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Phobia: Remnants of Filth

Several years ago, bands like Metallica used to indicate the length of a new release with a certain amount of pride. Load, for example, clocks in at slightly less than eighty minutes, something the very packaging of the CD wouldn't let us forget. Metallica, of course, has fallen on critical hard times of late; in those days, however, there was something exciting about the idea of a long album. This was especially true when the length actually meant several songs, not a disappointing small number of tracks that droned on and on toward the ten minute mark. We didn't want Metallica to jam endlessly; we wanted them to write songs and to deliver more and more of them.

I mention all this is because Phobia's new release (their fifth), does the opposite and yet brings to mind exactly the kind of musical toughness I once associated with Metallica. This album gives listeners eighteen songs in twenty minutes--and it all works. Although some listeners may be disappointed with a short album, this kind of songwriting is really a feat. I remember when I first started listening to punk rock and finding that song length didn't matter so much as the passion, the aggressive energy, and, perhaps, the politics. Punk had a less-is-more attitude that resonated with me; still does, in fact.

I don't mean to comment so much about length; it's just that Phobia's latest release, Remnants of Filth, is one of those releases that make the most out of what it gives us. As I listened, I heard the real strength of the grindcore sound, something I have never quite appreciated this much. Check out the third track, "Submission Hold." This track takes the short form, infuses it with growling and rasping, blast beats, intricate guitar parts, and then speeds it up and slows it down in ways that would get any audience into the pit. Other highlights, for me, include "Dementia Having Overdose" (mostly because of its odd title, but also for its killer drum parts), and "Let it Go" (because of its hilarious opening that teases listeners with a goofy intro about the association of death metal with Satanism). I also enjoyed the crusty sound in "Resuscitate." These guys are consistently tight. I couldn't understand most of the lyrics on this album--they are shrieked, after all--but I am confident that they are infused with political commentary and, perhaps, even some humor.

This isn't an album for those new to heavy metal, nor for those who really don't like grindcore. Nevertheless, this is a powerful album, one I won't soon forget. If you don't know Phobia, give them a shot.

Track Listing:
1. Assertion to Demean
2. Contradiction
3. Submission Hold
4. Plagued by the System
5. Dementia Having Overdose
6. Got the Fear
7. Infraction of Pride
8. Resolution
9. Let it Go
10. Deaden to Believe
11. Vengeance Will Be Mine
12. No Sympathy for the Weak
13. Freedom Isn't Free
14. Atrocious Atrocity
15. Filthy Fucking Punks
16. Constrain Relations
17. Resuscitate
18. Inaction

Added: June 26th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Myspace Page
Hits: 2648
Language: english

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