Released: 2016, HSP Productions
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Quebec City-based “black thrash” quintet – actually quartet at the moment after the recent departure of long-time guitarist Stanislav Stefanovski – Phosphorus follow up their 2014 full-length debut with the short but relatively sweet EP Dévastation that crams plenty of raw energy into a tidy package.
Sandwiched by the short “Intro” and “Outro” are three tracks - “Dévastation I,” “Dévastation II” and “Dévastation III” - that, despite appearances and a lack of imagination when it comes to titles, aren’t merely takes on the same song. And though they fuse black metal caterwaul with thrash metal swagger and groove – think a mish-mash of Skeletonwitch, Goatwhore, 1349 and Absu for convenient comparisons – each of the “Dévastations” are quite distinctive.
“Dévastation I” is more full-on black metal - save for a chunky midsection - with furious tremolo riffing, blast beats galore and frontman Pierre-Luc Blanchet’s wolverine screeching, shreiking and growling. “Dévastation II,” by contrast, has more of a technical thrash feel with its complexity and abundance of driving hooks – even if the guitars retain their buzzing black metal tone.
“Dévastation III” is even thrashier, but more streamlined, making it the most efficent, vicious track here. The fleet guitar harmonies and fiery leads at the the end of the tune are especially cool, giving it an old school flair without sounding derivative, despite a literally explosive conclusion that makes the chanted-over electronic throb of “Outro” superfluous.
As a between albums quick hitter, they definitely don’t come much quicker than Dévastation, all 17 minutes of it. But Phosphorus hit hard and often in the time they have here and make an impact nonetheless.