Exclusive Interview: Phobetor talk “Through Deepest Fears And Darkest Minds”!

Last week saw Phobetor bring a wealth of punishing and turbulent grooves to our ear drums with their sophomore album “Through Deepest Fears And Darkest Minds”, a Blackened Death Groove Metal album of the finest order. We had the pleasure of a conversation with drummer Marc Dyos, also known for his work in both Pythia and Descent to dissect the record over not one but two exclusive interviews, the first of which went something like this…

How have you found the reaction to “Through Deepest Fears And Darkest Minds” so far? “On the whole people seem to have understood what we were trying to achieve with the album and feedback so far has been positive. We’re all really pleased with how it turned out”

The first bite is always with the eye, even in the digital age so how happy were you to get the legend that is Brian D’Agosta (Vallenfyre, Godthrymm, Goatwhore) on board for the artwork of the record? “I became aware of Brian’s work after seeing the cover art for Vallenfyre ‘Splinters’ and I thought his
style would fit well with vision we had for the album”

Our favourite cut on the record is “One Last Breath”, we’ve put it up there with 90s crushers “Where The Slime Live” by Morbid Angel and “Territory” by Sepultura; it’s that good. What were your favourite moments during writing sessions? What were the real light bulb or spark moments when you thought “damn this is the one”? “We’re really pleased with how ‘One Last Breath’ turned out. The tempo of the song really suits the album mix. There’s lot of space for all the parts to breathe and when the intro starts it sounds BIG! Sometimes it can surprise you which songs turn out best once an album is mixed and mastered, and whilst we’re very pleased with all the songs, tracks like ‘Within Death’s Embrace’ and ‘A Silent Nihility’ were certainly a pleasant surprise when we heard the final mix. I think we all knew once we heard the demo for ‘Solace in Darkness’ that we needed to use that as the first single/video – it had the energy, swagger and groove to give people a first glimpse into the new material. It’s interesting that you mention those two bands from that era, as I can certainly hear aspects of early/mid-90s Morbid Angel, Napalm Death and Carcass, with a slight nod to bands like Sepultura, Machine Head and Fear Factory from that same time”

You’ve got a sound which is distinctive with turbulent dark groove and rhythmic battery while not following any genre stylings by adding synths, solos or clean vocal parts. How important is it to remain distinctive and stand out from the pack? “We never say never. The only additional strings and piano are on the intro to ‘Solace in Darkness’ but if we felt that other sections or songs needed additional instruments, we were certainly open to the idea. Personally, I’m a big fan of how bands such as At the Gates and Paradise Lost have used strings etc so who knows? Maybe next time… In terms of melodic vocals, again we didn’t feel that any songs needed it. We had a few melodic vocal parts on the first album ‘When Life Falls Silent’ which were performed by Sophie Dorman, but this time the songs were a lot heavier, darker and just didn’t seem to warrant any clean vocals. The lack of guitar solos perhaps does make us different to a lot of bands but its not like we set out not to have any solos, again it’s the more organic approach to song-writing than just trying to shoe-horn things in just for the sake of it. Ross (White, guitar) has always been about RIFFS and that will never change, but that’s why Debora (Conserva, vocals) and myself were keen to get him in Phobetor as that’s exactly what we wanted”

You have a sound that is easily replicated in the live arena without the need for a backing track or additional musicians. How much was it a conscious decision to write in that way and ensure you can make these songs shine live? “Yes and no. As I said the song-writing was a very open and organic approach, and if a song warranted synths, strings or melodic vocals we wouldn’t have had any objection to that, but at the same time I think we were all excited about making a very natural sounding album both in terms of song-writing and in the album mix. We all have experience with playing with backing tracks live and that works well when required, but there is something appealing about stepping on stage with just guitar, bass, drums and mic like you did when you were just starting out in bands”

What’s next for Phobetor? “We’ve just released the 2 nd video from the album, a lyric video for ‘Screaming Silence’ and the album is now out. We’re already looking at options for videos and other cool things, and hopefully look at playing some gigs in 2022”

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