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Till The End
By: Scott Turney
Phinehas is now a four piece band from California and their new album ‘Till The End’ is their first on Artery Recordings. Even with a loss of a member, the album continues what Phinehas is known for. High energy songs with tons of guitar solos, catchy choruses and tiptoes between religious and horror filled lyrics. The album bursts right out of the gates with “Dead Choir”. New guitarist Daniel Gailey’s opening riffs are one of the best from a Phinehas song to date. Vocalist Sean McCulloch’s improved vocal range and powerful lyrics like “How can you love a God you cannot see, when you hate your fellow man standing in front of me”? in “Dead Choir” that gives the listener a great idea of how the rest of the album will be.
Lyrically this album is very visual, which really paints a grand scene for the listener. The listener feels as if they were right in the story each song tells. This is very evident on the second song “White Livered” when Sean begins with “I trusted you with my life, and you made it my hell!” Which talks about being deceived. The third song “Truth Be Told” tells a story of Sean McCulloch’s parents growing up and the violence they had to endure and how they overcame it all. The rest of the album continues to tell multiple visual stories, but the most heartfelt song belongs to “Seven”. “Seven” is a seven minute long song about a close friend of the band members who was mute for seven years. The song starts with clean vocals and a slower pace that culminates into a hard hitting song just as Sean sings “Seven years without a voice. Seven months away from my side. Seven spirals into the void, but it ends now, IT ENDS TONIGHT! The song makes the listener feel as if he or she were the one who was mute for all that time, and in the end finally breaks through and is able to speak and have their voice heard.
On the song “Coup De Grace” Phinehas incorporates a very southern, groovy metal style that they have shown to do on previous records. The song also includes one of the best, most unique guitar solos in the entire album. Another interesting song on the album is “Evening Grey and Morning Red”, the eleventh song on ‘Till The End’ which is entirely sung with clean vocals. This is pleasant to hear from a band who mostly screams and growls. Phinehas has improved greatly over their last few albums. Guitarist Daniel Gailey, and bassist Bryce Kelly have outdone themselves making catchy riffs and breakdowns along with impressive melodic solos throughout the album. Drummer Lee Humerian who also does backing vocals, matches perfectly with the rest of the band switching from a steady to thunderous style of playing.
The album does have one minor flaw however and it’s songs “Non”, “Omnis” and “Moriar” Each song is just over a minute long and features very slow guitar playing with almost inaudible speaking. The only way the listener would know what they are saying is if they had a lyric book handy. These songs kill the entire mood of ‘Till The End’. The album grinds to a halt only to try to pick up where it left off once these songs finally end. If Phinehas took those three songs out, ‘Till The End’ would be a non-stop high energy album deserving of five stars. However since the album is full of immense guitar solos, memorable choruses and amazing lyrics ‘Till The End’ still gets four out of five stars.
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: “White livered”