Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, September 1, 2018

P.H.O.B.O.S. - Phlogiston Catharsis

P.H.O.B.O.S. have been one of my favorite french black metal bands for a while now. They have been on track to produce an absolute motherfucker of a debut for a while now after a masterful debut EP and a fascinating split with fellow Frenchmen Blut Aus Nord. The sense of eerie and chaotic madness that entrenches this band, the deeply cloaked demented wanderings and the throbbing sludgy magic of it all fascinate. Phlogiston Catharsis is the sort of claustrophobic punishment we won't soon forget.

There is a sense of forward motion on Phlogiston Catharsis that I think is important to appreciate. The terrifying grind of a track like Igneous Tephrapotheosis is thrilling and dynamic. It perfectly couches the soundscapes which feel like the soundtrack to a Hieronymus Bosch painting. The massive industrial tones are counterbalanced with genre bending song structures. This is a band who touches on everything from Godflesh and Scorn to Eyehategod by way of Ufomammut and Corrupted. This isn't exactly a record you're going to fully understand from the first, but it is one that is going to keep you up at night as you try to comprehend it.

Phlogiston Catharsis is masterful to say the least. It shows us a band nearing the peak of their abilities. I get the feeling though that with their next release, P.H.O.B.O.S. is going to reach a point so far beyond their peers as to feel almost unfair. This record is scary at best, but I sincerely hope that their next album becomes even more insane. The thing it perhaps most reminds me of is the Full of Hell/The Body collab. I get the sense though that this project only going to become more insane as the band grows and I hope I'm here to hear it.

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