I recently saw Optophobia play Shrewsbury Quarry (a very large flowery park where 80,000 green-fingered types from all over England & Wales are soon to descend for the annual flower show) and witnessing the sheer power & force of their music was a big enough reason for me to sit up and take note of ‘em.
Slipping this disc on much of this Telford/Wolverhampton-based band’s crunching power and deep, low-end beef seems toned down compared to the awesome ferocity of their live sound (well, it is a demo) but thankfully the quality of their songs remains intact. Citing such luminaries as Pantera, the mighty Manowar and rising UK sludgesters Raging Speedhorn as influences Optophobia fall into the bastard-heavy groove-orientated Entombed-style school of thinking where the bass can get worryingly deep and loud at times.
That said, don’t whatever you do think that Optophobia adhere to this mould as stand-out track ‘Wasting Years’ shows with it’s dual guitar & bass melodies in the chorus, ensuring that this is a rock club hit that probably never will be. Admittedly Andy’s shouts come across as slightly hoarse but just as Hatebreed progressed from their debut ‘Under The Knife’ EP from such problems so can he.
I don't usually get so flustered about a demo but hear ‘em live & they really do sound like a local phenomenon waiting to happen. Check them out by clicking on the links or emailing De Milo Music at firstname.lastname@example.org or the band directly at email@example.com.
6Mat Hocking's Score