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GOREAPHOBIA
Return To The Shadowlands
(self-financed)
16:22min

Unlike many other American cult Death Metal acts back in the 90s, GOREAPHOBIA unfortunately never managed to release a full length album for one reason or another, so all we got to hear ever since was the classic "Morbidious Pathology" demo (which also ended up on a 7" EP later on) and the "Omen Of Masochism" MCD (I didn't mention the two song promotional demo on purpose as it wasn't officially available). I always considered them a cool band and was really looking forward to finally hear some new material. And because of GOREAPHOBIA's most recent reformation, this has finally become reality now. Unfortunately original vocalist / bassist Chris Gamble isn't in the band anymore these days (he's a member of the Black Metal act BLOOD STORM now), which to me personally is the biggest let down on this new release. The band has recruited someone who's name they can't disclose yet, that's why he currently has to act under the pseudonym "No One". But no matter who he really is, his contribution definitely doesn't fit the band at all! Or would anyone of you like to hear GOREAPHOBIA turn Black Metal? Yep, that's the type of vocals he delivers: aggressive, raw and in the typical shrieky vein. The first song, 'Return To The Shadowlands' musically kicks off very cool though. It's blessed with a killer opening riff and will certainly sound even more brutal and destructive if the band gets the opportunity to record it a little more properly. 'Awakening', the other tune, has its moments as well, but due to its uninspired and therefore quite boring middle section didn't manage to impress me in a similar way. I'm also not too much into the individual playing times of the songs, which vary between 8 and 8 œ minutes. When writing this lengthy stuff, you gotta make sure to come up with an extremely exciting songwriting to keep the listener's full attention. And, I'm afraid, I doubt that GOREAPHOBIA would be able to do so with these two new songs. I listened to them over and over again, as I really hoped that I would get into them, but it just didn't click. The vocals simply turn me off and as they are very dominating, it's quite difficult to imagine how the actual songs would sound without them (or with a more brutal Death Metal voice). I just hope GOREAPHOBIA will work on this, otherwise they easily might disappoint quite a lot of their old fans.

Frank Stöver

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