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Review: Athorn - Phobia

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 49:55
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 1.5/5

Review online: December 19, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Readers Rating

Rated 2.88/5 (57.5%) (16 Votes)

This album has been getting a lot of hate from all corners of the metalnet, both from this site and further abroad. Yes, this album sucks. At points, it's even unlistenably bad. But I'm here to be that annoying voice that claims "No! It isn't all that bad!" Athorn play a style of metal that I can only describe as "powercore." Yes, that's a mixture of power metal and metalcore. While melding these styles in without a doubt aural criminality, Athorn certainly have melodic passages on Phobia that are catchy and hooky.

For the most part, Phobia is a poorly executed and pretentious album. Athorn are trying to create an epic opus, but frankly, it's just poorly written and irritating to listen to. The -core elements are bad on their own, but making them even worse is Athorn's inability to meld them into their power metal base. It sounds awkward, forced, and jumpy. Athorn are blending far too many styles into one sound. Some bands can do it. Athorn are a young band, and at least as of now, they're not one of them. Sometimes, this is laughably overt. In the overblown title track, a young voice is heard asking "Mom, where do phobias come from?" over dramatic riffing. Seriously guys, tone it down a notch.

At the other end, many reviewers have made this album out to rival Divina Enema in terms of its level of suck. But seriously guys, it's not that bad. Carsten Frank (Human Fortress, Galloglass) has a decent voice, and while there are times where he gets too whiny or shrill, you can't deny his prowess in songs like "Humanize the Demon" and "A Matter of Time." Frank is perfectly capable of creating powerful and catchy vocal melodies, and he does it with Athorn...sometimes. You just wish he could do it more often and over much better music.

In conclusion, this album sucks. But not as much as you might think it does.

Other related information on the site
Review: Phobia (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
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