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P.H.O.B.O.S. > Atonal Hypermnesia > Reviews
P.H.O.B.O.S. - Atonal Hypermnesia

A claustrophobic and terrifying journey - 98%

Writhingchaos, February 8th, 2016

Arghh these French maestros did it again! Well not quite as this album sounds different from Tectonics but also similar in its own way. Let me explain. As you already know, these guys are no strangers to super lengthened songs stretched out like a mass of lava rolling down a mountainside extinguishing everything in its path. The feeling of horror and dread are still very much there, but the noise and silent sections have been stepped up making way for an almost even more terrifying and ethereal experience than Tectonics which I honestly didn’t think possible. An album of four 14 minute long songs, that too by this band? Sign me up!

At first the verbosity in the song titles is enough to send anyone’s mind into a spiral. I mean seriously, “Necromegalopolis Of Coprolites”?? “Transonic Mahasamadhi”?? I got tongue tied just saying the first one itself. Jeez. The first difference you would’ve probably noticed already is that this album isn’t as heavy as Tectonics (but then again, what is). But on the other hand, we’ve got a more droning and doomy approach on this album that happens to sound more alien and frightening than any other music I’ve heard in a while. Like I previously said, these guys are truly in a league of their own.

Don’t even remotely look for anything melodic, catchy, infectious or anything to bang your head to; you won’t find a single trace of any of that anywhere here. Only the heart pounding fear of the dark, unknown terrors and the silent dread of an alien world weighing you down like the anchor of an aircraft carrier, slowly crushing you into wisps of fleshy nothingness as you slowly get sucked deeper and deeper into the crushing depths of the sea. Such is the atmosphere that this album conjures. The feeling this album evokes is equivalent to landing on an asteroid and exploring it during both night and day as it shifts its axis while rotating around the sun exposing the various fascinatingly vivid colours of space. And you know that since there are gigantic mountains and chasms to cross plus the zero gravity of space, a single misstep on your part could mean a painful death. It’s both chilling and mesmerizing at the same time. That silent creeping section on “Maelstrom Mani Padme Hum” before the drums kick in at 6:12 is a perfect demonstration of that fact, along with many more highlights of course. You’ll just have to listen to the album and figure them out yourself.

Oh and before you think about it, there are no highlights. Every song is a fascinating journey by itself and adds to the surreal crawling nature of the entire album. The way these guys manipulate both the crushingly heavy segments and the silent droning sections by playing them off one another, is just masterful in every way. As I said in my review of Tectonics, you don’t simply listen to the music of P.H.O.B.O.S, you experience every bone-chilling moment of it and soak yourself in the atmospheric majesty of the music till you piss yourself in fear. Nah, on second thoughts no. Well, that’s completely up to you to decide, after all. Definitely not music for the faint of heart people. Oh and listen to it COMPLETELY sober or you'll be sorry. Take this from someone who knows better.