P.H.O.B.O.S – Phlogiston Catharsis


A dungeon of noise…

Released on 10 September 2018 by Transcending Obscurity and reviewed by Gary Cordwell

There’s heavy and there’s what the fuck have I just listened to, mind bending, skull fucking heavy. French trio P.H.O.B.O.S definitely fall into the latter camp – fall into it and blow it up with a well placed nailbomb. It’s doom, it’s death, it’s industrial-goth-black-drone, hell, it’s an un-fucking-holy noise fest. And then some.

The bands fourth full-length album is a thing of enormous, horrific beauty. It commences with a huge boom of an intro, a quite extraordinary, bowel-loosening crunch. Droning, distorted, none-more-low-end guitar and mucho growling muscle in. It’s positively speaker rattling, so low end it’s almost buried alive. It drops out and becomes increasingly electronic until THOSE guitars reappear, roaring across the horizon. It’s title (Biomorphorror) pretty much sums it up.

‘Igneous Tephrapotheosis’ is queasily intense. Full of atonal roars and monstrous rumbling riffs, it’s full of slow moving nastiness, so slow it almost oozes. Unsettling and twisted, the truly low notes are something to experience, you feel them physically. For a moment you think they’re going to sell out as an actual tune almost appears but then we spin off into an unhinged solo. A solo that Ed Gein would suspect was psychologically unwell.

And on it goes, ‘Zam Alien Canyons’ (no idea) does indeed have a cavernous sound, riffs appear and disappear amid the enormo techno bass clatter, creating a singularly unique sound. ‘Aurora Sulphura’ is drenched with monstrous metallic chugging riffs and agonised howls, it’s the sound of a soul in torment – at a ridiculously loud volume. It’s Godflesh on a really bad trip, its clinical, tribal drumming and scorched blasts of guitar battering you into submission.

Song titles become increasing indecipherable as the music becomes more intense. Vocals become the rantings of a lunatic, speaking in tongues only he understands, of things you really don’t want to know, while backed by deeply unsettling and brutally bizarre soundscapes. Noises drill themselves into the depths of your subconscious while the songs, possessed of a deranged sensibility, become increasingly haunted. ‘Aljannashid’ has an Arabic/Middle Eastern feel, calling you to prayer, although to what kind of unholy deity I don’t want to know. You are left in a heap, drained, debased and defiled, in a kind of good way.

This is a very serious album. You’d cross the road to avoid it if it made eye contact. It’s a totally oppressive noise monster. NIN if Trent hadn’t said no to drugs and started going to the gym, Ministry and Electric Wizard gang-fucking in a BDSM torture basement. There is a purity in its extreme intent, a single-minded act of noise terrorism. Anyone with a taste for the out there needs to acquire this.


BandpiconlyTrack list:

  1. Biomorphorror
  2. Igneous Tephrapotheosis
  3. Zam Alien Canyons
  4. Aurora Sulphura
  5. Neurasthen Logorhh
  6. Taqiyah Rhyzom
  7. Aljannashid
  8. Smothered In Scoria