PHOBIA - SERENITY THROUGH PAIN - DEATHVOMIT/NECROPOLIS
Anyone who likes, supports or buys music from Napalm Death should own one piece of Music from Phobia. It would only be correct to label Phobia the underground's answer to Napalm Death. The implication is not that Phobia is a Napalm clone - just that conceptual and grinding similarities exist. Phobia has endured the whole nineties and beyond without compromise to bring us energy-laden fast and heavy music untarnished by the ravage of the years. In fact when I compare Serenity... with the band's 1993 output, one could argue that this material is both faster and heavier! The message too is on the money. As songs like Sieg Help, Poison Your Mind and B.u.s.h. - and the inside jacket's graphics - demonstrate the California grinders have their heads screwed on the right way. This is some potent stuff to combat the weaknesses of today's scene! - Ali "The Metallian"
PHOBIA - 22 RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE - WILLOWTIP
California grind veteran Phobia returns with what is probably its most caustic record to date (which is saying something, given the group’s early '90s inception), the band eager to not only compete with a new generation of vehemence but to also show the pretenders just who’s boss in the underground grind world. 22 Random Acts Of Violence is a spirited collection of straight-hate grind that also doesn’t shy away from the occasional ultra-groove passages which, in the context of the group’s sick speed, serves 22 Random Acts Of Violence well. Also impressive is Phobia’s occasional Dr. Jeckyll/Mr. Hyde transformation into a crust band, as the crust tracks are top-tier and work in dynamic tandem with the record’s forceful and potent grind. This is an invigorating listen, one that re-affirms Phobia as a leader in this scene. - James Tape