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Phasers Engage - Departure Initiated Album Review

Phasers Engage, a band that, admittedly, fits a genre that I usually don’t find myself listening to during my free time, being an Electronic Sci-Fi themed 4-piece rock outfit. Upon further

inspection however, and after listening to their debut album, ‘Departure Initiated’ ,I’ve come to

appreciate the bands interesting and out of the box way of taking that genre and mixing it with other elements of genres such as Groove Metal, Progressive, Alternative, and Psychedelic, culminating in a very unique sound that the band has really seem to make their own.

Kicking off the album with the self titled track, ‘Phasers Engage’, the band takes you on a seven minute journey, setting the tone of their Sci-Fi theme and making you feel as if you really are about to step foot on their spaceship, The Transcendence. The song starts slow, soothing into a blend of electronic samples that begin to go hand and hand with their drums, until culminating with their bass and guitar. This song, as many of their others do, twists and turns over its duration producing a relaxing yet exciting melody.

Picking up the pace a bit with the second track, ‘Awoken Intelligence’, you almost can’t help but jitter alone bumping your head to the upbeat instrumental. Listening to this song, for whatever reason, gave me a nostalgic feeling of the old 8-bit arcade games I enjoyed playing as a child. I can just perfectly see this track being set as a soundtrack to most any classic space theme arcade game, fitting like a glove.

The third track, ‘Eleven Point Two’, has a slow building start, almost as if it’s alluding to an epic fight scene about to take place between two extremely strong warriors. As it picks up with a catchy guitar riff the song starts to sooth into its own catchy melody. At five minutes long you almost wish it didn’t end so soon, and I found myself hitting the play button a second time once it was over just to have another few minutes to enjoy the beats and instruments that this song has to offer.

Right in the middle of the album, the forth song, ‘Head as a Speaker’, is a bit different from the three that came before it. My first thought after hitting play was, ‘okay, where are they going to take this one’, and I can happily say that I was not disappointed with where I found myself at its conclusion. I think what stood out to me the most in this song was the drums, keeping a perfect beat with the samples and leading the melody to an interesting place that made it stand out from the others songs on this album.

Getting into the fifth song, ‘Malfunction’, the shortest song on the album, coming in at around three minutes and forty seconds, this song was also much different from the others. What could best be described as experimental, the sound and tone different so much from the other tracks, but in a good way. Going back to the video game analogies, I almost feel as though this would make the perfect track for a dungeon level, jumping and pressing forward while overcoming your enemies as this song sets the tone for the dark and mysterious dungeon you may find yourself in. A little over halfway through though the song picks up, increasing its speed matching what you may hear for the boss fight at the end of the game!

Getting closer to the end, the sixth track, ‘8bit Monster’, was admittedly the song I was most

curious about based on the title alone. This band does a great job of mixing in electronic

elements to give an authentic 8-bit feeling, and this song was no different. A catchy groove, this song may just be my favorite from the album. It’s exciting, fast paced and I think the guitar work in it may be some of the freshest I’ve heard in awhile. Blending in more modern rock tones, this song switches direction around halfway through, slowing the pace a bit and flushing out a unique instrumental before ultimately finishing up with some more upbeat tones.

Lastly the seventh song, ‘Boundless’, ends the album on a strong note and really solidifies the sound and style that the band is aiming towards. The second longest song on the album, Boundless ends where we began, highlighting the band's creativity in the way they’re able to blend together several different elements and genres in order to create a sound that’s all their own.

I sat and reflected on the band after finishing the album. Again, this wasn’t a genre that I usually find myself listening to, however I did find myself adding a few songs to some of my regular playlists, particularly 8bit Monster and Boundless. The idea of a space themed instrumental band may not be for everyone, I certainly didn’t think that it would be for me, but the cool thing about music is that if you go into it with a open mind and curious intention, you never know what you may end up becoming a fan of, and that was my experience with Phasers Engage!

This sponsored review is brought to you by TAG Publicity.



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