Review: Phase Reverse – 'Phase III: Youniverse'

New Years’ resolutions are shit really, the bells chime and it’s all “This year I’m going to…yadda yadda.. “. A week later, the gym membership is gathering dust and the chocolate is still being consumed by the shitload, and you still want to kill everyone on the dreaded school run… point being, no bugger keeps them. One resolution that we should all keep is to listen to loads more new music… that’s an easy one to keep. If you like your Metal/Rock on the Stoner side or ‘Psychic Warfare’ from Clutch was on your top ten albums of 2015, then you could do worse than check out Phase Reverse from Athens, Greece… not the Athens that spawned REM. To be fair though, the sound that Phase Reverse make could be right out of America’s Southern states, sludgy and skull-crushingly groovy, these could be the guys that you were looking for.

Having already supported acts such as COC, Red Fang and Orange Goblin, Phase Reverse have gained a great deal of experience on the road, and are looking to make that leap to become more recognisable within the Metal fraternity. This is an album born for the sweaty Rock clubs up and down the country (or any country, for that matter), wherever a crowd gathers that likes to get their groove on.

The album kicks off with ‘Downfall’, which you can catch the video above. A strumming acoustic guitar intro gives way to slamming drums and some infectious grooves from the guitarist simply known as Chief. Vocalist Takis Mark has a deep, low voice that impresses from the off, and the six minute behemoth does entice you in to check out what’s on offer. ‘Theory Of Strain’,  ‘Milgram’ and ‘Keep My Motor Running’ all showcase the tightness of the rhythm section of Kostas Dragon-K and Alex on bass and drums respectively. The songs are heavy, but have enough hooks to land Moby Dick, and are catchy enough that you might very well be still humming them some time later. Involuntary head bobbing will commence throughout the album, you have been warned.`Youniverse’ just totally slams with some Scott Ian and Dimebag inspired riffing from Chief… could be Mr Chief, could be The Chief, but for now its like Prince or Madonna… simply Chief. I particularly like the gentle mid-song strumming before the shredding begins.

‘Moiroloi’ features what sounds like traditional Greek music, not sure what the instrument is but it’s as trippy as hell. This gives way to the Pantera inspired ‘Acheron’s Deep’, which could have been spawned during the Great Southern Trendkill era,’Thrill Of It All’ has a real slow, dirty groove that features some sweet vocals from Takis Mark (I’d describe them as ‘dope’, but I’m old, and that would just be wrong). Strippers looking to move on from ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ could adopt this one.’Whistle Pig’ kicks off with some mouth harp before a whistle sounds and the band crash in. Here comes the involuntary head bobbing again! The real highlight of the album however is ‘Time Reverses Time’.  Echoes of the classic Sabbath track ‘Planet Caravan’ on the intro, very chilled out until the three minute mark, where the band kicks out with some beefed up thrashing, before gently fading back out again…. classy song.

This is an unexpected aural delight of an album. The quality very rarely dips, and if it does, it’s not for long. These are four Greeks bearing gifts that you don’t need to be wary of… sorry couldn’t resist.

‘Phase III – Youniverse’ is out now.

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Review By Dave Stott

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