Phinehas is a metal core band from La Mirada (California, US) and they are signed to Red Cord Records. At the end of 2009 the band released an EP, titled ‘Phinehas’, and in July 2011 they released their first full-length album through Red Cord Records: ‘The Godmachine’.
It will not surprise you that you will come across a lot of metal core characteristics. Breakdowns, harmonized guitar riffs, double bass drumming, dropped guitar tunes and the alternation between screams and clean vocals: they are all there. All elements are thought-out built into the tracks, are well executed and the thirteen tracks hold more than enough diversity. The screams by vocalist Sean add a lot of aggression and rawness and the clean vocals, which never prevail, form a fine contrast with the rawness. The band adds a somewhat dirtier edge to their sound, which gives their music more emotion and feel. The lyrics are emotionally charged, Christ-centred and full of conviction. At moments the band reminds me of other acts: The chorus lines in e.g. ‘A Pattern In Pain’ (“Your blood was a bridge between us.”) may hold quite some similarities to a typical As I Lay Dying chorus and they are reminiscent to the now disbanded Haste The day. The latter is not surprising when you know that Haste The Day guitarist and co-writer Scott Whelan is the former guitarist for Phinehas, who has written a lot of Phinehas’ current songs. Sounds up till now as a pretty standard act, don’t they?
The difference with Phinehas is in the guitar riffs, which at times simply frolic through the tracks and ensure just that little touch of sophistication (‘Crowns’, ‘My Horses Are Many’), and the solos. Listen to the solo in ‘I Am The Lion’ or ‘ From One End Of The Sky To The Other’ and you’ll get the point. The guitar work is extremely well executed and the high standard of guitar playing gives their sound something fresh. Don’t get me wrong: despite the freshness, the band definitely draws influence from other metal core bands but with this guitar work the band rises itself above the grey mediocrity and shakes off the status of ‘interchangeable’.
‘The Godmachine’ proofs to be a highly enjoyable album, well composed and well executed by a talented band. I’m sure this album will give you enough moments where you’ll be astounded, in a pleasant way. Definitely worth checking out!
Written by Patrick
1. The God Machine: The Speaking Stone (01:24)
2. Bad blood (03:38)
3. A Pattern In Pain (05:18)
4. I Am The Lion (04:52)
5. From one end of the sky to the other (04:28)
6. Legacy (00:58)
7. Crowns (04:02)
8. The wishing well (04:31)
9. My horses are many (03:28)
10. Grace disguised by darkness (05:38)
11. Pendulum (02:54)
12. The God Machine: The Rider (06:36)
13. That I May Love You (01:52)
Sean McCulloch – vocals
Jason Combs – guitar
Dustin Saunders –guitar
Ryan Estrada – bass
Lee Humerian – drums
Record Label: Red Chord Records / 2011