Naphobia - _Of Hell_
by: Alain M. Gaudrault (not rated)
Calling this a demo would be somewhat misleading. This professionally packaged CD sports decent graphics and 9 well-recorded songs. In fact, the last track, 'As Ancients Evolve,' was recorded at Chuck Shuldiner's (Death) Black Diamond Studio. Further, the last three tracks were recorded with the aid of Gene Hoglan, ex-Dark Angel and current Death skinsman. There's no mistaking _Of Hell_ for anything but death metal, although there are definite hardcore undertones mixed in. Oddly enough, the hardcore snare drum sound which is evident on most of the songs disappears on the Hoglan-aided material, with more double bass drumming pervading, and an overall increase in death metal stylings. I must admit that I hope Naphobia decide to pursue the direction alluded to in the final three songs, as I found the rest of the material mildly monotonous, and often sloppily executed. Hopefully, the latter point is due mostly to increased proficiency on the part of the musicians, and not to the use of better recording techniques. Naphobia play death metal which is fast, furious, but not simple or stupid. I found the occasional interesting idea on _Of Hell_, and hope to see Naphobia honing their skills in the future with more material in the vein of the Death-influenced tracks. This release is nonetheless ideal for lovers of solid, semi-complex death metal. Death fans may also be interested in checking it out, if only for Shuldiner's solo contribution in 'As Ancients Evolve.'

Contact: Club Fear, PO Box 677001, Orlando FL, 32867 USA

(article published 17/1/1996)


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