The Phantom Tollbooth

Revive and Rebuke
Artist: Discern
Label: Self Released
Length:  21:08 / 8 Tracks

Man o' man this is a cool album. There have been quite a few very good extreme metal bands coming out in the "Christian market" lately, and this album is right there near the top. Discern is Bill Fraser, ex-drummer from Oblation…and that's it. He does get a little help here and there from others, but Discern is primarily a one-man grind machine, and grind it does! This is fast and brutal death metal with distinct grindcore influences. The guitar and drum sounds are totally fat and the vocals are rumbling subsonic growling. Among the brutal sonic feast, Fraser sprinkles some songs with flavors of jazz, blues and rock n roll to keep it from getting bland, and give it a slight air of playfulness, without sounding cheesy or trite. Also included is "Jasper," a cool mellow clean picked guitar instrumental--the perfect pallet cleanser between courses of musical mayhem.

The well written lyrics deal with a number of topics in Christianity from praising God to rebuking the church. One interesting song, "Parallel the Righteousness," compares the eternal destination of a serial killer on death row who accepts Christ to that of a religious person who never knew Him.

At 21 minutes, it's a little short, but this is really the only down side to this entire project. While Bill Fraser may not be pioneering a new genre or style, his music is well done and has a distinct flavor. This is a must have for all fans of death/grind.

Chris King  9/22/99

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