Phinehas – “The Last Word Is Yours To Speak”


phinehas-thelastwordisyourstospeak“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” – Martin Luther. Music has the ability to reach into our souls and hearts, and many of our experiences can be relayed back to music. We all have a favorite song, a certain rythem or beat we come back to time and time again. I think some of the best music out there is music that is able to take you on a journey. So lets begin our journey with the latest offering from Phinehas entitled, “The Last Word Is Yours To Speak”. Now before we climb into the album, let me refresh you with some small amounts of info about Phinehas just to better set the platform of the review.

“Phinehas was formed with a simple purpose: to be a band of Christians that brings the hope of Jesus to the hopeless and rejected.” – Facebook biography.  Listening to that last song on this release, ”WWII” for me just strengthens the conviction of those words to start with anyways. Red Cord Records once again have been able to release this album, and certainly its a strong release by all accounts.

“According to the Hebrew Bible, Phinehas or Phineas (/ˈfɪniəs/; Hebrew: פִּינְחָס, Modern Pinəḥas Tiberian Pinchas) was a High Priest of Israel during The Exodus, the grandson of Aaron, and son of Eleazar the High Priest (Exodus 6:25), who distinguished himself as a youth at Shittim by his zeal against the Heresy of Peor: the immorality with which the Moabites and Midianites had successfully tempted the people (Numbers 25:1-9) to worship Baal-peor where Phineas personally executed an Israelite man and a Midianite woman while they were together in the man’s tent, running a spear or lance through the man and the belly of the woman ending a plague said to have been sent by God to punish the Israelites for sexually intermingling with the Midianites. Phineas is commended for having stopped Israel’s fall to idolatrous practices brought in by Midianite women, as well as for stopping the desecration of God’s sanctuary. He is commemorated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church on September 2.” – Wikipedia.

Now for many who have read my reviews, might be aware already that I am not a metal-core fan, but every once in a while a band is able to challenge that boxed shaped thinking I have over the genre, and shatter open a door of hope. So from the bat if you out for technical metal-core with elements of thrash scrounge no further. This band convinces a middle aged coot like myself that maybe Metal-core is not at its end journey.

Its an exciting and energy filled release, and packs a solid punch with riff frenzy songs like the opening track, “Flesh Killer”, which has a killer video by the way; and these guys manage to make the sound their own, without falling into the metal-core cliche’s that are out there by the truck load.

From a technical perspective their is no boxing in the sound, they have crafted a distinctive sound that is only Phinehas. In my books that is quite a leap from the usual boring and overdone guitar juggs, screams etc that are usually a mainstay of Metal-core.

Look this is not to say the album is without its faults or cliche’s its just not as evident and the way they do it, does not leave you wanting to push the skip button. I mean they do mostly keep to the metal-core formula to a large degree with the standard riff-clean chorus-breakdown-repeat pattern, but they add their on flare to the concept. The guitars are really good, and the technical bits certainly are highlights, and a strength in the quality and drive of the album, they mix up some great melodies without making it come across like a pop What I am saying then, is that there is a good balance of melody verses solid driving metal-core, and thank goodness they have stayed away from electronics, its just raw power baby!. They clearly know how to put a song together, and the riffs are great, and the melodies are catchy without being flowery. What I like about this album is that there is variety on here, each song in a way takes on a different characteristic of the band, and solidifies the talent of the band, and in total showcases a unit of members that seems to gel adequately with one another.

Is this better than their last album, yes and no. Its at-least not 100% a step sideways I think from their last effort. A problem that I have with the over-bloated metal-core genre is that the music is repetitive and often boring, mainly I feel due to the fact that there are hundreds of bands doing this, though kudu’s to many of the Christian metal-core bands that have solidified the scene as a household name in many aspects. I think many of the Christian metal-core bands are some of the best bands of the genre by far, and ones got to show respect for that. I think this album has more melody than the last, that gives it some upgraded class and quality, but even though I have sounded praises on the release, and it might seem all sugar sweet there are a few songs that swings the ‘like’‘ gauge into the mediocre or moderate range sounding more like fillers in comparison to the stronger numbers.

In conclusion you have hooked based metal-core that has a progressive technical aspect to it. Songs like “Twisted” and “Manipulator’s Wire”, deliver strong and sure and with energy filled riffs and abounding energy. I good song takes you on a journey, a great album grabs your heart. There are some songs on here that are good for a journey, whilst overall the album will certainly capture some hearts. This is such a diverse metal-core album and you will even find a kind of ballad on here, “ The Blessing and the Curse”, a song with some great technical guitar playing; this is one of their more melodic outpourings and certainly a favorite of mine. I think its in this form that their ability really begins to shine best, and separates them from the pack. It really works well for them, and the passion shines forth with great energy and honesty. There are also some progressive influences, some post-hard-core all mashed together on here, which is not you standerd metal-core band approach, and what makes this album stand out from the rest even though there are some bits in the album that tend to run the same game-play as many other metal-core bands, as previouisly discussed earlier in the review, is that it has its own idenity as a whole. Something that is not easly achieved in an over bloated genre.

I think this is a fun release, an enjoyable take on what metal-core bands should inspire to be. So overall a good release that should never warrant the collecting of dust on the shelf. I really enjoy the last song “WWII”, as it ends the album on a strong note, and clearly defines their identity,position and relationship in Christ, and over all a passionate song, that is honest and real. I listen to this song a lot, really A LOT!!!.

“If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.” – Gustav Mahler

Phinehas have my respect.

Written by Donovan de Necker

Rating: 7.5/10

1 Throes
2 Fleshkiller
3 The Deepest of Graves
4 Blood on My Knuckles
5 Twisted
6 De El Quatro
7 Out of the Dust
8 The Blessing and the Curse
9 Dyson Sphere
10 Manipulator’s Wire
11 Salting the Mine
12 From a Burning Sun

Band members:
Sean McCulloch – vocals
Jason Combs – guitar
Dusty Saunders – guitar
Ryan Estrada – bass
Lee Humerian – drums

Rebel (2002)
Against the World (2003)
The Phinehas – EP (2009)
Thegodmachine (2011) [review]
The Bridge Between EP (2013) [review]

Record Label: Red Cord Records, July 2013

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Myspace / Twitter

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission
USA: Metal Helm

Video below “Fleshkiller”

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