This is, without a doubt, Phobia’s best album. Yes, it’s even better than “Means of Existence.” “Cruel” is a focused and deadly grindcore masterpiece.
New drummer Danny Walker (ex-Uphill Battle) helps bring Phobia to a new level, in terms of songwriting and delivery. He holds down a foundation for the songs and does more than just mindlessly provide blast beats.
Scott Hull, of Pig Destroyer and Agoraphobic Nosebleed fame, produced “Cruel.” No wonder it sounds so good. If he doesn’t know what heavy should sound like, then no one does.
I realize that long-time Phobia members Shane and Steve dealt with some serious personal issues a few years back. I wouldn’t say that the albums in that period, such as “Serenity Through Pain”, suffered because of it. Rather, I think Shane and Steve did the best they could under the circumstances. With their problems behind them, “Cruel” has proven that Phobia is the true kings of west coast grindcore.
The CD is available through Willowtip and the LP through Deep Six. You get a free poster and colored wax if you order the vinyl directly from Deep Six. Mine is purple.
Seriously, this record is heavy. Even if you’re a jaded grinder who has heard it all, “Cruel” will melt your brain. It’s unrelenting. I’ve never heard a band that plays this fast sound so heavy. Really, you need this.
Here's the infamous Real TV clip featuring Phobia.
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