Phazm are a band from France, whose sophomore release Antebellum Death 'n' Roll is a lean 'n' mean mixture of black metal and stoner grooves. Imagine a cross between Immortal, or I for that matter, with bands like Motorhead, Black Label Society, Crowbar, and Soilent Green, and you have somewhat of an idea what to expect here. Having less in common with fellow countrymen Gojira and sounding more like America's own Goatwhore, Phazm certainly pile on the heavy grooves throught this extreme metal platter.
While songs like "The Bright Side Of Death", "Hunger", and the somewhat symphonic "Mr. Toodling" are all standouts, there are a few tracks of utter filler here ("Sabbath", "(Ore)indorenan", "Damballala") that feature rambling harmonica (!), acoustic guitar noodling, and pointless vocal screams, and not much else. Some of the main tracks also have a "been there done that" sort of feel to them, and in all honestly, it's when the guys rip into severe sludgery like "Burarum", "So White, So Blue, So Cold", and "Decay" that they really click.
The CD comes as a dual-disc, with the flip side being a live DVD from Nancy, France, featuring a near hour long show, which will be a must see for fans of the band. Overall, Antebellum Death 'n' Roll is sort of a mixed bag-it has its moments, but Phazm comes across like a band searching for an identity. My suggestion is to break away from their black metal tendencies and go full-force into the doom/stoner style which they seem to be pretty good at.
1. How To Become A God
3. Black 'N' Roll
4. So White, So Blue, So Cold
5. My Darkest Desire
8. The Bright Side Of Death
10. Mr. Toodling