Phobia

Unrelenting

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    8
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Grindcore is a highly structured, even formulaic genre. Blast away as fast as you can; throw in a few stylistic adornments (guitar solos, samples of movie dialogue or news broadcasts, bursts of industrial noise) along the way if you feel like it. Phobia are masters of the form; along with Kill the Client, GridLink, and the revived Insect Warfare, they're proving that almost 25 years after Napalm Death's Scum launched the style, it's still vital. This release, which packs 17 songs into just over 14 minutes, is no exception. It's fast and furious, featuring vocals that switch back and forth between a high-pitched screech and a guttural roar, drumming that's enough to make the listener's wrists ache in sympathy, and buzzsaw guitars. (There's a bass player, but he's the mortar between the bricks, not really making himself known as a primary creative voice.) Phobia have more metal in them than some of their peers; they favor guitar solos, even in songs that barely nudge the one-minute mark. But Unrelenting lives up to its title, blasting by like one 14-minute song rather than 17 short ones and providing a jolt of energy no mere pot of espresso could ever match.

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