Music: an expression of humanity, escape, a soundtrack to life, deep passion….
I think we can all agree that metalcore has gone as far as it can. But I was interested in giving Phinehas’ Red Chord Records full-length debut, The God Machine, a spin. There has been a lot of hype around this band and comparisons to Haste the Day got me interested. Maybe a band could still make a metalcore record worth caring about.
Phinehas is a cross between Darkest Hour and Haste the Day. There is some killer guitar work on The God Machine and the solos add a nice touch. A couple of catchy hooks here and there, but overall I don’t really understand the hype. There’s nothing that stands to me to make this record anything special.
The Speaking Stone is a cresendoing intro that jumps into Bad Blood. Bad Blood avoids having a clean vocal chorus structure and the arrangement is a little more interesting then what most of the metalcore genre is offering but it’s still a verse-chorus-verse song structure, with some chug chug wee thrown in for good measure. A solid guitar solo instead of a breakdown bridge. A solid song but just nothing that grabs my attention. A Pattern in Pain is clean vocal city. While some of the guitar riffs are interesting and the hook is a pretty catchy melody, a found myself hoping for something more.
Tracks like I Am Lion, From One End of the Sky to The Other, My Horses Are Many, and Grace Disguised By Darkness are all solid tracks. Crowns is probably my favorite song on the album. The guitar riff instantly catches my attention and draws me in. But songs like Legacy, a short, minimal piano instrumental track, The Wishing Well, Pendulum, and That I May Love You, all take away from the album for me. I understand being diverse but it creates to extremes.
Phinehas isn’t the worst band I’ve heard and there are enjoyable songs on The God Machine. But with all the hype I was really hoping for something special, something that would jump out and grab my attention and I didn’t hear that on the God Machine.