P.H.O.B.O.S. - _Atonal Hypermnesia_
(Megaton Mass, 2012)
by: Chaim Drishner (7.5 out of 10)
How have the years flown by?! In 2009 I have reviewed P.H.O.B.O.S.'s second album from 2008, dubbed _Anoedipal_, and here we are being served by Frederic Sacri -- the band's sole member -- his third offering, having the enigmatic title _Atonal Hypermnesia_.

The Metal Archives have P.H.O.B.O.S.'s music tagged as "industrial doom metal"; it may have been somewhat close to that on the band's previous albums, but _Atonal Hypermnesia_ is nowhere near metal. This is due to the fact Mr. Sacri this time delves deeper into the realms of dark industrial soundscapes, coupled with droning guitars, programmed beats and thick layers of keyboards, creating a dissonant, nightmarish aural landscape reminiscent of the very quirky and desolate non-metallic works of Blut Aus Nord -- showcased best on the band's _MoRT_ and _Odinist_ albums: dark, layered, dissonant and orderly chaotic, yes; metal, definitely not.

As one explores further, the relatively traditional musical structure of the album gives way to even more peculiar structures, leaving the listener with nothing but gargantuan beats and atonal backgrounds with hardly any guitar work. As if Leviathan himself is chanting, the black mechanical wriggling serpent of hell is manifested through hissing vocals and non-musical elements that when being converged, create a mental and sonic experience like no other.

This album is the creation of a different P.H.O.B.O.S.; more abstract, more spiritual and dark, and way more industrially inclined than its predecessor. Although this album sounds like nothing out there, a comparison to the aforementioned Blut Aus Nord's specific albums is required, but also to Godflesh's _Slavestate_, Scorn's _Colossus_ and Zaraza's _No Paradise to Lose_, with more than a hint of Skin Chamber's _Wound_ and _Trial_ masterpieces, sans the metal ingredient.

_Atonal Hypermnesia_ offers no riffs and no hooks, and it is almost devoid of melody in its traditional sense. But the whole of the album is profoundly dark (unlike dark ambient, it is truly dark and owns an authentic ambiance) and ruthlessly attacking all senses with its martial rhythms and massive bombastic production, allowing the sinister faculties aided by the dissonance and the droning layers to emerge and govern the whole of the album. This is the fabric of hallucinogenic nightmares, if there ever was one...

Contact: http://www.phobosdrone.org/

(article published 27/11/2012)

1/8/2009 C Drishner 8 P.H.O.B.O.S. - Anoedipal
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