PHOBIA - "Slaughterhouse Tapes" cassette

$8.00 USD
PHOBIA - "Slaughterhouse Tapes" cassette

Obtained from Nuclear War Now! (USA)

Norwegian death metal.

Now there's a phrase you don't hear very often. Overshadowed by the black metal scene, Norway actually had some very sick death metal bands in the early days. Old Funeral, Molested, Cadaver, and Amputation for starters.

Add PHOBIA to that list.

Before the black metal band Enslaved was conceived, the members were dabbling in death/doom metal under this one-word moniker. They recorded 2 demos in 1991 ("The Last Settlement of Ragnarok" and "Feverish Convulsions") and then threw in the towel.

Underground stalwarts Nuclear War Now! Productions recently unearthed the demos and reissued them both as the "Slaughterhouse Tapes."

This primitive, proto-death/doom brings to mind early Autopsy, death metal-era Darkthrone, and the earliest incarnations of the Peaceville three. Low-tuned and brutal yet dismal with a thick atmosphere.

It's a hell of a time machine and the packaging is top notch (per usual of NWN). If you're fiend for old, obscure death metal like I am, you owe it to yourself to pick this up asap!

"The emergence of the Norwegian Black Metal movement is often regarded as a sudden paradigmatic shift in sound and aesthetics. But it didn’t take place in a vacuum; many of the key players in the scene were already involved in underground metal. So it was for the founding members of Enslaved (Grutle Kjellson and Ivar Bjørnson) and Theatre of Tragedy (Hein Frode Hansen), all of whom initially played in a short-lived but impressive Death Metal band called Phobia. The “Slaughterhouse” to which the title of this collection refers is Gamle Slaktehuset, or “old slaughterhouse,” a community youth center in the small town of Haugesund that served as an incubation center for numerous adolescent bands in the region. Equipped with multiple rehearsal rooms, a studio, a café, and a performance space, Slaktehuset offered everything a fledgling band needed. Ranging in ages from 12-18, the members of Phobia coalesced around Slaktehuset, where they wrote and rehearsed original material and eventually recorded their demos, “The Last Settlement of Ragnarok” and “Feverish Convulsions,” both of which were released in 1991. (The first Enslaved and Immortal demos were also recorded at Slaktehuset later that same year.) Owing to the band members’ drive and dedication, the material on these demos is far more sophisticated than one might expect. Musically, Phobia calls to mind Autopsy, with a morose, doom-laden edge reminiscent of early Paradise Lost. The songwriting, however, is unique and the production strikes a balance between capturing the band’s raw, youthful energy while preserving the clarity of the instrumentation. By the end of 1991, Grutle and Ivar, inspired by a conversation with Immortal’s Demonaz, stripped the band down to a three-piece and adopted the name Enslaved, after the song “Enslaved in Rot” from the first Immortal demo. Hein departed for the United States to work and upon returning to Norway, he founded the long-running Gothic Death/Doom band Theatre of Tragedy. With the rapid rise of Black Metal, Phobia was unfortunately relegated to the increasingly distant past. This compilation collects—for the first time—Phobia’s two demos, along with three previously unreleased tracks."

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