A highly anticipated brand-new release by Austrian industrial/post-rock quartet Phal:Angst is coming out on CD, and streaming services on January 13th via Noise Appeal Records. So far, the band unleashed a title track and A Tale Of Severance, remixed by legendary Jarboe. The band and label promoted and still heavily promote these tracks on social media, so there’s no way you missed it out if you’re following their pages. Phal:Angst assembled this material in five months, which may seem like plenty of time, but whoever touched the base of experimental, avant-garde, industrial, and post-rock music knows that could be a challenging task. Thankfully, Phal:Angst consists of experienced musicians active on the Austrian scene for decades, so I had no doubts Whiteout would sound good.
For this particular album, Phal:Angst decided to go a route they paved with Phase IV, their previous double vinyl album. However, Whiteout seems far more complex, with many layers of various orchestrations implemented for a much better listening experience. Some readers might think that’s not a good idea, but Phal:Angst know what they’re doing. Each composition comes with a comprehensive collection of soothing melodies, harmonies, themes, chord progressions, and riffs, delicately assembled to satisfy even the pickiest fans of the genre. The group aimed for a cathartic downtempo ambiance, so these numbers burst with those profoundly complex half-time rhythmic sequences decorated with many accentuations, enhancements, and other details that define only the best industrial, post-rock, and ambient releases.
The keys and synths undoubtedly play a significant role on Whiteout. You’ll notice how Phal:Angst achieved that calmy, easy-listening, ear-appealing atmosphere by stacking ambient and drone samples, segments, melodies, and harmonies. The whispery vocal parts perfectly match these tracks, and each singing segment comes like a cherry on top. However, it seems that Phal:Angst aimed for a more instrumental experience, so you’ll find vocal lines here and there. Speaking of genres, Whiteout might seem like another industrial-infused post-rock album, but there’s more than meets the eye. You’ll notice many other elements lurking in these songs, and ambient, drone, cinematic, goth rock, synth, and downtempo electronic music are some of the defining ones. Perhaps Phal: Angst almost primarily focuses on industrial and post-rock, but these other ingredients also define the sonic direction of these compositions in one way or another.
Phal:Angst completely nailed with this one in my book, and Whiteout will be such a perfect overture for 2023. It will suit your ears whether you’re a fan of industrial post-rock music or not because it carries many beautiful moments where classification in genres doesn’t matter at all. If this is not enough to convince you of the sheer beauty of Whiteout, remember there are Lustmord and Jarboe remixes included, but this album would sound good without those remixes too. Whiteout is available for pre-order at Noise Appeal Records, so grab this gem immediately.