P.H.O.B.O.S. - Tectonics
Dark Industrial Noise
8 songs (58'00")
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Alex
Crap of the month

I am going to say this at the risk of being labeled “stuck back in time”, “not forward thinking enough”, whatever. I simply do not understand the “music” P.H.O.B.O.S. puts out. I do not get it at all. No matter the fact I literally forced myself to listen to this slab several times. Blut Aus Nord affiliated and all, Mr. Frederic Sacri lays the claim to some industrial doom masterpiece. All I hear is some dark noise that makes very little sense to me personally, a metal fan with a quite broad genre taste.

It is not quite clear from the promo sheet whether P.H.O.B.O.S. is a band, the way they started in 2000, or simply the project of Sacri with Olivier Anicaux at the producer’s controls. Seems like more of the latter, but I could be wrong. Either way, the attempt is made to perpetuate the vision of doom through the combination of extremely repetitious industrial slow rhythms, tortured processed vocals and all kinds of artificial noise sounds.

Bowel moving frequencies and dark nothingness of the pretentiously titled opener Nietzschean Dynamics should alert to a non-mainstream approach of Tectonics. As much as things progress for the next seven tracks they stay the same. Drum machine set on “slower than molasses” reminds of a primitive tribe somewhere in Africa repeating the same pattern over and over again. The rhythm is so damn monotonous and it doesn’t extend only across one individual track, it never changes across the whole album. Tectonics is one giant mind-numbing machine that simply never gets going. The whole purpose of this dark industrial noise is to place the listener in a hypnotic state of mind. Music coming out from inside of a volcano, sparse Summoning-like vocal lines and some feedback fuzz complete the picture. Only instead of hypnosis all I felt was monotony induced boredom.

What the primitive African tribe obviously doesn’t have is all kinds of electronic musical equipment. Mr. Sacri possesses plenty of it putting it to the extremely exaggerated use. Where guitars exit and synthesizers enter is hard to say, but it is impossible to imagine the strings making all of the sounds present on Tectonics. Some chord resemblance is here (Gregarious), but the synths are twisted into producing noises from flapping metal sheets (Nihil Credo) to old steamer pot that just about had it and needs to release a blow or two (Gregarious).

Great Danish fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen once wrote a tale titled something like “New King’s Dress”. In it two wiseguys are defrauding the kingdom’s treasure by pretending they are the world’s best tailors who are crafting the new dress for the king. They continuously demand more money, gold, gems, etc. to continue the job. All the while they spread out rumors that only stupid people would not notice how beautiful the new king’s dress is. All people in the king’s court make compliments to non-existing robe out of fear to be called dumb. The tale ends with the king himself walking naked down the street as he also could not admit that there is nothing covering his body. It takes a small boy out of the crowd to say: “People, look, the king is naked”. I do not want to sound like one smart whistleblowing boy, but the existence of Tectonics is absolutely non-essential for the world of heavy music. It takes on a lot and accomplishes nothing. I am sure there will be lots of other reviewers who will point out to the genius of it. This one is truly for the fans of the genre only and the quote agrees with that. Also I’d be happy to receive some e-mails from those fellows explaining why this is so great.

Killing Songs :
Alex quoted 20 / 100
1 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 4 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:04 pm
View and Post comments