Phinehas is perhaps the unsung hero of metalcore, as it stands. Their sound is something you haven't quite heard before (and don't even get me started on their lyrics - phenomenal stuff). When the band decide to take it down a notch and turn some of their strongest tracks into acoustic ballads, you can be certain it'll be destined for greatness.
Such is the case of the band's new EP, Fight Through The Night. The band took a selection of tracks from their 2015 LP Till The End and included some new acoustic instrumentals into the mix to freshen things up. The acoustic reimagining of some of these tracks is breathtaking - the spiraling acoustic guitars of 'Forever West' brings the EP to a strong start, the powerful harmonies building the song up to its climax. Perhaps it's a little overdone by the end, the harmonies overtaking the entire track, but the rest of the track is very well put together. 'Dead Choir' takes things down a notch, the groovy and moody acoustic guitars ringing sweetly behind the vocals. What's great about this version is that it's different in almost every way from the original, but still manages to maintain a core principles of the song. That's where acoustic versions shine.
Where acoustic versions shine more perhaps, is when they make the meaning of the strongest songs even more raw. That's what happens in 'Seven.' This song is a beast on the record, and the acoustic version is the same, but in a different way. The pianos ring beautifully below the dark harmonies, the desperation of the track becoming evermore haunting and raw. Lines like "An angel pushed me when I was pulling away / Despite my best attempts she decided to stay" and "My voice flies away further from my useless tongue" ring far more prominently and powerfully on this version from a pure emotion aspect. The studio version channels a different kind of desperation, and its perfect for that version. This version couldn't be better.
The new acoustic tracks are very solid, too. They really showcase the instrumental aspect of the band, opening track 'Cessation Of Breathing' showcasing spiraling and sweet guitar melodies. 'Selah' separates 'Seven' from the rest of the tracks, serving as a preparation for the emotional onslaught about to come. The final track 'Book Of Names' actually contains lyrics, half sung sweetly above the guitars and half spoken angrily like a Being As An Ocean track. It could have done without the spoken parts, but the song is nonetheless a solid closure to the record with its sweetly crooning background vocals.
Phinehas are beasts in both acoustic and in metal. Their offering of acoustic tracks in Fight Through The Night shows a rawer connection to the songs laced in anger, bringing their true depth to light. Phinehas can't go wrong.
Favorite Tracks: Seven, Dead Choir
Least Favorite Track: Book Of Names
Rating: 78 / 100
Buy or listen to Fight Through The Night here: