Phinehas, do I really have to introduce them? I can’t imagine that there is someone out there, who is into metalcore, that hasn’t heard of them. But just in case I will give a short history of the band.
Phinehas is a Christian metalcore band from Los Angeles, California. Phinehas was formed with a simple purpose: to be a band of Christians that brings the hope of Jesus to the hopeless and rejected. They were formed in 2001. “Till The End” is their third studio album, they also released two ep’s. The first EP which was self-titled was recorded in 2009, this album was independently released. During their first two studio albums they were signed to Redcord Records which is now dissolved into Victory Records. In early 2013 the EP “Bridge Between” was realeased, containing updated versions of their self-titled EP and also acoustic interpretations of songs from “Thegodmachine”. Currently they are signed to Artery Recordings.
Now for the actual album; Starting off with ‘Dead Choir’ that has that instant ‘As I Lay Dying’ feel to it. Complex, yet melodic, guitar solo’s and with a catchy clean chorus. So we are off to a good start, this is what modern metalcore should sound like. ‘White Livered’ is a more aggressive song that has a thrashy feel to it from time to time.‘Truth Be Told’ has some interesting tempo changes, especially in the bridge where we, again, also hear a beautiful solo. Who says that there are no guitar solo’s in metalcore?? Those people obviously have never heard Phinehas….
And then there is ‘Non’…. One of the first songs which is actualy not a song. There are three of this interludes on this album. We can argue if it is necessary to put this on an album. I know people who like the quiet moments on an album but at the same time I also know some people who are very irritated by it. You think that you buy an album with thirteen songs but instead of that you get an album with ten songs and three, for some, useless interludes. But then again, if it fits the song then I am not bothered by it.
The song ‘Tetelestai’ is again interresting. Off course we hear all the obligated metalcore elements but again with a twist. They keep finding ways to keep it fresh. This also goes for ‘Coup de Grâce’ where they have put in some southern rock elements that blend together with their unique core sound very well. As a matter of fact, we hear that in more of their songs. Followed by the second interlude ‘Omnis’.
Ninth song ‘Seven’ begins as a ballad where they proof that the clean vocals don’t always have to sound like a boyband. As the song progresses it builds up slowly and makes you curious what is about to come. At about two third of the song it comes to a climax, heavy breakdowns that make you jump out off your chair. Amazing tight drum work and with sensitive guitar strum underneath it all. Can’t say I have heard that before…
‘ Iliaster (More Than Skin)’ is a nice uptempo song, I can say: with all the mandatory core-elements. ‘Evening Grey and Morning Red’ also begins ballad-like where you feel instantly that there is more to come…. But is there? At the end of the song you realize that this was an actual ballad followed by the third interlude ‘Moriar’.
Well, if you aren’t relaxed by now, ‘Till The End’ also starts acoustic untill Sean screams “till the end!!!!” Wow!, what a worthy closure of an excellent album. Breakdowns, riffs, solo’s and catchy choruses all over the place!
All in all a worthy debut at Artery Recordings and a good follow-up of “Last Word Is Yours To Speak” which I also find a very good album. I feel that this album is again a step forward and it makes me wonder if there is an end to their creativity. If you manage to create your own sound like Phinehas does, I recon that you are one of the grandmasters of metalcore. I don’t say that it is groundbreaking new, but it is done in such way that it deserves our respect.
Written by: René Woning
1. Dead Choir
2. White Livered
3. Truth Be Told
5. Forever West
7. Coup de Grâce
10. Iliaster (More Than Skin)
11. Evening Grey and Morning Red
13. Till The End
Sean McCulloch – Vocals
Daniel Gailey – Guitar
Bryce Kelley – Bass
Lee Humerian – Drums
“Against the World” (2003)
“The Phinehas” EP (2009)
“Thegodmachine” (2011) [review]
“The Bridge Between” EP (2013) [review]
“The Last Word Is Yours To Speak” (2013) [review]
Record label: Artery Recordings, July 2015
Video for ‘White Livered’
Video for ‘Till The End’