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Phobetor - Through Deepest Fears And Darkest Minds

Through Deepest Fears And Darkest Minds
by Andrew Harvey at 22 March 2022, 2:13 PM

PHOBETOR are a groove/death metal quartet from the capital city of England which is of course London and it was said their ‘drive and vision was to mirror the anguish and chaos of life, to capture its essence and reflect it back in the hearts of the masses’. Their original lineup lineup was led by vocalist DEBORAH CONSERVA in 2018 with four other members but then there was a change; on guitars now is ROSS WHITE of DESCENT and PYTHIA plus bassist IKI DREDGEWOOD previously from MEAT TRAIN. To complete the lineup is MARC DYOS on drums who also previously played in the band DESCENT and PYTHIA.

The group did release an EP titled BURNING MEMORIES in 2019 with DEBORAH on vocals, guitarist MITCH REVY, bassist ROSS LILLEY and drummer TOM BAGLEY. The lineup led by DEBORAH, plus new drummer MARC DYOS and guitarist MITCH(before he decided to leave the band), the group had then released their debut album WHEN LIFE FALLS SILENT which was described as ‘a cauldron of heartache and fury, it displayed unfettered emotion and nerve-shredding tension accompanied by the darkly-disturbing artwork of HANS TRASID’. With the two additional members of bassist IKI DREDGEWOOD and guitarist ROSS WHITE, the band now give us their second album titled THROUGH DEEPEST FEARS AND DARKEST MINDS released in December 2021.

The second album opens with “Solace In Darkness”, a brief piano sonata only for an immediate explosion of threatening guitar hooks, double kick patterns and choked vocals. The drums especially make a remarkable statement together with guitar as vocals are the cherry on top, so to speak. The arrangement of this track, quick off the mark and races into extreme chaotic mode going into the next track. The second track titled “Beneath Black Waters” with edge cutting cymbal hits, drum fills and aggressive guitar chopping through the mix with vocals spitting blood and sustained shrieks of satanic soundscape.

The tempo varies in each verse or chorus as drums or guitar stamp their authority next with accented notes. “Screaming Silence” comes with drums, vocals make no change as they remain occultic. The consistency and attention to details is admirable, I have already fallen for the contribution that vocals or drums make to this track. “One Last Breath” has a more psychedelic tone to drums on occasion and vocals come in a bit later than usual. It is literally a complete avalanche of hardcore groove/death metal caving in going into the next track.

Up next is “Coerced Infestation” opens with mellow guitar as the death metal vocals overcome all other instruments to dominate, but giving guitar or drums to play their part. There really is an ‘infestation’ as the track title suggests but I envy such heavy metal bands of death and groove metal. “Your Empty Shadow” is more instrumental at first as vocals once again take the lead with bone crushing drums and climatic guitar covered in all its glory.

Even the short gasps of mellow guitar connect each section as guitar is more sustained later on in the track. Moving steadily into the next track “Eternal Slumber” flows rather differently in rhythm perhaps with an inclusion of poly-rhythms on drums. Electric guitar and bass share the leading narrative here and pull drums into the frame before a short guitar solo. Drums play around but zoning back into full on death metal mode with quick blast beats on drums. “Within Death’s Embrace” slows down again as there is a rising crescendo of guitar swirling before a soloistic approach for drums and guitar.

Another short guitar arising before the next track comes. “A Silent Nihility” with beefy guitar hooks and metallic drums with vocals as a guide into death metal bliss. Another short guitar phrase before the conflict of drums, bass and vocals come back into the fore. “As Deams Decay” with trickling guitar ringing and slower majestic drum patterns, not too complicated or fast. Vocals and guitar take the lead role in this one last hurrah giving a more settled down approach to close out the album, there is also mellow guitar notes possibly double tracked, high and low pitch.

The album overall is very well produced and arranged, the vocals are just incredible and very much the centre of all attention, as guitar and drums also make an outstanding contribution. Even with the changes in the lineup, I would have to say that the band as a unit are very impressive and certainly worth checking out if you’re ready to dig into some mixture of death metal and groove metal.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Solace In Darkness
2. Beneath Black Waters
3. Screaming Silence
4. One Last Breath
5. Coerced Infestation
6. Your Empty Shadow
7. Eternal Slumber
8. Within Death’s Embrace
9. A Silent Nihility
10. As Dreams Decay
Deborah Conserva - Vocals
Ross White - Guitar
Iki Dredgewood - Bass
Marc Dyos - Drums
Record Label: Black Jasper Records


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