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Athorn: Phobia

Phobia is Athorn's debut album yet is a highly accomplished piece of work. There's a lot going on within this particular disc, at times its thrashy, at others there's death metal at work, there are progressive elements as well and yet melody is never very far away.

There's arguably too much genre-shifting going on at times but in these X-Factor/ American Idol dominated times isn't it good to be challenged by music? One thing Phobia certainly isn't is dull.

"Emperor of Ruins", for instance, has some raspy vocals, powerful drumming and is very heavy but has a chorus that burrows into one's head and won't leave. Taken together, "Phobia Prologue" and "Phobia" are suitably epic and when played straight through with "After the End" the middle of the album is very satisfying indeed.

Athorn are a band I'm fairly confident may well make a sizeable splash in the future and I look forward to further releases.


Track Listing:
1. Angel of the Fall
2. Emperor of Ruins
3. Humanize the Demon
4. Phobia Prologue
5. Phobia
6. After the End
7. A Matter of Time
8. From Beyond
9. The Ferryman
10. Schizophrenia

Added: January 25th 2011
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Score:
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 1620
Language: english

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Athorn: Phobia
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-01-25 08:58:53
My Score:

German Progressive Power Metal band, Athorn, have been receiving a lot of heat about their latest CD, Phobia (AFM Records). Some good, mostly lukewarm, and I'm here to throw in my 2 cents on the lackluster, mostly boring side. This is mostly a, "I've heard this before and done better" type of record, with nothing really there for the listener to grab onto. With 10 tracks of uninteresting Power Metal with glimpses of melodic promise here and there, Athorn have, if nothing else, certainly made some people talk about them, love 'em or hate 'em.

Phobia, just very simply lacks any type of teeth or substance. Vocals provided by singer Carsten Frank are annoying and quite honestly grate on your nerves with an overall whininess and lead guitar player, Stefan Schonebeck, does his best to sweep arpeggio you to death, as well. Athorn collectively try to meld too many different types of genres together, while never quite getting any one genre right to begin with. The result is a miss-mosh of cross genres that are executed poorly and sounds quite forced. Athorn seem to aspire to be the poor man's version of a band like Nevermore, but they just don't scratch the surface of such a band. They throw in a bunch of riffs but they just don't stick.

Though the production is pretty solid and the CD artwork is pretty damn cool, on a whole Phobia is a boring miss. Not quite Power Metal enough nor Progressive enough either, for that matter, Athorn's attempt for that Metal opus or epic record just doesn't materialize here on Phobia. There are some do-able moments on the CD but the overall consistency of poor songwriting does this band in. It doesn't totally suck, but it ain't good either. Unmemorable at best.



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