I believe that Illinois and Oregon are in competition to see who can produce the most heavy metal bands. You can just shake a tree in either place and a new band falls out. They seem to be popping up like wildfire lately. That being said Phase Order is from Illinois and they are among a vast group of metal bands in the area that play sludge. Joining the sludge army, Phase Order released this demo that is a riff first ask questions later type of approach.
With their demo here you get three songs that are simply armed to the teeth with fuzzy riffs. The opener “Offering” and the closing song “Red Flux” are the longest songs on the demo and sandwiched between those two is “Goathouse” which is a faster more ripping two minute track. The other two songs are instrumentals whereas “Goathouse” you get to experience the vocalist yelling at you in his gravely tones.
“Offering” brings at certain points a doom vibe to the table. In areas the riffs slow down and let the buzzing do the talking, while in other areas the riffs are faster, crunchy and groovy. With the song as long as it is Phase Order have the room to experiment and play with different styles to go along with the fuzzed out sludge. It’s not that you get to hear that tiny bit of doom all the time it just so happens to inject itself in there.
The same thing can be said for the closer “Red Flux”. There are some doom elements, but for the most part the thick fuzz lined riffs of the sludge world are what are at the forefront of the music. And since both songs are instrumentals there has to be a little something extra to incorporate into the song to keep it interesting. Where that incorporation is, is in the doom as well as some of the string snapping guitar solos that are showcased in both songs.
With the middle song “Goathouse”, it begins with some dissonant noises that has the bass leading the song into a fast paced rocking tune. The song is under two minutes which means you blink and its over. That being said you do get to hear the lead singers vocals for the first time and the last time in the demo. The vocals are a gravely shout that compliment the fuzzed out guitars well.
With this demo Phase Order seem to know how to keep it groovy as well as hard rocking and even mix some elements of doom into their style to keep the music fresh and the listener guessing. You get the loose groove laden riffs, the rumbling bass, some fiery solos, even the smoky vocals. Overall this demo is a good start. One thing I would have to say would to make the heavier rocking faster paced song longer, but that may just boil down to preference. Either way the demo is a good one, it’s heavy and it rocks.