Phaze 1

Phaze 1

Written by: PP on 11/06/2006 12:27:11

Phaze 1 is an ambitious project by the Soilwork drummer Dirk Verbeuren and the brothers David and Franck potvin of Lyzanxia fame, attempting to reach the more epic boundaries of apocalyptic extreme metal rather than meaningless double pedal bashing and noisecore oriented guitar pounding these kind of releases usually consist of.

Instead, the band relies on pre-programmed synths providing a holistic atmosphere that sounds like a dry sand-storm sweeping through your ears. The machine-like drumming is far more original and interesting to what you usually hear on as maniacally paced recordings as this, but Dirk being a member of Soilwork, you'd expect him to influence the band's sound positively, and not without a reason is his drumming nothing but dominating on the album. The drum passages are machinic and unforgiving, leaving little space for the listener to breathe in between them and the frenzy chord-oriented guitar damage.

This relates to one of the bigger problems the album possesses: Before you notice, you'll have reached song five and you'll still be hearing the same synth-effects as on the first track. In fact, the synth-element is so strangely incorporated that it almost sounds like Tarja Turunen from Nightwish is adding some 'oh-oh-ohs' into the majestic environment surrounded by Franck's commanding screams.

The songs are relatively long, instantly requiring one to spend hours and hours with the album before having the slightest agreement with the terms the album lays out on the opening track "New Archetypes". It is only after several consequtive active listening sessions you start to distinguish the songs from another, although "Screams Of Dying Dogs" stands out immediately because of its memorable structure.

Overall, the album has a very machinic, Middle-Eastern industrial feel to it. This is something I could have on my iPod while walking in the endless Kuwaiti deserts during a devastating, 40-degree hot sunny day. However, the length and similarity of the songs causes my interest to quickly evade, and consistent active listening to the album is a burden too big to bear for most people.


Download: Screams Of Dying Dogs
For the fans of: Scarve, Lyzanxia

Release date 22.05.2006
Scarlet Records

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