PHOBIA – 22 Random Acts of Violence

Supposedly punk rock is dead, but apparently someone forgot to tell PHOBIA as the band continues its seemingly non-stop assault with the release of 22 Random Acts of Violence. Tempering the anarcho-crust punk fury with technical precision, PHOBIA‘s latest is dark and dirty, but as sharp as a surgeon’s razor. Having blastmaster Danny Walker (INTRONAUT, EXHUMED, UPHILL BATTLE) unleash blast after furious blast interspersed with flurries of fills couldn’t hurt, nor does the inclusion of former IMPALED/INTRONAUT alum Leon Del Muerte, who delivers both bass and guitar solos. Capturing the mayhem is former PHOBIA drummer John Haddad, with mixing and mastering from PIG DESTROYER‘s Scott Hull. As most bands heading into their twentieth year tend to slow down or soften up, riffmaster Steve Burda and frontman Shane McLachlan only seem to be writing faster riffs and angrier vocal lines. At just under a half hour, PHOBIA doesn’t waste time with pedestrian bullshit, choosing instead to keep the beatings coming at a relentless, breakneck pace. A testament to the band’s longevity and perseverance, 22 Random Acts of Violence serves as yet another triumph for California’s kings of crust grind. (Willow Tip Records)

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