PHOBOCOSM’s “Foreordained” is a monumental death metal album with such an incredible atmosphere of dirge and monochromatic textures.
January 11, 2024

PHOBOCOSM is a death metal band from Montreal, Canada. They formed in 2008 and “Foreordained” is their third full length album; they have also released an EP. “Foreordained” is an album that is sometimes doomy but always bleak and living within the shadows. There isn't any light to be found here—only the sound of decay as all matter is sucked into the void. There is melody, or what amounts to melody for a band like this, but it's just a musical representation of slightly lighter shades of black. However, because of these elements and the impeccable songwriting, “Foreordained” is also album that is extremely engrossing and always interesting.

It's pacing goes from slow to fast and back around again but it doesn't switch so suddenly random that it's disjointed. Every passage, every note, is played just how it needs to be. The pacing is perfect and unique—several of the songs are long but the album as a whole is just 41 minutes. This approach allows for the songs to have plenty of meat and structure without the album being an overall bloated mess. “Premonition” folds out just like it's namesake. The drums help the song march ever forward. The guitars and bass have a straight up nasty tone that are thick as any of the most brutal bands but carry with them a certain type of fear and loathing.

The band shows it is fully lyrics capable of producing long form songs with “Primal Dread.” The drums are a barrage as the riffs add sensory deprivation to the mix. They buzz and ripple their destructive vibes across the song, a predator striking out against its pray in shallow water. “Everlasting Void,” is a bottomless pit. The song is a deep six minutes with insane death growls that lead the way through this nightmare. The buildup is almost subtle, designed to get more and more intense while the everlasting gloom keeps it all crushed into nothing.

The band is at their best and truly within their element when they all come together, transforming their sound from music to nothing less than some sort of elemental destruction. “Infomorph” is a prime example of their capabilities to do this. The whole song is a banger but my favorite part is the destructive mid section that leads to a doomed out tempo that offers anything but a cathartic rest from the previous harrowing experience.

I’m not sure if it was done on purpose or not but “Revival” pares very well with the aforementioned track. It flows back and forth between doom like elements and faster death metal movements, a very serpentine track that offers a roller coaster of death built out of varying tempos and moods that go from perpetual blackness to perpetual bleakness. From about the 4:00 minute mark to the end is one of the finest set of minutes on the album.

The final track is “For an Aeon,” and it just doesn’t stop. It is a burst of death metal right out of the gate, as if it was already in the middle of playing. It pummels very hard for the first half then becomes a black hole of unlimited desolation. PHOBOCOSM’s “Foreordained” is a monumental death metal album with such an incredible atmosphere of dirge and monochromatic textures. But it still straight up devastates like any good death metal album should.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Foreordained" Track-listing:
  1. Premonition
  2. Primal Dread
  3. Everlasting Void
  4. Infomorph
  5. Revival
  6. For an Aeon
Phobocosm Lineup:

J.S.G. - Drums
S.D. - Guitars
E.B. - Vocals (lead), Bass

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