Phobia - 22 Random Acts Of Violence
Grindcore, Hardcore Punk
22 songs (28:47)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Goat

Having been in existence since 1990, US Grind veterans Phobia here release their sixth opus, and it’s a blinder, just as we’ve come to expect from the OC-based horde. There’s plenty of Punkishness amongst the Death blasts and riffs, yet this stops short of being a tribute to DischargePhobia are one of the few Grind acts around with their own sound, and a killer sound it is. You’re pretty much guaranteed to give yourself whiplash with each and every play of these 22 Random Acts Of Violence, and most if not all of the tracks present are killer, diverse yet intense, short and snappy songs that are surprisingly catchy. For once with a Grindcore band, the samples used are excellent, my favourite being the intro to MBP (“It’s black as in evil and darkness...” “I can be ‘evil and darkness’, hold up, want me to kick some rhymes for you?”) and the outro to Blackened Day from There Will Be Blood (‘I am a false prophet, and God is a superstition!’).

The variety is excellent. From the Bolt Thrower-fuelled fury of Bring The War, through the sheer intensity of Savannah’s Assault and Continue Insane, the Napalm Death-influenced Death To Pigs complete with awesome solo, and the torrent of fury that is Beer, Bitches And Bulletbelts, the band crush you in every way possible whilst making it obvious that they’re not repeating themselves. There’s even some melody amongst the brutality, the likes of Rise Up, Depression Is A Killer and Protest//Solution having more thought put in than many other entire Grind albums, whilst the intro to Instruments Of Deception is absolutely epic. Honestly, there are so many examples of killer songs on this album that the best way to describe it is like the band have; twenty-two acts of violence, coming at you from nowhere, knocking you over, stealing your wallet, and kicking you a few times in the head for good measure before scampering off. Just as you’re dusting yourself off, another song comes along and does the exact same thing.

As ever, Grindcore is a very one-note genre, and Phobia are all about the pulverisation, yet the best bands make it an enjoyable experience, and Phobia are an excellent band. If you’re a slave to the Grind and are unlucky enough not to have heard of these guys, then 22 Random Acts Of Violence is a must-have. Along with Agenda Of Swine’s debut, this is one of my favourite Grind releases from 2008, and although they lack that band’s awesome guitar tone Phobia have made a damn good album anyways.

Killing Songs :
Bring The War, Savannah’s Assault, MBP, Death To Pigs, Rise Up, Instruments Of Deception, Protest//Solution, Depression Is A Killer, Blackened Day
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Phobia that we have reviewed:
Phobia - Remnants of Filth reviewed by Koeppe and quoted 81 / 100
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