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Phobetor – When Life Falls Silent

When Life Falls Silent
by Rory Kuzcek at 09 September 2020, 12:06 PM

Hailing from London, England come forth PHOBETOR, a death metal band. Forming in 2018, the band has created an EP and a full length album entitled, “When Life Falls Silent” which came out July of this year. The album weaves in and out of various metal genres ranging from death metal to metalcore to melodic death metal. Though each track is seemingly different, notes and melodies are recycled and reproduced. The tracks tend to be too chaotic in a formulation that takes away from the band’s probable intentions. Guitars, vocals, and drum patterns are very dominant at some points, whereas at other points, they lose sight and are dulled somewhere in the midst. This is PHOBETOR’s first album, and so, in the future it would be crucial to make their tracks sounder and less complex as to further understanding.

In “Merging Infinity,” a synth breathes into the surroundings before the keyboard takes hold with an awfully sorrowful melody. The guitars chime in melodically where the voice whispers. In a blended roar of the echoed guitars, the high pitched nature of the voice acts impervious to the track. Though quite descriptive in its flow and tempo, especially in the drum patterns, there are portions of the track that could have done without the excess of randomness. A dull synth reverberates before low tuned guitars break the water in “A Toxic Lie.”  In a joyous rhythm, a high pitched shrill is heard and dissociates. The drums overpower portions of the song, and the bass is brought to the forefront. With a middle-eastern sounding scale, it mimics unease but yet it is bearable.

In a different pitch, guitars echo whilst rising and falling throughout “Whispers of Dissonance.” This then combines with an awkward set of drum patterns, in which it does not fit well and is a bit jarring. As if the tempo of LINKIN PARK was dragged deeper in sounds, it would be quite similar to this track. High pitched synths carry middle-eastern style scales. There is a break in the song, and suddenly two clean voices sing in accordance with one another shattering the pattern they had created prior to this track. This was lovely but strange considering the whole of the piece.

The bass and chaotic nature of the drums makes the rhythm feel a bit disoriented in “Blind Widow.” Though somewhat original at first glance, pieces of each track are recycled into the others allowing for little variances between the music. A strange high pitched synth is heard in the breakdown, and is reworked into the rest of the metalcore sounds. Gradually, “Psychopathy” builds in layers, each sound having quite a SLIPKNOT attitude running through the piece. The voice talks rather, and the drums are a little more applicable than the previous tracks. A sudden break in the track allows for a new formation and the entropy is heard like blast beats over sliding guitars. Before the end of the track, a man talks underneath the multiple layers.

“Bury My Name” begins in an upbeat fashion. The drums are quite enthusiastic and a synth is heard. Before too long, guitars are added as an element to disaster. As the song gains depth, the screams solidify and the high-pitched synth is heard once more. Middle eastern scales are heard sparingly. It is catchier than the previous tracks, as it contains a resemblance of a melody. Their breakdowns are quite awkward and abrupt. Cymbals are overused, with the variances of the types of synths that do not fit their genre.

In “Harmony of Solitude,” guitars are fast paced with deep resonances. As the voice comes through, the instruments glide over one another in a thick oil. There are several breakdowns that reminisce on similar tales in other tracks. The bass is prominently featured and in jarring breakdowns, layers seem to be lost. Suddenly, a woman’s voice is heard in opposite to the screams and the music. By now, I am so far lost outside of the track as the confusion of their musical choices reside. As the song ends in more breakdowns, their ‘sound’ rests in their strange transitions and odd choices of instrumentation style and voices. “Dysmorphia” begins in middle eastern styles, before the bass takes over. The guitars exist as backdrop to the rhythmic voice and the chaos of the drums. This track sounds as if I had heard it before through another medium. The song ends abruptly and fades in its powerful bass tones.

Water drips down the canopy walls in some sort of synth nature in “When Life Falls Silent.” In an atmospheric tone, jazz-like guitars dance as drums are added within. A clean voice sings through this, though is quiet and off key. Out of the peaceful arena, a scream arises with an uncomfortably fast rhythm as compared to the last portion of the song. Parts of the track rise and fall as the bass runs extraordinarily fast. In an extremely diverse and satisfying rhythm, the song becomes simple once again, before a woman’s voice is added. Though not like the rest of the album, these parts are at least a bit original to the project, but are crowded by the nonsense around them. The song ends in power metal fashion.

PHOBETOR’s “When Life Falls Silent,” is a fascinating take that combines elements of various styles into brief minutes. Though I believe the album tells some type of story, that story has not been fleshed out. Rather, it exists as a piece of loosely held ideas strung together with complexity that does not further the album. I believe the musicians do know what they are doing, but it is rather the flow and the ideas that are lost in the tracks. For future albums, it is my hope that PHOBETOR refines: uses less synths, less vocals, and more melodies.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Merging Infinity
2. A Toxic Lie
3. Whispers of Dissonance
4. Blind Widow
5. Psychopathy
6. Bury My Name
7. Harmony of Solitude
8. Dysmorphia
9. When Life Falls Silent
Mitch Revy – Guitars
Debora Conserva – Vocals
Marc Dyos – Drums
Record Label: Black Jasper Records


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