Jan 21, 2022

I don’t know that I’m the most qualified reviewer to handle this material (for some context, the lyrics include the phrase ave satanis, quite unironically), but I suppose Razorcake doesn’t really have a resident office goth to fob this off on, so I’ll do my best. This split album between two reasonably creepy Rochester N.Y. bands is presented as a posthumous tribute to late guitarist/vocalist Nyk (or “Nykk,” it’s seen both ways) Radar, who played with both outfits before his untimely passing. Phantasmagoria’s first song, “Inked in Blood,” is actually kind of a garage-fuzz barnburner, with a nasty-ass guitar tone and an evil, pounding beat that would have put it right at home on the Hell Comes to Your House compilation some thirty-nine years ago. The rest of their side is notably less high-octane, coming off as a cross between a goth Fang and an anarchist Jefferson Airplane. On the flip, Sectss strike me as a goth Flipper with Crass-esque leanings. Taken as a whole, this record seems like some unholy manner of street-goth manifesto, with anthems and screeds both lyrical (i.e., the song “Black Clad Youth”) and explicit (sample liner notes: “I call for a rebirth of an eldritch time that can only come from an awakening of ancient forces, one which will bring about the demise of a soulless world. It will take a brotherhood of true believers to be the harbingers of tomorrow’s apocalypse.”).Whether you fancy such notions or not, I think it’s reasonable to say these bands did their part to the best of their abilities. BEST SONG: Phantasmagoria, “Inked in Blood.” BEST SONG TITLE: Phantasmagoria, “Murder of Crows.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Rochester was home to the NBA’s Rochester Royals, now the Sacramento Kings. –Rev. Nørb (National Teen Set Outsider)