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Astrophobos – Enthroned In Flesh – EP Review

Source // Astrophobos

Astrophobos, whose band name is taken from an inherently metal poem by HP Lovecraft, do not muck you about in any way, shape or form on their refreshingly no-frills 4-tracker, Enthroned In Flesh. We are normally used to seeing everything including the kitchen sink spunked all over the black metal template but, in the case of this Swedish trio, that doesn’t happen and accordingly the song lengths are, for the most part, of a length proportionate to honest, grass-roots content.

The titular opener is an effective calling card: a fast, loose three and a half minutes of tremolo picking, blast-beats and some suitably evil – but easily decipherable – mid-register throat abuse from bassist/vocalist Micke Broman, the standout performer on Enthroned In Flesh. “Tabula Rasa” introduces some Dissection-style melody into the proceedings and reigns back the tempo a bit before “Blood Libation” – for us the EP’s premier cut – ups the ante with breakneck, caterwauling melodies, some catchy half-time feel sections and deft vocal phrasing.

However, it’s not until their epic closer that Astrophobos bust out some of the latter day black metal hallmarks. You know what to expect. Melancholy clean guitars? Check. Spoken word vocals? Check. Vast song length? Check. The whole piece clocks in at eight and a half minutes and, nailed down by that one guitar part, it does go on a bit.

The production on Enthroned In Flesh apes the classic lo-fi vibe of guitars with both middle and bottom scooped out to give that ‘recorded in a shed set in a Norwegian forest’ feel. But, as the desk was competently helmed by Erik Nilsson, concessions are made to the listener; the bass is pleasantly warm and round and the drum sound, though reverb-soaked, retains it’s clarity and punch.

Enthroned in Flesh is hardly original, nor is it particularly memorable, but the material is coherent, its themes evocative and it was clearly written and recorded with passion and drive. Just maybe, right here and now, that’s enough. 6/10

Source // Astrophobos

Source // Astrophobos

About Stuart Bell (55 Articles)
I was born in 1975 with a pile of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple vinyl next to my cot. I ate off a sheet of ply-board propped up between two Marshall cabs and shortly after I learned to read and write I learned the E minor chord and the pentatonic scale. One day my Dad bought me Iron Maiden's first album. Metallica's Ride the Lightning followed. Then, things got serious. I have held almost every rank in the Army of Heavy Metal: Fan, drunk fan, roadie, guitarist, producer and label scout. My Wife knows what Mastodon's Crack The Skye is about and my child can play Breaking the Law on piano. Go figure.

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