Phobetor – When Life Falls Silent

Phobetor – When Life Falls Silent
Black Jasper Records
Release Date: 17/07/2020
Running Time: 40:10
Review by Steven Hooke

For as long as time has been a follow-able construct in the eyes of man, there has been a constant battle between generations. From music to money, business, politics, how to properly cut the grass and everything in between, the old guard stands firm in their belief in that back in their day, peace and tranquility roamed the land, whilst the new kids on the block offered up new ideas and alternatives. Following into this extremely prolonged metaphor is London-based trio Phobetor and their seeming attempts to blend the duelling generations together through the medium of death metal. A genre definitely not drenched in creative misalignment.

The debut album features vocalist Debora Conserva and guitarist Mitch Revy, flanked by new drummer Marc Dyos from the symphonic power metal band Pythia. Together, the trio forge their own path into the world of death metal, combining the songwriting tropes of today with delivery and presence of classic DM. The modern-day elements unsurprisingly hold up pretty well, Revy’s guitar work and the constant churning of riff after riff after riff is amongst the highlights of the album, with particular mentions going to ‘Blind Widow’ and ‘Bury My Name’, and their respective incorporations of groove metal and the Gothenburg metal scene in at the highest tier. However, these riffs are difficult to spot in the first few listens due to the old school death metal durge-sounding production style.

Now, far be it for me – a self-confessed production snob – to criticize the production of a debut death metal album. But this goes beyond me wanting every album to sound as crisp as a Devin Townsend-directed Pringles advert. There is a strong argument that a strong debut is trapped behind questionable production choices. It takes decent headphones and a little concentration to truly hear the ideas Revy has conjured up, and they simply just don’t crunch in the way they’re meant to.

The album, as a whole, is drenched in modern creative ideas. From the dark orchestral opening of ‘Merging Infinity’, to Conserva’s albeit rare dabbles with clean vocals, Dyos’ more progressive rolls and fills, and the frequent tempo changes, it’s all so far removed from the old school days of “play fast, be heavy”.

Whether it was a stylistic decision, a financial wall, or if Conserva and Revy had a particular idea for the album before the introduction and experience of Dyos (as well as session bassist Richard Hunter from Maelstrom) came into play, remains to be seen. But something that they definitely should be holding on to for the follow-up is the range of their frontwoman. Conserva combines the low-end, bassy gruff of Angela Gossow, with the strong, unwavering screams of Dani Filth, resulting in a dynamic warcry performance that greatly succeeds, in spite of the noted turn-offs. Focus on any of her screams throughout the album and they are pristine, razor-sharp, and often the most commanding part of a song.

While we have been spoiled over the past few years with near-perfect debuts (Conjurer, Fvneral Fvkk, Møl) it’s often missed that it’s possibly the hardest album to get right, being the starting block for a band’s image and their presence in their respective musical community. Will “When Life Falls Silentset the death metal world on fire? In its current state, my guess would be no. But, that is not to say there’s nothing here. Individual components of this outfit are there itching to break out, but some serious consistency needs to be established to really define what kind of band Phobetor wants to be.

01. Merging Infinity
02. A Toxic Lie
03. Whispers of Dissonance
04. Blind Widow
05. Psychopathy
06. Bury My Name
07. Harmony of Solitude
08. Dysmorphia
09. When Life Falls Silent

Debora Conserva – Vocals
Mitch Revy – Guitar
Marc Dyos – Drums
Richard Hunter – Bass (Session)


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Steven Hooke and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.



Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London, UK based Death/Black/Doom Metal project Cult Burial. Huge thanks to Simon for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

I’m Simon, I write the music and play guitars, bass and drums. I produce and mix the tracks too. The band started in March 2020, when I drunkenly bought a baritone guitar. I made of couple of tracks and released a 2-track EP called “Sorrow”. Four months later there was a full album, which is out in November 2020.

How did you come up with your band name?

It just sounded heavy. I wanted a name that when you hear it, you immediately have a good idea what the music sounds like.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

I’m from London. I’m not part of any metal scene, but every band on the planet comes here pretty regularly, so it’s a damn good place to be to watch music and check out bands.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Cult Burial’s self-titled debut album is out on 6 November 2020. It’s 9-tracks of crushing heaviness and vicious vocals.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Sepultura got me listening to heavier stuff. I loved the “Roots” album when I was a kid and Max’s vocals in particular. After that I started seeking out heavier bands. I go through phases of listening to death metal and black metal (I’m currently in a black metal phase), but listen to lots of other stuff, I’m a huge Massive Attack and Portishead fan too….so influences come from plenty of places.

What first got you into music?

Some guys in my school could play instruments and I walked in on them playing a cover of Nirvana’s ‘Aneurysm’. I knew I wanted to do the same, so I bought a cheap guitar and locked myself in a room until I could play a chord, which took far longer than it should have.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

There’s so many bands that I really enjoy and appreciate their work and I’m constantly looking for new albums and new sounds from heavy artists…but I wouldn’t want to collaborate with any of them, I just like to do my thing. I get to self-conscious too collaborate.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Party.San always looks like it has a fine line up.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Honestly, bar a couple of odd emails, nobody has ever sent me shit. Send me weird stuff, people.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. I didn’t come up with that, though.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Kurt Cobain.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Writing and mixing music. I like everything about it: the process, experimenting, the joy of getting it right and the frustration of constantly fucking it up. What do I hate? I’ve never enjoyed playing live, sadly.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

What can you change? It’s a product of the demand for music that exists at any one time. I have nothing I would want to or have the ability to change.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Deftones’ “White Pony”. Not very heavy but the atmosphere in that record is insane.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Vinyl for the feel and the artwork. CD’s because I can put them in alpha-chronological order and that makes me very happy. Downloads for convenience.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Cult Burial doesn’t play live, and has no plans to currently.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I’d be looking ponderously out of a window, contemplating the meaning of life, day after day after day.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Bill Murray, Jurgen Klopp, Morgan Freeman, Bill Bailey, Frankie Boyle.

What’s next for the band?

The album is out 6 November, and a single from the album called ‘Dethroner’ will be out in October.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

That’s a tax question. I’m not the taxman. However, I will say this: a Jaffa Cake should be eaten in one whole mouthful.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.