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Athorn - Phobia

by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 26 September 2010, 2:09 PM

Things moved very fast for this German band and one year after the release of the "Livable Hatred" EP ATHORN present the AFM Records debut full-length album. I have to admit that this fact did not raise my personal expectations for "Phobia" since -in most of the cases- "fast" signing equals to mainstream/metalcore sounds that miserably fail to pull my personal taste trigger.

Fortunately, my suspicions did not become reality since "Angel Of The Fall" had many good elements and a very interesting sound. OK, there are many mainstream elements here, but have nothing to do with metalcore. If I tried to describe "Phobia" with broad strokes that would be like 'a modern version of NEVERMORE' along with some Power/Thrash Metal touches. And that means groovy rhythms, almost complex compositions, ultra heavy guitars and some progressive finishing touches. The impressive fact with ATHORN is that they seem to have a settled sound direction leaving aside the self-exploration and the experimentation. The multi-vocal layers work in favour of the music diversity that is so missed from most of the new releases. There is a nice blend of aggressive-to-clear vocals where one can think something between DEVILDRIVER's Dez Fafara and FEAR FACTORY's Burton C. Bell with some generous portions of melody in it. In fact the 'melody' portions can be tracked down all the way up to ICED EARTH's Matt Barlow. Just pay attention to the slow break in "Humanize The Demon" to get into my thinking.

After the first listening sessions "Phobia" reveals the band's potential with impressive guitar work and really nice tempo changes that succeed in keeping the listener focused. ATHORN pay respect to their ancestry and present some late PRIMAL FEAR profile especially in the mid-tempo part of the "Phobia" track. I really love how the tension in this song finds an outlet through the guitar distortion as tempo gains some bps.

ATHORN manages to bring all the influences in the play by creating their own sound without sounding like a copycat. And this is the golden recipe for a new band; get your influences, digest them, develop them and give birth to a sound ID that can be discriminated from the rest. And in this section ATHORN have done a great work and deserve your attention, if you don't mind the modern approach in the music.

3 Star Rating

  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
Carsten Frank - Vocals
Stefan Schφnebeck - Lead Guitars
Tobias Liedke - Guitars
Thomas Maiwald - Bass
Sφren Becker - Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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Edited 05 December 2022

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