[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]
If sublime is (was?) the greatest quality in academic aestheticism should we care to name weirdness as a standard fit to require the throne of underground metal?
I recall from recent spiritually attended releases such as Blut Aus Nord’s “Deus Salutis Meæ”, Emptiness’ “Not For Music”, or even the final two albums by Canaan; they all have raised musical weirdness to an unbelievable expectation, structured albums that seem to have no place, maybe on the margin of this huge extreme metal book, an annotation about uncategorized monsters.
On this album P.H.O.B.O.S. is formed by three humans helped by their inhuman instruments and visions. This is their fourth release, released under Transcending Obscurity, a label from India, Earth, still as the first echoes are chanting you will find it hard to attach the music to this planet. You may have that feeling of alienation like when you first heard Demilich’s “Nesphite”, this time the death metal sonatas are moulded into a savoury industrial-doom athanor. The titles themselves serve as transcending Hermes-merchants leading to understandings that puzzle even the most snobbish raisonneur. You can see them on the band’s Bandcamp page.
By the time you come to hear “Neurasthen Logorrh”, you may recover your senses and achieve a slightly accurate comprehension of this “Phlogiston Catharsis”. The tunes ranged on the album are imitating a symphonic precision; each element stands alone as an indispensable piece for the whole. The artists built a citadel of a stupendous architecture, a musical temple recalling the Brazen Bull of Phalaris, which had an acoustic device that concerted the sounds of those burned inside into the sound of the bull. The bull here is P.H.O.B.O.S., terror and fear transgressed in cynical and almost religious devotion.
To quote Seneca ”You have often let blood to relieve a headache, and veins are opened to slim the body” so you listen to P.H.O.B.O.S. “Phlogiston Catharsis” to squeeze your brain and get the last and the best bit of it.