“People take things for granted these days. These kids want to play a blastbeat, be “grindcore”, and all of a sudden they want this record deal. They have never even hopped in a van with seven bucks in their pocket and just hit the road thinking “what am I going to do?”.” This is what Phobia vocalist Shane McLachlan has to say about some of the current bands that strive towards being “grindcore”. This viewpoint isn’t the concern of Remnants of Filth, but he seems to be getting slightly agitated by the wave of bands that pin grindcore to their sound without experiencing events that make a socially opinionated track “authentic”. “Back then there was more integrity”, he adds. This can sound slightly elitist, but his stance extends towards the community based struggles of a type of music that just wasn’t accepted for so long. Being part of a genre that relied on a shared communal culture, the intention for any band’s existence was not financial, and according to McLachlan perhaps some of the passion is now being lost. In his mind there is no place for the individual.
This sums up all the different line up changes to the band over the years, and now the band have two new guitar players in the form of Noisear member Dorian Rainwater and second guitarist CC Loessin. This means the band are now a 5-piece. Rainwater doesn’t push Phobia’s band towards the more tech-death side of grind like he does with Noisear, and instead complements the faster and more consistent aggression of the short bursts of music on this album which range from militant blastbeats to hardcore punk – all of which are brilliantly pinned down by the drumming of Bryan Fajardo.
Remnants of Filth documents the last couple of years of Phobia, and it is as personal as any of their albums; this is just what Phobia do, and this album is exactly what you would expect from the band. There is a sort of Zen outlook to the album with “No Sympathy for the Weak” concerning the determination to move on in life and embrace change, and also “Let it Go” advising doing just that. Compared to Unrelenting, Remnants of Filth seems to be very balanced in terms of including the hardcore punk and d-beat influences such as on “Filthy Fucking Punks” and the hint of melody on “Deaden to Believe”, as well as the more metal side of the band, such as on “Freedom isn’t free”. Unrelenting’s production sounded very visceral and contrasting yet this release has a distinct air of thick cohesiveness.