|Review: P.H.T.O. - Affliction|
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Year released: 2011
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: February 23, 2012
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Another depressive/atmospheric band, this one from France. I am generally skeptical of bands like this, as rather than the bands of yore like Forgotten Tomb or Xasthur, these new kids seem to veer dangerously close to emo territory too often. P.H.T.O. (no, I have no idea what that stands for) are much more Black Metal than shoegaze or ambient, and that's a point in their favor.
That said, this is still not really compelling. Depressive bands can heighten and sharpen despair until it becomes a kind of cathartic exaltation, but this music does not do that. The songs all sound more or less the same, and while they are pretty good, they are not gripping or memorable. The vocals are again far too boring, and the album presents a flat emotional line, with no ups or downs, just scraping steadily along the basement of despair. It evokes depression and suffering, but illuminates nothing at all.
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