On November 17th, La Mirada, California’s own Phinehas will be releasing their concept album entitled “Dark Flag” via Solid State Records. It is highly emotive, yet there is that light at the end of tunnel in the midst of the anguish that the album offers.
Phinehas is composed of Sean McCulloch on vocals/drums, Bryce Kelly on bass, and Daniel Gailey on guitars. They also have Isaiah Perez on drums when Phinehas is out on tour. Phinehas combines metalcore with elements of thrash and alternative rock in the music.
“Dark Flag” is a concept about about the atrocities that North Korea commits on a daily basis, the unspeakable horror that Kim Jong-Un puts his people through. For example, North Korea has the “three generation law” where if one gets convicted of a crime(which could be merely criticizing Kim Jong-Un), then children and grandchildren of the suspect also get punished for the crime. In the lyrics, Phinehas takes a historical and almost a documentary type of feel into the lyrical content and combine it with a blending of metalcore breakdowns, blast beats of thrash music, and a melancholy feel in various guitar parts, which makes for quite interesting arrangements in the “Dark Flag” concept album.
“Dark Flag” starts off with the title track. The tempo changes are uncanny as Sean screams, “free will is a death sentence”. The song speaks of the dangers and the total lack of freedom that nationalism and mandatory patriotism are dangerous ideals for people of any country to endure. I love the trade-offs in the screams and growls that are traded off in the vocals of Phinehas. The breakdown is arm-flailing, karate kicking in the air inducing while there are elements of djent in the music. “Burning Bright” continues to bring about the brutality for Phinehas along with incorporating the harmonics in the guitars. In the chorus, there is more of a melodic edge in the vocals while Phinehas maintains the integrity of making heavy music.
“The 38th Parallel” is a really interesting instrumental that provides for quite an interlude and a sense of stillness in the album, that moment of contemplation if you will. “A War That Never Ends” has a melancholic, mellowed out feel to the music that will take fans of Phinehas on a different direction, but it is a direction that their fanbase will surely appreciate.
“Dark Flag” by Phinehas is a unique and creative album that allows Phinehas to expand their creative boundaries, thereby allowing them to grow exponentially as musicians. It offers moments of contemplation and moments of hope in the midst of a dark and sobering offering that they have. Phinehas is here to remind Kim Jong-Un and the dictators of the world that judgment is coming for those that show no mercy or grace upon their people, it is a battlecry for the voiceless and Phinehas does an exemplary job of conveying that message. Phinehas has simply released their strongest effort to this date, as “Dark Flag” gets 8 out of 10 stars. Check out the track listing below.
- Dark Flag
- Burning Bright
- I Saw The Bombs Fall
- The 38th Parallel
- Hell Below
- A War That Never Ends
- Break The Earth
- My Rosary
- The Arduous March
- Communion For Ravens featuring Jimmy Ryan
- Meaningless Names
- Know Death, Know Forever
Check out Phinehas providing support for Fit For A King, In Hearts Wake, and Like Moths To Flames on the fall tour. Check out tour dates below!
Friday, November 17th at Hard Luck in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, November 18th at La Tulipe in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Sunday, November 19th- Palladium Upstairs in Worcester, Massachusetts
Monday, November 20th- Baltimore Soundstage in Baltimore, Maryland
Tuesday, November 21st- The Voltage Lounge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wednesday, November 22nd- Gramercy Theatre in New York, New York
Friday, November 24th- GameChangerWorld in Freehold, New Jersey
Saturday, November 25th- Canal Club in Richmond, Virginia
Sunday, November 26th- Arizona Pete’s in Greensboro, North Carolina
Monday, November 27th- Rocketown in Nashville, Tennessee
Tuesday, November 28th- Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia
Wednesday, November 29th- Backbooth in Orlando, Florida
Friday, December 1st- Scout Bar in Houston, Texas
Saturday, December 2nd- Paper Tiger in San Antonio, Texas
Monday, December 4th- Joe’s Grotto in Phoenix, Arizona
Tuesday, December 5th- Soma in San Diego, California
Wednesday, December 6th- Chain Reaction in Anaheim, California
Thursday, December 7th- The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, California
Friday, December 8th- Holy Diver in Sacramento, California
Saturday, December 9th- Hawthorne Theater in Portland, Oregon
Sunday, December 10th- Studio Seven in Seattle, Washington
Tuesday, December 12th- The Complex in Salt Lake City, Utah
Wednesday, December 13th- Marquis Theater in Denver, Colorado
Friday, December 15th- Bottleneck in Lawrence, Kansas
Saturday, December 16th- Trees in Dallas, Texas
For tickets and further information for any of the shows listed above, click here!
Check out the music video for “Break The Earth” below!
Find Phinehas at the following locations: