Phinehas – The Last Word is Yours to Speak

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When in a sub category of an semi-mainstream genre, it’s hard to get recognition even if you are a band with significant talent. Such is the case of California based christian metal band Phinehas. The term “metal” is used loosely, because they surely do not reflect direct influence from groups like Soilwork, nor do they associate with the catastrophies of scenecore like Asking Alexandria. Phinehas rides the thin line between straightforward metal and metalcore. They’ve been around for a while, and after their debut full length,Thegodmachine caught eyes and a momentum-inducing extended play ironically titled The Bridge Between, they hit just as hard as the first effort with The Last Word Is Yours To Speak.

Opening track couplet “Throes-Fleshkiller” fills the listener with adrenaline and serves as strong face level advertisement, with video support included. Each song showcases influence from the few and far between metal/metalcore cohorts of the deceased Haste the Day, August Burns Red, the renounced As I Lay Dying, with riff leads and breakdown rhythms that are mostly beneficial for live power. But for as much of a metal groundwork they showcase with satisfying riffs and some well-placed breakdowns, they construct soothing melodies in forms of verse, chorus, harmony, and full songs worth of ambient beauty (“De El Quatro”, “Dyson Sphere”). The musicianship of Phinehas is an effective combination of fantastic production and a variety of musical influences. They live up the clear vibe of positive christian metal that bands that are so rare to hear actually done well. Lyrics of unending hope and awe in their god are placed within the music and not too odd a contrast of brutality-purity, as neither trait makes themselves disgustingly evident.

Phinehas unfortunately plays into the hands of critics with a certain, though not complete lack of originality. The evident influence from aforementioned metal/metalcore bands is great and sometimes too overbearing yet subtle enough to keep the entire record enjoyable. Perhaps just a bit left in the shadow of those bands, but steadily progressing out into the sun of enlightenment and the next excellent record.

4.2/5

01. Throes
02. Fleshkiller
03. The Deepest Of Graves
04. Blood On My Knuckles
05. Twisted
06. De El Quatro
07. Out Of The Dust
08. The Blessing And The Curse
09. Dyson Sphere
10. Manipulator’s Wire
11. Salting The Mine
12. From A Burning Sun
13. WWII

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