Phinehas - The Fire Itself

Band: Phinehas

Album: The Fire Itself

Genre: Metalcore

Label: Solid State

Location: Los Angeles, CA

FFO: For Today, Oh Sleeper, Silent Planet

One of my favorite metalcore bands- nay, one of my favorite bands in general is finally back with their long anticipated 5th record, The Fire Itself. I've been a fan since TLWIYTS, one of my favorite albums. I fell in love with their heavy yet melodic blend of riffs combined with the very powerful and relatable lyrics. They have, for the most part, always remained very consistent with great music since the beginning, however I wasn't the biggest fan of their previous record. It has solid writing, and I actually really enjoy the songs. My main issue with it though is the production. It doesn't feel nearly as full and hard hitting as much as previous albums. The instruments felt restricted no matter how heavy they wanted to be. It was a strange setback. If it's not obvious enough though, on this new one, Phinehas is getting back to what I knew and love production wise. It’s dirty and aggressive. A production that truly packs an insane punch without holding back any of that ‘oomph’.

The instrumentation across this album front to back is too many words to describe. Groovy, heavy, captivating, snappy, and memorable to name a few. The guitar work being one of the biggest highlights. The riffs are absolutely insane and the solos are creative as always. The crunchy rhythm tone mixed with the cleaner lead is a very satisfying combination, and it’s always mixed so well. The drumming manages to keep up with the pace by throwing in noticeable fills that constantly have an impact. Along with random bursts of blast beats to speed things up and throw you for a loop. Probably some of the best drumming I’ve heard from Phinehas.

Although I usually enjoy the guitar the most with bands, my favorite aspect is as it always has been with Phinehas, and that's Sean. Sean's voice, screaming, singing, and his lyrics are outstanding. It's rare to have a frontman with this amount of passion and mindfulness behind his words that is easily discerned through the music. At least, words that I personally resonate with and love. His singing specifically has such character and melody to it.

The lyrics across this album are getting back to a theme I really love out of them. Motivating and empowering with an emotional foundation that can be felt. The title track for example is about taking hold of who you are. Unlocking your true potential. And most of all embracing everything that makes you, the bad, the good, and what you want to be. That's the way I interpret becoming the "fire". You are the fire itself that burns inside you, not just the shell housing it. Embrace it, become it.

A great word to describe this album is “Alive”. There’s so much movement and dynamics within the mix especially on the guitar side of things. As simple as it is at times, I still find multiple listens necessary to truly appreciate all of the switchups and turns they take not just from section to section, but within the verses. This LP no doubt deserves to be up there with my favorite from them.

Phinehas are absolute metalcore legends. It's what they do best to no fault, and their talent speaks to that. I can’t say I have anything bad to say about The Fire itself. Some may not find anything special about it because it’s straightforward metalcore. There’s no synths, electronic beats, or weird sound experimentation. What you hear is what you get and sometimes that’s exactly what I need. Phinehas is one of the last suppliers of it, and I’m taking all I can have.

Rating: 9.5/10

Strongest Song: The Fire Itself, Thorns, Dream Thief, The Storm In Me, In The Night


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