Phobia - _Serenity Through Pain_
(Necropolis, 2001)
by: Aaron McKay (8 out of 10)
One thing I can say convincingly about Phobia is that I have enjoyed their work consistently since _Return to Desolation_ was released on Relapse (Raymond Herrera from Fear Factory sitting in as a session drummer didn't hurt either). Since then, this California four-piece has seen their fair share of time on other labels, and they now reside with Necropolis. Phobia's cross-section of madness and visible music aptitude are a perfect mix. Speed and lavishly lustful riffs pound out twenty-three versatile tracks of infinite radiance. Not nearly as straightforward grindcore as, say, Napalm Death, but savagely aggressive in their own right; Phobia isn't afraid to mix things up. Samples befittingly pepper _Serenity Through Pain_ with an uncommon style. In a genre of abused of (evil) exaggeration, Phobia throws metal a not so unsuspected curve with intelligent commentary on worldly matters (among other things) while still taking life with the proverbial grain of salt; I can appreciate that kind of style. Listen up for "Mental Incarceration", my favorite on this, Phobia's latest. It embodies all the finest aspects of the band, from change-ups to Pig Destroyer-like devastation, yet riddled with stingy but addictive catchiness. I know these fuckers are capable of more than just what I enjoy on _STP_ and I eagerly await the day they find their predetermined calling -- then woe be us all! Ferocious shit here and I like it...

(article published 12/4/2002)

10/7/2012 D Lake 7 Phobia - Remnants of Filth
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