After being founded in 2006 and achieving initial success in 2008, Phi have since then recorded their critically acclaimed album Years Of Breathing (2013, see review) and consequently toured the stages of their homeland Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Hungary. Phi is a trio consisting of Markus Bratusa (vocals, guitar), Arthur Darnhofer-Demar (bass guitar, vocals) and Gabe Cresnar (drums). Their music is a mixture of sheer power and deep emotion.
Now Phi have been signed by the German Gentle Art Of Music label, and recently they released their brand new concept album called Now The Waves Of Sound Remain. The voice of Bratusa reminds me of Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) while the music of Phi features influences from Porcupine Tree, Tool, Bush and even Rush at certain points. My absolute highlights of the album are Welcome Tomorrow and the epic title track which lasts over ten minutes. However, the rest of the album doesn't reach the same high musical level of these tracks. That's a pity, but it also means that Phi can still grow in their musical development. Now The Waves Of Sound Remain is a good progressive rock album, but maybe its compositions are just a bit too much on the safe side as many musical ideas of the band are already too well-known or even sound a bit familiar. Phi is definitely not a band that you should ignore as the musical future of these Austrians looks very promising.
***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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