To play live or not that is the question, artists not choosing to play their music in a live setting is no new idea. Rather famously the Black Metal scene is littered with solo projects and underground bands not wishing to venture out into the light of day. However forget the vampyric blackened underworld whose corpsepaint might melt in the daylight sun we are here today to look at Death Metal. This unearthly feat of producing records with no means of performance is a rare treat in Death Metal, I do often feel like this idea creates a certain gravitas about a band, a sort of self proclaimed importance, but does this self proclamation make for better music?
Binah whom have only ventured from their abodes once in their history have come once again to pollute the airways with more basement induced Death Metal. Formed in 2011 as a UK based project Binah rose to underground acclaim with their 2012 full length Hallucinating In Resurrecture this later prompted the release of the EP A Traid Of Plaques, which was equally well received. Alas post 2014 Binah fell somewhat silent. Laying dormant in the halls of Death Metal only to now reappear four years later with Phobiate through Osmose Productions, yet how does it compare with the bands prior works?
Following a very brief instrumental introduction we are tossed head first into a pit of Swedish influence Death Metal fury. Carnivorous tearing riffs rips through flesh and make the ground quake as guttural albeit old school vocals soar above the pounding, equally mechanized drums. Like a pollutant haze of pestilence Binah churn the grass beneath their feet like locusts. Even bringing in elements of melodious charm in Dream Paralysis and Bleaching, although rest assured these moments certainly lean towards a more brutal edge and don’t linger for long merely they mix up the pot of vomitus destruction that is all around them.
All of this sounds like a recipe for success, a prime example of worship towards the likes of Entombed, Dismember and latterly Bloodbath, all bands whom I hold in high regard. Yet Phobiate doesn’t quite live up to these previously mentioned masters of Death Metal. Whilst the album is crammed full of unending savagery it lacks a certain flare, even the better songs of the album Transmissions From Beneath and Consuming Repulse are still very middling in terms of the albums peers. I cannot say I dislike this album or that it is bad, it is simply average, the sort of record that you wouldn’t mind if someone played you but you wouldn’t rush to buy.
Binah’s legacy may have been left lightly battered by Phobiate but they are still creating good music. I just personal feel like Binah could have created an album to really shake the Death Metal underground, and what with their debut commanding such praise upon its release I expected a lot more. If you are an existing fan of Binah this will no doubt be an enjoyable listen but I fear it will soon have you tiptoeing back to the bands earlier works after just a few spins.
(6/10 George Caley)