If your idea of death metal begins and ends with Cannibal Corpse then Phobocosm is probably not for you. But if you can allow yourself to wallow in pure darkness and depravity, then the Montreal quartet’s aptly title Deprived could be more up your alley.
It’s the darkness that consumes the entire album that is its most immediate and enveloping facet. No matter the speed there is a brooding manner that swells from within in the album’s dark heart. And it’s not only the cavernous production that lends obsidian shades but the riffs themselves capture any light like a black hole.
Much like the way a band such as Immolation employs an elasticity, the guitars here are in a near constant state of flux, pulling back to snap forth, rising and falling back down with obliterating force. The towering riffs feel majestic and disturbingly regal like an ancient force is haunting the sonic sphere.
More traditional death metal can be heard as well as referenced on the slower pummelling endured on “Solar Storm.” However that track incorporates a torrent of styles and moods. Hammering blasts and harrowing atmosphere are smashed together with ill-content being the glue that holds it all together.
Its follow-up “27 Days of Darkness” takes a more straightforward approach. At least in so far as Phobocosm can. The percussion on this track is particularly outstanding, from all out blasts to intricate footwork. As expected, the track still churns with the unsettling nature that runs through their aesthetic.
At first listen Deprived feels restless and in constant motion. It sounds like a beast squirming to break free of its bonds to destroy and ravage. But repeated spins reveal the beast is in full control. The chaotic methodology is the key to its terror. Phobocosm do an excellent job of being just traditional enough so that the way they turn death metal inside out as far as riffs go is assimilated effortlessly.
Deprived is a demented and haunted listen, revealing depth and an accursed vision. An atmospheric terror hangs heavy over Phobocosm’s twisted and threatening death metal miasma. If you could wrap your head around their compatriots Thantifaxath, then Phobocosm and Deprived should be your next adversary.
Released September 30, 2014 on Dark Descent Records
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