June 15, 2012 | , | 4.5

Phobia, Remnants of Filth

Phobia: Remnants of Filth

For the first time in Phobia’s existence (22 years and counting), sole founding member and lead growler, Shane “The Pain” Mclachlan isn’t playing any of the instruments on this recording. He’s still writing and slinging vitriolic lyrics, but didn’t touch a guitar or drum this time around. And, with no disrespect to Mclachlan’s playing abilities — he’s out-grinded most everyone else in the industry — but you can tell the difference on Remnants of Filth. Not only is the musicianship tight (particularly newly added Noisear guitarist, Dorian Rainwater) and the songs well structured, but the vocal delivery, which has always been beyond fierce, even feels more focused and direct. I’d say that the arrangement has been a win-win for all parties involved, including your sorry ass.

Filling 19 and half minutes with 18 tracks of punk-infused and hardcore-driven grind-core, Phobia keep doing what they’ve been doing best for years — pummeling your skull in with straightforward, blasting destruction. Remnants of Filth isn’t just a complete blur of double base and reverb however. Each track is well crafted, shifting from frenetic blast to sludgy riffs to hardcore mosh in a smooth and seamless flow of mayhem.

“Assertion to Demean” sets the tone quickly as it erupts from the speakers with a minute and a half of crushing groove, and a complete and utter lack of concern for your own aural capacities. The massive chug halfway through “Submission Hold’ and the ensuing blast of “Plagued by the System” will surely send several folks to the ER with snapped vertebrae. I love the riffs that fill “Dementia Having Overdose.” The eighth track on the album, “Resolution” offers listeners a solid opportunity to shout along with a fairly infectious chorus. “Let it Go” is classic Phobia as it blisters through 55 seconds with a vengeance. The hardcore influence on “Deaden to Believe” is clearly evident from the get go while “Filthy Fucking Punks” brings the D-beat rumbling into play.

When all is said and done, Remnants of Filth is Phobia doing what they do best and has the band sounding tighter than ever. Treat your ears to some sonic love with blistering riffs, blasting rhythms and vicious growls/barks in a fashion that only these California heathens can deliver.