ but mix in right-wing implication, pornography or devil worship. The rest of the tracks targets corporatism and capitalism as it maims the listener with its mincing vocals and grinding musical attack from start to finish. The vocals have a high and a low, the drums are blasting and the booklet similarly is full of insightful words and imagery. It does seem like the complete package and, despite the attack on the devil’s horns crowd, Grind Is Protest is a fit for metal listeners given how the content is more grind and less hardcore. The songs are very short in length and typically less than a minuet long. There are forty tracks on the disc.
The album marks bassist Tony’s last work given his suicide and boasts a complete discography of the band’s body of work, which seems to get a couple of release dates wrong yet nonetheless should be a valuable reference to have. Very good stuff from these Belgians. – Ali “The Metallian”