Agatha - Gravis Atque Gravior

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Agatha - Gravis Atque Gravior

bandcamp chaos rurale records

Somewhere in Italy, in 2003, three women came together to play some vile, slow, punk driven sludge and unleash it on mankind. Daniella left the band by 2010 and was replaced with Viole. Yet she too left in 2010. Pamela and Claudia decided not to quit. They continued and came back heavier and louder than ever. Now they are here to drop a new bomb on their already crushed listeners and it's one not to be tempered with. Gravis Atque Gravior, their fourth album, has been a massive DIY-undertaking since it was released on vinyl, cd, tape and as a digital download on their bandcamp page.

 

Gravis Atque Gravior has become a very aggressive album, not to be played on an acceptable volume. This is the stuff that will make your neighbours complain about the noise, that's for sure. With the use of nothing but guitars, drums and vocals Agatha created seven haunting songs. Most of them follow an identical build-up, intensity and aggression. Because the songs are relatively short (max. five minutes where lots of doom/sludge bands easily reach eight to twelve) this lack of variation is not tiring. The first three songs could actually be seen as one long doom song with several powerful riffs and truculent (yes, that's a word) vocals.

 

What I absolutely love about the album is the drums, not that the guitars or vocals are bad by the way. It's just that the drums are so loud and powerful that they compensate for the lack of bass. In that manner Agatha reminds me a bit of Bismuth with a punk touch instead of a doom sound. The punk attitude on this album is tremendous. That's mostly the reason I do not want to classify this as a sludge-band. Agatha is more of a slow, crushing punk band. The riffs are effective and not too complicated, the vocals are brutal and the drums (and extremely loud cymbals) are intense. These women got the right attitude and sound to conquer a lot of underground stages across Europe.

 

People who seek something radio-friendly should leave this album where it is. There's nothing pretty, soothing or easy-listenable on Gravis Atque Gravior. Instead, this is an album that seems to grow by the minute. The best songs are the last ones, 'Not About Who Rules' and 'Keep Breathing Please' (which is some extremely good advice by the way). Yet the entire album is a nice addition to any sludge or punk collection. Just don't play it while you are working with things that can break, because they probably will...

 

 

Serge