dave phillips - hermeneutics of fear of god

LP/CD, 2008, Absurd, Sao Paulo.   Available

Dphofogrerel front


Finally, Dave Phillips’ ‘The Hermeneutics of Fear Of God’ is available again! What can I say? Of all the ‘extreme’ music I heard in my life, from poststructural noise to Grindcore, from Death Metal to Hardcore Thrash, this has got got to be the most vicious, aggressive and torturing record that I know. Dave obsessively inspected, dissected, turned around and reassembled the sonic remains of our old band FEAR OF GOD and thus created a bastard noise version of it that leaves me breathless still. One seriously wonders with which results the same method would twist, revolt other already ‘extreme’ sounding music and we can only hope for Dave Phillips, the modern day Frankenstein, to lay more corpses on his experimental scaffolds, cutting and stitching and pestering them, thus deliberately creating more bastards to haunt our nights (when reason is put to sleep).
Order the expanded vinyl version (58 songs, 500 made only, 100 on colored vinyl) or the CD version (Digipack, 61 songs plus a short but lovely bonus Video) from Absurd Records (greetings to Marcelo!). As you can see, the minimalistic but affectionately done LP comes with insert (not visible on the photos), stamped innersleeve and sticker.

(Erich Keller, goodbadmusic)

This shit’s gonna straight up blow your mind. Bassist Dave of eternally godly FEAR OF GOD digitally chopped and re-arranged (or in places flat out demolished) his legendary band’s old trax into ‘new’ blasters and occasional harshtronic freakouts. Amazingly, very little remains of the original 16 year old (!) trax via Dave’s sheer imagination with a minimum of ‘studio’ tools at his disposal. For example: an added sharpness/trebly production for maximum auditory shockwave-daymare, plus the aforementioned re-chopping bits looped into entirely new structures…though this is achieved with the static originals over remixing the separate trax like lame nu-metal-meets-techno fusion at the mall-googleplex. If yer a grindcore snob (like me) and own all their originals (like me) cuz ya got them when they came out (like me) and you’ve spun their good name 40,000 times (like me) you WILL discern the trax (for the most part they’re mixed as a non-stop horror-noise), but as I’ve been ranting it’s just so much MORE than that! Ok already (for those NOT in the know), ‘What’s all this fuss over a FEAR OF GOD???’…WELL twerpy, they were the WORLD’S FIRST grindcore band (yep, a full year before NAPALM DEATH really got it together for their 2nd LP, which is FAR superior to their 1st in EVERY facet!). I go so far as to call F.O.G. ‘hategrind’ or ‘true noisecore’ (LÄRM coined the term for brutal atonal hardcore, not ANAL CUNT crap). Heavily influenced by MAJESTY, LARM, and fuckin’ SWANKYS (!), FEAR OF GOD is just the best band EVER! Kill the lop who questions.

(Sean Hogan, Damaging Noise zine)

The Hermeneutics of Fear Of God MiniLP (auf Tochnit Aleph, Berlin) ist nun auf dem Markt! Die ersten 50 Kopien enthalten einen huebschen Aufnaeher. Um keine Zweifel aufkommen zu lassen: Diese Platte ist etwas vom brutalsten, was je gehoert wurde! Dave hat alte Fear Of God Aufnahmen zerschnippelt und wieder zusammengebaut (ohne fremde Elemente beizumengen) und es dabei fertiggebracht, einen voellig eigenstaendigen Sound zu entwickeln, der einfach alles niederwalzt in seiner dichte und Gehetztheit. Meisterlich, wahrlich!


Man, what a deranged record. It is one of the strangest I’ve heard in a looong time. It’s totally bizarre. And still, it is one of the most enjoyable. The whole of The Hermeneutics of Fear of God has the structure of one of those cut and paste deals. The songs (61 total) rarely go over the forty second mark and follow no pattern nor formula. Instead, we are treated to slices of noise,- some of it industrial, some of it hardcore punk and a little bit of metal – blocks of music that start and stop without ever peaking. It is almost as if there is no beginning, middle nor end. And there probably isn’t. A few of the songs seem to be mere repetitions of a drum beat or of a simple bang. Some too brief to even establish a beat are two-to-three second snippets repeated half a dozen times. The voice, guttural and robotic, is filtered and distorted and resembles a bestial bark. There is a bit of feedback here and there. The only strings seem to come from a bass, which is tremendously massive and quite saturated. At parts it seems like songs are about to kick off but as hastily as they start they dissolve. There is a lot of programming here and even though the drums sound very organic a drum & bass influence is quite evident. It is all quite puzzling and very effective. This makes me feel like a rebel cyborg. It makes me think of an art project with a lateral side of social commentary. What it might be exactly I don’t know and wouldn’t venture to say. Dave Phillips was part of the Swiss hardcore band Fear of God. After their break up Phillips took the noise electronic side, basically creating extreme experimental music. The Hermeneutics of Fear of God was created between 2002 and 2003 and it features Phillips actualization of the band’s work. He has cut and pasted song parts and has come out with this album. The result is surprisingly fluent. Intriguing and fresh and yet it’s like an ugly abomination you can’t help but keep on returning to.

(Deaf Sparrow)

There was a time, back around ‘87 - ‘89, where the longest song I was listening to probably clocked in at around 1 minute in length and sounded like someone being loudly sick. The majority of my ear-space was taken up by bands such as Extreme Noise Terror, Napalm Death, Heresy, Chaos UK, and Amebix amongst others. On this solo cut Dave Phillips of Fear of God has sent me spiralling back to those cider and weed fuelled days with this relentless, grinding cacophony of great old school grindcore. There are elements of all the above mentioned bands here (especially Amebix) but what this made me think of more was that this is what Godflesh would have sounded like if Justin Broadrick had retained his love of speed when he left Napalm Death. Fast, short, crusty, noisy, industrial, grind…something for everyone!

(Wonderful Wooden Reasons)