Phi – Now The Waves Of Sound Remain – 2014

After being formed in 2006 and achieving first respectable successes in 2008, Phi have since released their critically acclaimed album “Years Of Breathing” and consequently toured the stages of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania and Lithuania. By means of their brand new album “Now The Waves Of Sound Remain”, the power trio now presents the fascinating result of the artistic vision that the band likes to call “double bottom”.

Markus Bratusa – vocals, guitars, programming; Arthur Darnhofer-Demár – bass, vocals; Gabe Cresnar – drums

The album opens with “Buy Your Piece Of Love” a four minute track in which the band are mixing slow art-rock parts with up-tempo rock refrains with heavy guitar walls. To be honest, this kind of music is not my cup of tea (too much rock orientated for me). In the second eight minute track “Welcome Tomorrow” the band has more time to build a song with more diversity. It is a piece with a slow brooding atmosphere and includes passionate vocals and interesting guitar sounds.

The next piece “Tune In Zone Out” has again an up-tempo opening. The guitar sound of the refrain has some Rush influences. “Maybe Sometime Else Then” is a very nice track in which all the elements of the music of Phi are coming nice together. For me so far the best track. “Revolution By Design” is again a short track in a rock vein, the drum parts of this composition are very nice. “Behind A Veil Of Snow” is full of strange guitar sounds. The short (under the three minutes) The “Liquid Hourglass” has some beautiful vocal harmonies and a surprisingly ending.

Then it is time for the title track of the album. With more then ten minutes “Now The Waves Of Sound Remain” is also the longest track of the album. The track opens with acoustic guitars and a nice vocal part. You can find a mix of melodic guitar solos and heavy and experimental rhythm guitar parts in this diverse composition. The band has now my full attention. For me this long track is the highlight of this album. Maybe because the track is the most art- and progressive rock orientated composition of this album. The last song is called “This Last Favour”. After a slow opening the song develops into a more guitar orientated piece of rock. Like in the most short tracks of the album the band is mixing parts of art-rock with heavy and up-tempo rock parts.

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this second album of the Austrian formation Phi. The album has two faces and the band is trying to mix those two faces in every song. Guitar orientated rock parts are mixed with parts that are more art- and progressive rock orientated. For me the long tracks of the album are the most interesting because they have more diversity (the more art- and progressive rock side of the music). But I am aware that this is about a personal taste of mine. “Now The Waves Of Sound Remain” is a good album of a bunch of talented guys. And also very important, the album sounds great. I would recommend this album to the people who are more into guitar orientated rock music and are open minded to a power trio that experiments with new art-rock elements in their music.