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Phase Reverse - "Phase Reverse" (CD)

Phase Reverse - "Phase Reverse" CD cover image

"Phase Reverse" track listing:

1. Cross To Bear
2. I Got Your Back
3. Eye To Eye
4. Tear Down The Walls
5. Crash 'N Burn
6. Death Ride
7. Road Fever
8. Wide Awake
9. Changes
10. Who Gives A Damn
11. High Hopes
12. Long Gone

Reviewed by on December 26, 2011

"With a heavy, '70s-inspired sound that brings to mind everyone from Black Label Society to Soundgarden, Phase Reverse serves up a potent pot of metal on its self-titled debut."

With a heavy, '70s-inspired sound that brings to mind everyone from Black Label Society to Soundgarden, Phase Reverse serves up a potent pot of metal on its self-titled debut. Along with Anastasios Ioannidis' vocals, its just the three instruments that made metal — drums, bass and guitars — and nothing more, used to maximum effect.

Ioannidis, who handles bass and vocal duties has a deft hand for the fat strings, but it's his voice that impresses most. His vocals on tracks like "Cross To Bear" and "Eye To Eye" are reminiscent of greats like Paul Stanley and Chris Cornell. Meanwhile, on "Road Fever" and especially "Death Ride," he brings a growly lower tone that kind of reminds this reviewer of Gene Simmons.

Ax-slinger John Stergiou goes all Ace Frehley on "Road Fever," with a solo full of pyrotechnics. Mostly, though it's the heavy riffs that really define his playing on the album. Take, for example, the bluesy swagger that powers "Death Ride" in the chorus. His acoustic playing is also featured on "Crash 'N Burn," which could pass for an outtake from Soundgarden's "Down On The Upside."

Unfortunately, after coming in with a bang and sustaining the momentum most of the way, the disc ends with a bit of a sustained whimper. The acoustic "High Hopes" never really goes anywhere, and it's followed up by the 10-minute "Long Gone," which goes on too long and comes complete with a false fade-out and acoustic coda. Still, more than three-quarters of the album is excellent, and you don't see a whole lot of that these days.

Phase Reverse has created an excellent debut, packed with riffs and solos reminiscent of metal's founding decade. Sure, at over an hour long, it could — and should — have been trimmed back a bit, but until the last two tracks, the momentum doesn't let up.

Highs: "Cross To Bear," "Road Fever," "Crash 'N Burn" and "Eye To Eye"

Lows: The last two tracks, "High Hopes" and "Long Gone."

Bottom line: A potent brew of '70s-inspired metal.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)