This is the music that Wolverine must have been hearing in his head while the sadistic Weapon X Program infused his skeleton with indestructible adamantium. Of course, this would explain why Logan turned into such a misanthropic nut job. This record channels enough hatred, loathing and disgust that, upon listening to it, even the late Mother Theresa would probably have started eating raw kittens for breakfast.
P.H.O.B.O.S. is an Industrial Doom band from France consisting of exactly one member: Frédéric Sacri. Mr. Sacri constructs not the dirty, SABBATH-worshipping Doom of SAINT VITUS, nor is he interested in the sorrowful, romantic Doom of MY DYING BRIDE and don’t even begin to get the impression that P.H.O.B.O.S. is the kind of danceable Industrial produced by the likes of NINE INCH NAILS, either. Oh, no no no no no, unless the “dance” you have in mind is slowly and furiously slashing your wrists with metal shards. Sound wise, P.H.O.B.O.S. is twisted, with icy riffs over what sounds like a steamy factory full of bloody gears ripping people apart. Of the eight tracks, there are six real songs and those songs hypnotically drone on and on, seething with sick mechanical grinding and abrasion. Sacri narrates putridly over top, screaming with enough disgust to send even the toughest Black Metallers running to hide in their forests. After a short intro, “Gregarious” fumes away with Industrial chaos before letting way to the plodding inferno that is “Wisdoom.” My favorite is “Monochrome Red,” a 9+ minute number that is the closest point on the album to accessibility. By “closest point,” of course, I still mean about as close as Hayden Christensen is to being a good actor.
If you like a little bit of sunshine and optimism in your tunes, or if you prefer your music to sound like it was actually constructed by organic beings, take warning. From beginning to end, “Tectonics” is a cold and harsh affair. In fact, at times it can be a little too much – listening to this record in one sitting is difficult because it’s just so damn bleak. Nevertheless, “so damn bleak” is just how many Doomsters like their Metal and for the extremists out there P.H.O.B.O.S. will hit the spot. Check it out if you like GODFLESH or extreme Doom acts like KHANATE, or if you just happed to be afflicted with masochistic tendencies. (Online August 23, 2005)