PHAZM - HATE AT FIRST SEED - OSMOSE
Part of why reviewing metal releases for Metallian is fun is the arrival of CDs by bands like Phazm. Yeah, phazm. Who has heard of this band before? Who are they and where do they come from? Their profile is such that one could wonder if they even exist. Which brings me to the band's music. It is loud, brash, seriously morbid and in league with newer Satyricon, Khold, Inferno and even Darkthrone. The band seems to have a thing for vegetation if the (very ugly) cover artwork and titles like Hate at First Seed, Forest Recipe and Vicious Seed are taken into consideration. Osmose has supposedly included a video for the song Loneliness on the disc, but none of my systems seemed to want to find it. Regardless, Phazm is a new band with fast parts, crushing doom parts and a smoky-voiced singer bellowing from the pits of hell. - Ali "The Metallian"
PHAZM - ANTEBELLUM DEATH’N ROLL - OSMOSE
Admire the album’s cover as long as you can. It is the best thing about the release. Focused on the album’s death, depravity and necrophilia themes the cover models are a riot! The same sadly cannot be expressed about the band’s music. Whereas some might remember the band’s last album (Hate At First Seed) as a semi-original slab of blackened metal, Antebellum Death’N Roll is more than just an ugly title. The band’s - nay, any band’s - right to be original and express itself musically is sacrosanct. In that context, the Frenchmen have to be saluted for the material, yet mixing heavy metal with sludge with bluegrass and country music is hardly the stuff of metal dreams. Were this writer or any reader of these pages a fan of slide guitars, harmonica or banjos then he would a- get a job at Kerrang/Decibel/Metal Hamster or any other joke glossy rag and b- lose all credibility and write for naught.
The band has left a couple of fast and heavy songs in place, and has even included bonus video footage, but most of the material is a mishmash of the aforementioned styles. Furthermore, several acoustic instrumentals retrace the other songs riffs and arrangements.
Phazm’s newest offering should be hailed as the triumph of impurity of purpose and duly left lying in the record bin. - Ali “The Metallian”
PHAZM - CORNERSTONE OF THE MACABRE - OSMOSE
It looks like the band is delivering an anti-drug message with its smoky cover for Cornerstone Of The Macabre. Three creature druids smoking pipe amidst skulls and conjuring deathly characters indicates the macabre or supernatural is dependent on being high. The music is similarly odd. The Frenchmen love to pull at the strings and mix loud heavy rock riffs-gone-crooked with extreme metal and even a Metallica cover making an appearance for some unknown and silly reason. Damage Inc. is given the Phazm treatment on the album. Solos are present, many layers of complexity and sound are piled on and names like Morbid Angel, Coroner, Entombed and Notre Dame come into one’s head. It is as if a brutal metal album was recorded in the basement. Cornerstone Of The Macabre is a concoction of sorts, but it is all dirty and muddy guaranteed. Song title of the year: Love Me Rotten (Love Me True). - Anna Tergel