Album Review: Phase Reverse – Phase Reverse
Band: Phase Reverse (Greece)
Album: Phase Reverse (2011)
Genre: Hard Rock / Metal
These guys are good! Phase Reverse. I had never heard of these guys before, but I’m glad I did now, despite that they are ”not quite Metal, not quite Rock, but the best of both”. I guess that’ll depend on your point of reference. If you look back in music history and think about bands like Sabbath, this will definitely fall within your definition of Metal. If by Metal the first think you think of is gutturals, it won’t. In any case that band itself says ”our music is just Rock… Heavy Rock”.
In the end I don’t care much, this stuff has struck a chord in me and that’s all that matters. Out of Athens, Greece, these three boys don’t come from where their music would make you expect them to be from. That’s because they have intertwined their Retal / Mock with a thick, juicy, Bourbon-lovin’ Southern influence. How that becomes apparent? Well, music-technically I have no fuckin’ idea. It’s just an atmosphere they breathe and a feeling you get as a listener.
Phase Reverse, as said, is a three-piece, consisting of John (guitars), Alex (drums) and Tas (bass, vocals) that first came together in October of 2007. Apparently, John was the element that Alex and Tas had been missing for a long time. I have no idea about that, what they write about themselves is accurate, they are ”a power trio… the flesh and bones of a rock band… their songs… the music and the lyrics… energy and passion, dynamic phonetic interpretations, explosive riffs, grooves that make you drift, sometimes heavily and other times with aggressive disposal”. I don’t think I could put that into words any better.
The opening song, Cross to Bear, kicks the door straight in with some heavy, low-as-fuck riffing. And there’s a bridge / solo section that gives me big fuckin’ kicks. Compared to the Metal I’m used to, this material is somewhat straightforward. No focus on speed, or spreading the fingers of the left hand as far as possible. Instead, there is a humongous focus on making things groove. Perhaps that’s what gives it this Southern air? In any case it works with the big brutal steadiness of a lazy V8 engine. One of the prettiest sounds you can get.
Vocals are more like howls. There is a similarity to Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell at certain moments, with Tas pulling in the same sort of rawness, rasp and pitch. At calmer moments it’s just calm clean singing that’ll grow up to a louder, open shout. No growls or screams whatsoever. But no worries, you won’t miss them for a moment.
In track three, Eye to Eye, Phase Reverse inclines quite far towards Black Label Society / Ozzy Osbourne type stuff. Vocals turn cleaner, but deliciously simple and straightforward without frails or bullshit, and the guitar play is definitely resembling that of Zakk Wylde. With bombastic fills, plenty of slides and lots of groove enriched riffage. And then there’s a solo that shreds!
Track five, titled Crash ‘n’ Burn, is the almost mandatory Cowboy-Rock-type ballad. It has that distinctive away-from-home-and-missing it feel to it. A certain sadness or loneliness. In another place in another mood, this would probably have the power to make me cry.
The album’s closing song is called Long Gone and is also, by far, the longest song on the record, with over ten minutes in duration. That’s not all music though, as after four odd minutes of what seems like a normal-length song, silence reigns. Then, at the 5:35 marker music starts again and the albums receives its true outro, an acoustic medley of several minutes.
With nearly an hour and ten minutes, Phase Reverse is a long album and good value for money. One thing is strange though, the fact that track eight and ten are exactly the same, except for their title. Probably this is a promo pack issue, but in all honesty I don’t know how it is on the actual album.
If you’re a bit of a solid Rock fan, this album was rightfully brought to your attention and you definitely check it out further. Phase Reverse, from Athens, lay down an album that I could’ve sworn was American, from the Southern states. It has that typical atmosphere and it’s rich, heartfelt, groovy, heavy. It’s just a rare piece of quality!
My Grade: 8.5/10
Buy this when:
- you’ll listen to a piece of solid Rock on occasion
- you’re into that Southern Rock / Metal heartfelt, groove-rich, awesome vibe