P.H.T.O. are a four piece depressive / ambient / black metal act, who hail from Normandy, in northern France. Always haunting and bleak, this is a record that emits pain and sorrow on each and every track. This is a release which is in abundance of some excellent and creative ideas. ‘L’enclave’ creeps in quietly threatening to explode at any point and it does just that at two and a half minutes into the track. With wave after wave of sound washing over the listener relentlessly. The vocals of Saddy are at times quite unsettling to hear, they are so unrefined and heart-breakingly raw, the pain in his voice is not something that can be taught and is also a very brave thing to have committed to tape. If in doubt, then just listen to the garrotted shrieks of pain on final track ‘Dansant Pour La Lune’, it will stay with you for days. The vocalist sounds almost demonic on the barren and startling tones of ‘Neurasthenique’. The album beyond doubt benefits from this and calls to mind the works of Ukrainian ambient metal powerhouse Moloch on repeated listening. It is not all about the vocals and the guitars are thick, heavy and choppy. The aforementioned ‘Dansant Pour La Lune’ showcases the effulgent six stringed talents of Malkov.
This album is certainly worth checking out, you can order a copy from Immortal Frost Productions here, before it’s too late.
Saddy (Vocals), Alrinack (Bass/backing vocals), Malkov’ (Guitars), Molasar (Drums).