Philadelphia's Goreaphobia was formed in 1989 and specialized in death metal. The completely different line-up featured a singer called Kevin Brennen who would commit suicide at the time. The band was drummer Craig Smilowski, singer bassist Mezzadurus (real name Chris Gamble), Alex Bouks (later in Incantation and Immolation) and John Litchko. A demo called Morbidious Pathology was recorded. The band was supposed to release a full-length on Relapse Records, but broke up and instead saw the release of a 7" EP/MCD called Omen Of Masochism. The band had earlier been one of the many underground acts ripped off by Seraphic Decay Records.
Kenny Masteller had replaced Craig Smilowski who had defected to NYC and Immolation. Therefore, Immolation's and Goreaphobia toured the USA soon after the former's debut album for two months.
Goreaphobia did reform in 1999 with a new line-up featuring Perversera's John Litchko. John Arcucci had overdosed on heroin in 1997. This line-up, featuring an incognito singer called No One, recorded a two-song demo entitled Return To The Shadowlands and played live in New York. The band pulled out of its Canadian tour with Estuary and Lapidate due to an unexplained “accident” in 2008. The band joined Ibex Moon Records. Goreaphobia completed the recording of a new album called Mortal Repulsion in 2009. The album featured guitarist John McEntee and drummer Jim Roe (ex-Incantation). The album was to be released on John McEntee’s label, Ibex Moon Records. As one of the three featured acts at the May Metal Massacre in Allentown, PA (Total Fucking Destruction and Anal Blast rounded out the top of the bill), the band recorded a DVD, which was due in the autumn. The band’s Mortal Repulsion album was still due this year through Ibex Moon Records. Goreaphobia was announced as the opener for the Master US tour replacing Pathology. In 2011, Goreaphobia was putting the finishing touches to a new full-length entitled Apocalyptic Necromancy. The follow-up to Mortal Repulsion was recorded, mixed and mastered by drummer Jim Roe and featured new guitarist VJS (Kult Ov Azazel, Crimson Moon, Demoncy, etc.). Bouks joined Immolation in 2016.
GOREAPHOBIA - MORTAL REPULSION - IBEX MOON
Shockingly, this band still exists. Although, why not given how everyone has returned, reformed, resurrected or reorganized in some form? Yet a full-length fm Goreaphobia is only second to a General Surgery album, accompanied by a stable line-up and tour in the annals of underground death metal mythology. So, the band has come back around Chris Gamble - who himself was AWOL for years - and issued an album that looks like any Mortician/Impetigo disc with its cover artwork. Past the zombies, which might be an allusion to the band itself, the music is down-tuned, brutal and rhythmic. Ironically, it falls a tad short of the expected brutality, but that is not to say that Goreaphobia is wimpy - far from it - but the album takes on cruising speed when one expected brutal mayhemic blasting destruction. The blasting does exist, the down-tuned guitars and rolling drums give it all a heavy feeling and the grunts work in the band’s favour. Nevertheless, the ambient instrumentals and the frequent mid-pace tilt the album from an Immolation feeling towards something more like when Incantation slows down to doom its listeners. In this respect, the drums work perfectly. The Living Death-like backing vocals on album opener, Ordeal Of The Abyss, are different as is the almost doomish leads. There have been several miscellaneous items by this band in recent years, but what we now need is a touring, dying, un-breathing death metal band to take its place next to Incantation, Immolation and Suffocation. - Ali “The Metallian”