Philm - Fire from the Evening Sun

Philm Fire from the Evening Sun cover
Philm
Fire from the Evening Sun
UDR Music
2014
4.5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Philm are a trio that have made somewhat of a name, because their drummer happens to be ex-Slayer’s skinsman Dave Lombardo.
 
Their first release “Harmonic” was anything but what it’s titled suggested, a godamn awful and extremely unlistenable effort and while “Fire from the Evening Sun” does manage to create a far more cohesive result, still, mixing up post-hardcore and psychedelic, jazzcore, post-metal and post-punk influences together, in a really messed up amalgam, it does manage this time to produce tracks that aren’t as much based on improvisation as previously and hence are more based around some main musical theme, that makes them easier to follow. The production remains decidedly lo-fi, as before, showing a really garage aesthetic – probably something like Metallica tried to do in “St. Anger”, but managed to do, even worse… and Lombardo’s partners in crime, bassist’s Pancho Tomaselli (War) and singer/guitarist’s Gerry Nestler (Civil Defiance), performances in the case of the former can be considered adequate, but in the former of the latter, his guitar playing is as plain as the style calls for and his vocals are weak, even for the style – even if for some reason, it doesn’t feel like they aren’t a-typical of what, a random vocalist’s from the genre would/could have been.
 
“Fire from the Evening Sun” feels like a “bad trip” like music from a manic depressive mind, with percussion particularly pronounced and like something, that unless Lombardo was involved, it would have a much more limited appeal. But seemingly ever since people like Mike Patton and the likes of him, decided to do “left-field” albums, the fact that they formerly used to be well known, in other bands, tends to lend some appeal to the bands they play in. Without the name dropping, it’s unlikely, that but a few, would find the music of Philm appealing... but seemingly, the fact that Lombardo is involved, makes some people, to subconsciously feel the need to support, the effort, no matter, how different to their tastes it might be, just because they have a blind sense of obedience and fan-boy like passion, that won’t allow them to admit that their favorite musicians might also make bad choices or bad albums.
 
“Train” has a syncopated rhythm, that sounds very much like a...y ou guessed it… “a train” and it’s a thrashy, raunchy rock n punk number that opens the album in a rather unorthodox way.
 
“Fire from the Evening Sun” is a lot more psychotic and cuckoo... like a stoned jam between Slayer and FNM on crack… sounds like a ton of fun right? And that’s not FNM on “Epic”…
 
“Lady of the Lake” is like eastern, but drug addled... while “Lion Pit” maintains an air of mystery but loses on speed and gets more freakish...
 
“Silver Queen” is a bit like some bad trip where the ghost of Not Jim Morrison, is not making contact with this side. It’s not quite The Doors… or anything, which “We Sail at Dawn” is a bit more, like… but still not quite…
 
“Omniscience” continues to explore the psychedelic, with the bad trip climaxing with screams and howling furies… going on…
 
“Fanboy” sounds like bad surf on speed/cocaine… while “Luxhaven” sounds like the trippy little brother of it, hallucinating with even an attempt at a solo, ending up like a bunch of collated riffs... really messed up...
 
“Blue Dragon” is quite more interesting as it mixes some interesting rhythms and some cool chords and sweet vocals with some pretty intense moments… actually it’s one of the few tracks I managed to “like” a bit...
 
“Turn in the Sky” is a much longer and far too relaxed number – by the standards of the band and the album – that soothes out things just in time for the final track, the also soft, unusual and completely different, from anything else on the album “Corner Girl” which sounds very much like a sound-track piece... a lot more bittersweet, a lot more normal in its style and compositional structure conforming to the verse chorus standards.
 
In the case of Philm... while, one has got to applaud the guts of Lombardo to play in a band that keeps him, outside his comfort-zone and dares to be original, but on the other hand, one does not necessarily have to like it. He’s mostly thrived in Thrash bands (Slayer, Grip Inc etc ) and not in projects like this...
 
His musical ability is not questionable, just his decision to involve himself in a project such as this and to try and market it to a crowd that will mostly consist of ex-slayer fans. Obviously because some people only buy – based on what they see on the “cover” or the sticker, the name-dropping alone, will suffice, even if this were a trance album. But in reality, while Philm might have few interesting moments to offer to an old school fan, their second album has a few more points of merit than their debut as a whole. Not entirely dismissible, but I doubt if people would make any fuss about them unless Lombardo was involved. Only for freaks, that feel like they need to follow up every project that every musician has done, outside of their main band ever, or if you find it for a couple of bucks...
 
Now let’s see if anyone could put Lombardo’s talents to better use...

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