Originally posted on Instagram on October 17, 2021
Album recommendation: ‘The Fire Itself’ by Phinehas
This album couldn’t have come at a better time. Though Phinehas has been around for 10+ years, I only got into them back in February. They quickly became a favorite of mine. When I saw the announcement about their new album a little while later I was beyond excited. And let me tell you, ‘The Fire Itself’ lives up to the hype.
Based out of Los Angeles, California, Phinehas dropped ‘TFI’ on August 27, 2021 through Solid State Records, one of my favorite labels. From start to finish their fifth album is all killer, no filler. The production is crisp, allowing you to hear every note played. With powerful vocals, melodic riffs, blazing solos, and galloping breakdowns, each song feels like it could be a stand-alone single.
Vocalist Sean McCulloch is a beast. His hearty screams carry so much weight and his cleans are perfectly tinged with angst. Daniel Gailey’s guitar work is nothing short of incredible. His riffs are fun and catchy and his solos are so tasteful. Bassist Bryce Kelley doesn’t quite get the attention he deserves, but the mark of an excellent bassist is being ok with that. So great job, Bryce! The addition of drummer Isaiah Perez to the band was perfect. His playing is tight and solid.*
Like always, why I really love this album is because of the message. Phinehas writes some of the coolest lyrics. I purchased the digital deluxe version and had the pleasure of reading about the thought processes behind each song. As a whole, the album centers around the theme of self-discovery and finding your “true name,” AKA “the fire itself.” This theme burns in every track, from dealing with the fear of vulnerability in “Eternally Apart” to feeling like a hopeless failure in “Dream Thief.” My favorite lyrics are in “Defining Moments” which was written by McCullock to his son. However, the album isn’t negative or depressing. Rather, I found it uplifting, encouraging me to fight through the hard times and be my best self.
I’m so glad I was able to dig into this album more. If you haven’t already, please go give ‘The Fire Itself’ a listen. The guys in this band are legit and 100% worth your support.
*Fun fact, @isaiaheperez also plays drums for Love & Death, who I wrote about earlier this year, and also for the new Starset record which comes out in less than a month. Super talented!