A fixation with horror cuts across wide swaths of extreme music like the scythe of the Great Leveler. The most primitive and ineradicable fears of humankind have been given a multitude of frightful shapes, both monstrous and spectral, in varying musical expressions since the earliest days of the heaviest music. This fascination with death, and with what might loom behind that terrible event horizon, or what might lurk even now at the jagged edge between our own dimension and another, continues to animate the creative impulses of numerous groups, but few albums this year have succeeded in channeling such morbid terrors as effectively as Binah’s new album, Phobiate.
In broad strokes, the album is massively heavy, and manages to both freeze the blood and set fire to the nerves. It creates a deep, preternatural atmosphere, suffused with ghastliness and gloom, but also persistently triggers adrenaline surges through ravaging assaults and bouts of irresistibly headbangable barbarism. Continue reading »