Naphobia was formed in Orlando, Florida in 1989 as one of the forerunners of the death metal movement there. The group lasted until 1996 before disbanding. The members mostly returned in 2009 for another run at things. Naphobia was active in the underground from its early days and was one of the first metal groups to establish itself on the Internet. Nik Chevalier promoted the band on the Internet and via his graphics skills. The band began calling itself ‘cyber grind’ as a result not as a matter of sound, but referring to the promotion and imager, although Chevalier contemplated starting a band with that sound as well.
Mortality Confines was the band’s 1991 demo. Two years later came the Cultivated Innards demo. The release’s producer was former Megadeth guitarist Gar Samuelson, as the band was in his Chicken Coop mini studio. Chevalier worked with Samuelson on the latter’s band Fatal Opera's cover art for The Eleventh Hour record. The band played many local shows and even opened for Napalm Death, At The Gates, Morbid Angel, Grip Inc., Gardy Loo, Morgue and appeared at the Tampa Bay Metal Awards in October 1994 before throwing in the towel. Of Hell was a 1995 full-length issued through the Club Fear imprint. Gene Hoglan and Chuck Schuldiner were guests on the CD. Tony Laureano was supposed to record the entire CD, but was a Cannibal Corpse drum roadie and had to go on tour. He would later work and drum for Megadeth. Gabriel Lewandowski of Killing Addiction and Hellwitch was the band’s other drummer. The band has been inactive for years.
NAPHOBIA - OF HELL
Florida’s Naphobia has recently been getting quite a bit of underground attention through its successful promotional campaign and its Internet activities. And so, I was glad to see this CD with its interesting cover art in my mailbox. The band deems and labels itself “Cybergrind” and along with its Internet presence and song titles like America A.D. and Technical Fool I expected something bordering on futuristic to pop out of the speakers. It was, therefore, a surprise to note, after a couple of listens, that the Florida quartet is more reminiscent of '80s bands like Infernal Majesty et al in the way it mixes its basically thrashy foundations with harsher death metal overtones.
The sound, unfortunately (rendered by long-time metal man Keith Collins), is not as sharp as it should be. However, the resources of an unsigned band being what they are one does not have much room for complaint. The solos shine through and for metal guitar fans into solo tradeoffs Naphobia is a good bet - in fact, one wishes there were more of those solos. All in all, even if not the last name in American metal I commend the band for its effort and energy. Club Fear, PO Box 677001, Orlando, FL. 32867 USA. - Ali “The Metallian”