“Deprived” is the first full-length album from Canadian death metal group Phobocosm. The album is coming out on Dark Descent Records, and that stamp of approval means it is definitely going to be good. This album is absolutely monolithic. It’s the type of death metal that aims to be so heavy that it absolutely shatters every bone in the body. The very first track, “Sleep Deprived” uses absurd amounts of feedback to set the atmosphere, and as soon as the chords kick in, there isn’t a single second on the album that isn’t massive sounding.
“Deprived” is no doubt the result of many influences, alongside the band’s own twisted thoughts; however, the first group that comes to mind when listening to Phobocosm is Immolation. Both bands have an excellent sensibility when it comes to dissonance. On "Deprived", jarring intervals aren’t thrown together just for the sake of sounding weird. Instead, each note is deliberately planned for maximum effect. Phobocosm also does an excellent job mixing up the tempos. While there are ample slow sections on the record, at no point does “Deprived” feel like a death/doom album because the band includes plenty of faster, more brutal sections. This of course includes blasting and tremolo picking, though the guitars are tuned so low that there is little to no melody in the different speedy riffs. Likewise, the vocals grunt along with little range, settling only for the lows in an effort to match the mighty Ross Dolan. This is certainly not a bad thing because Immolation is awesome, and it’s hard to envision any new band surpassing them.
From a songwriting perspective, you likely know what you’re in for. There is the occasional section that you’ll be waiting for every time you spin this album (the ending of “Forever In Doubt”; not because the album is ending, but because of the hypnotic riffing), but the album doesn’t have anything particularly catchy. Instead, it focuses on building atmosphere through riffs and chords that leave the listener feeling uneasy. Additionally, the rhythmic assault that accompanies this discomfort makes for a truly uncompromising experience. Ultimately, “Deprived” is an album that is going to leave an impact with you. Though a bit lengthy for my tastes, it is never boring, and there are things that will take multiple listens to grab onto. If you are looking for a deep, intense death metal experience, Phobocosm is the band to deliver just that!
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"27 Days of Darkness"
"Forever In Doubt"
3.75/5 or 75%.
Written by Scott