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Phase: “The Wait” – a muffled rage and a mellow sadness

Phase is a UK-based rock band formed in Larissa, Greece in 2003 and consisting of Thanos Grigoriou, Damianos Harharidis, Vasilis Liapis and Marios Papakostas . The band has been the subject of several alternative rock publications and has generally been well received by its critics. In 2010 they released the album “In Consequence” in which Duncan Patterson, better known for his work with the British rock band Anathema, took part.  In 2013 the released “Amethyst” and followed that up with the 10-track album “The Wait”.

the album cover

the album cover

“The Wait” is a slow burner. It displays a muffled rage and a mellow sadness that seeps under your skin without you knowing. This record will quietly bury itself into your psyche without you recognizing it. You are only aware of it if you pay attention. Phase brings their grungy, psychedelic, crush, groove, and stomp attack into high form here.

From start to finish, everything rocks hard and heavy or grooves mid-tempo with some cool and passionate acoustic/rocking rhythms. The album wastes no time hitting you in the face with pounding guitar riffs, heavy drumming, and the always enjoyable singing.  The atmospheric “Magical Thinking” is one of those detail oriented things that take a song from good to great. The verses are very smooth sounding in the delivery but the power of the vocals behind the simple riffs really sets the tone of the verses (and the song itself). The choruses then come swooping in out of nowhere and grabs your attention every time it appears. This is pretty much the successful pattern for most of the good songs here.

Thanos of PHASE

Thanos of PHASE

But part of the album’s key to success is variety, as there is plenty of song-to-song diversity and individual track identity present here, spread out over the course of these ten tracks. “The Wait” is also very noteworthy in that it contains absolutely no stinkers. The album explores its softer and more sensitive side, with “Remnants (of a Former Worry)” and “Reprise”. The album is also highlighted by single-worthy material such as “Wake Up Call” and “Point Of You”, which has some memorable guitar riffs, lyrics and choruses.

There are some serious, hard-rocking jams on this album that will get to your bones every time you listen to them. What I’ve noticed, and perhaps enjoyed, the most on “The Wait” is the band’s ability to make you feel comfortable with what you’re listening to, then change the feel mid to halfway through the song. “Homeseek Dark Blues” is an excellent example of progressions that move the listener through the song.

There’s lots of low end crunchiness, warped out guitars, harrowing sounds and moody lyrics to keep your blood pumping for forty minutes, then the rest is up to you. This album just continues the legacy of quality rock ‘n’ roll music, which rocks hard and also offers a lot of introspection. In a music scene littered with glossy rockers, it’s nice to hear some sludgy down and dirty rock. Listen to every part of each song: the vocals, the drums, the bass lines, and the haunting guitar riffs, to get the full effect.

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