22 Random Acts of Violence

Melding the grind worlds of Brutal Truth and Napalm Death, Orange County’s Phobia still sounds better than most modern grind bands—and ten times better than any crust of yore. The raw and muddy production values of early Terrorizer, Napalm Death, and Carcass doesn’t follow Phobia and their revolving roster, this time tapping Intronaut drummer Danny Walker and ex-Intronaut/Impaled bassist Leon del Muerte. In the grand tradition of such DIY label greats such a Slap-A-Ham, Rhetoric, and Pessimiser/Theologian, Pennsylvania’s Willowtip Records releases 22 Random Acts of Violence to a fanfare of old-school crust punks still fist-pumping on the fringes of every mosh pit in America.

“Ultimate Suffering,” “Abuse the Truth,” et al. spot-weld the ferocity of Brutal Truth to even unwieldier constructs. “Rise Up” even features a groovy, At the Gates solo at the coda, while “Wasted Time” sports a brief, Obituary-like divebomber. “Depression Is a Killer” is the one slower cut, sounding like an obscure cover as compared to the other mind-blurs. An album highlight, “Blackened Day” resembles a piece of an old Mindrot tune with wailing solos at the end. 22 Random Acts of Violence are anything but random: they’re calculated, they’re intentional, they’re genuine and have the battle scars to show for it. Yes, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Pig Destroyer, and Discordance Axis populate this subgenre and succeed valiantly, but Phobia make 22 grind tracks in 28 minutes truly magnificent.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Ayers
December 10th, 2008


  1. Commented by: Cynicgods

    One of the pillars of grind. Love this band.

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