The New Album Deepest fears and Darkest Minds is a defining statement from the UKs Phobetor. It is brutal, intense Blackened Death Metal with the deadliest of intentions.
MARC: Debora and myself knew that we wanted to take Phobetor in a heavier, more extreme direction, and the new additions to the band (Ross – guitar and Dredgewood – bass) were of the same mindset.
The writing process was pretty painless really. Everyone was on the same page and enthusiastic about what we were trying to create, and we are really pleased with how it turned out.
MARC: I think it has a little bit of everything which hopefully means there’s something for everyone. There are technical bits but not at the expense of the catchiness of the songs.
I guess it’s partially due to the bands we listen to.
Those riffs !?
MARC: I’ve worked with Ross (guitar) for many years, and when we knew that Mitch was leaving the band at the time of the release of our first album ‘When Life Falls Silent’ Debora and I knew that Ross would be our first choice to replace him.
Ross is all about riffs. Always has been, and probably always will be. Again, its largely down to the bands he grew up listening to.
DEBORA: I had been doing more melodic vocals but wanted to get into extreme metal vocals so that I could write and perform music closer to my musical taste of bands like Behemoth.
I worked on developing the right vocal techniques to avoid damaging my voice, and to ensure that I could maintain the extreme metal vocals throughout a live set and still be able to perform again the following day.
Your nihilistic brand of blackened death metal?
DEBORA: As we alluded to before, there’s different aspects to our sound, which can make it difficult to ‘label’ or ‘pigeon-hole’ the band, but I guess blackened death metal is as close as we can to defining our sound.
What drew you to the genre and the biggest misconception about it?
MARC: I first heard Iron Maiden when I was about 11 and it quickly led me to check other bands and more extreme forms of metal music, and bands like Carcass, Napalm Death, At the Gates really appealed to me. My favourite band since the mid-90s is Paradise Lost, even when they dare to venture into different and less extreme styles. I guess the biggest misconception of metal music from the outside world is that its not ‘musical’ and its not technically challenging to play. The bands I’ve just mentioned there definitely disprove that theory, well perhaps with the exception of ‘You Suffer’ by Napalm Death! haha
Is this a world view or a personal one?
DEBORA: It is a mixture of both. Some songs are inspired by stories of human struggle, some are inspired by personal experience.
Is this where the aggression comes from?
DEBORA: Yes, partly. I find music a way to exorcise my own demons as well as my feelings in regards to certain topics.
What inspires it?
DEBORA: It is mainly inspired by personal experience and my own feelings and interpretation with regards to certain topics.
Is humankind in peril of its own internal demise?
DEBORA: I think this is a process that has been going on for years, whether consciously or unconsciously, humankind has learned to live within a state of internal demise.
Has our fixation on the immediate and the selfish caused a vacuum?
DEBORA: I use the vacuum as an allegory to a state of emotional emptiness which arises from mental illnesses such as depression. In songs such as A Silent Nihility, the concept of vacuity is used not only to represent depression but also a state of constant stillness and uncertainty which was connected to the lockdown period.
How do you define terror?
DEBORA: Abstract concepts may not be directly visible to the senses but do have an effect on our reality. Terror can be seen on a large scale or on a small scale, from the united feeling or perpetual fear of a group of people in the grasp of war for example, or within a singular human being. Within the singular, terror can be manifested in multiple ways through the body. Terror can therefore be defined as a mental as well as bodily experience.
Your Empty Shadow?
DEBORA: Entering the realm of personal experience this song is trying to make sense of betrayal and unwanted loss. Loss in this case is not necessarily related to death but to unbroken bonds between the living and how to live with the sense of abandonment, powerlessness and injustice that comes from that.
A melody of sorrow?
DEBORA: In reference to Screaming Silence? – In this case the wording melody of sorrow refers to the screams and laments arising from the victims of war.
3 releases in 3 years! Inspiration comes easily ?
MARC: Well, the initial EP was really just the beginning, and it was only Debora in the band now from that time.
Covid hit just as we were due to release ‘When Life Falls Silent’ which limited our possibility to perform live, so we cracked on with writing for the follow-up album which became ‘Through Deepest Fears and Darkest Minds’. The lline-up change at the time of the release of ‘When Life Falls Silent’ also meant we were able to hit the ground running for writing the new album as Ross had plenty of ideas already.
The extreme UK scene. Still vital?
MARC: Perhaps less ground-breaking and dominant as in years gone by, but many of those bands from the glory years are still going strong so they must be doing something right. The music industry is a difficult place to be these days and there’s so many bands trying to be heard from all over the world. Its still a buzz when you discover a band that really appeals to you, and it can be the least known band to the biggest band and from any corner of the globe.
Plans for the future?
MARC: Now that covid restrictions are lifted and gigs are becoming less likely to be cancelled we are looking to get out and play live. We have some other cool things already underway which we hope to announce in the next few weeks.
Top 6 albums of all time?
MARC: Not sure we can whittle it down to that, but we’ll give you 6 bands that we love who have been an influence on our music in one way or another…