On My Playlist: Top 5 Phinehas songs


Phinehas is one of the pioneers of the Christian metalcore scene and is still going strong after nearly two decades in the industry.
They are known for their ferocious beats, melodic passages and face-melting guitar work. Together with vocalist, Sean McCulloch’s screams, the band emits music that hits you right in the heart. Expect a lot of headbanging with this band.
The band currently consists of Sean McCulloch – lead vocals (2007–present), drums (2017–2018) Bryce Kelly – bass (2012–present), Daniel Gailey – lead guitar (2014–present) and Isaiah Perez – drums (2018–present)
Honourable mentions: ‘From A Burning Sun’, ‘Bad Blood’, ‘Fleshkiller’, ‘Forever West’, ‘WII’, ‘Seven’, ‘Tetelestai’, ‘White Livered’.
5. Burning Bright
‘Burning Bright’ is one of Phinehas’s newest, most enduring tracks with its djent and instrumental based guitar-tapping forming the backbone of the song. It has a different sound to some of Phinehas’s earlier material but its core message is still ever present: ‘I know now I am not alone. You’ve always found me in the deep of night. I could die well here before morning comes. Because I can see all the lights of the sun in your eyes.’
The song focuses on finding God and remembering His goodness as evidenced in the following lyric: ‘I am alive. I found you under distant stars.’ The song also has a sweet solo in the bridge that adds to the epicness and the dreamlike mood of the song. The harsh vocals from McCulloch and breakdown, in the end, finish the song off on a heavy note to provide some fantastic contrast.

4. Blood On My Knuckles
This is classic Phinehas with a southern-sounding metal riff opening the track before McCulloch bellows out ‘Face Your Wrath!’ The guitar riff is extremely addictive in its simplicity and, together with deep lyrics and heavy, fast-paced instrumentals, establishes this song as a true classic. The lyrics, ‘When I rise your fate is sealed. There will be nothing left but the blood on my knuckles’ establishes the main theme of redemption and victory against terror and evil – a thunderous breakdown afterwards just emphasises this.

3. Crowns
The dual guitar riff is absolute honey to the ears with sweet sounding harmonies flowing off each other in this memorable intro. The verse is once again typically fast-paced with deep, meaningful lyrics adding substance to the mix: ‘Bridged by blood. Your blood paints the paragon of unrequited love (unrequited love) Do you remember pain followed by reassurance and the light shining through? Bearing the poise of a Redeemer choking the shadows defeating death.’
The section after the second verse is also one of the band’s best transitions with McCulloch’s thunderous vocals and thrashing guitar setting up a memorable breakdown with the following lyrics: ‘Kings of earth, bow down. Lose your crowns.’ This is a true statement for the rulers on earth to know that they are not the true kings. The outro guitar is also a must-listen.

2. Dark Flag
This song hits you in the heart from the outset as the honest truth gets screamed out from the first second: ‘I looked into darkness too long, now it stares back!’
This is accompanied by impressive tapping on the guitar from Daniel Gailey that gives the song a signature sound. It has a great message of how the darkness can engulf you and the need to escape its clutches. The bridge is one of my favourite parts with some truly heavy vocals and drumbeats setting the scene: ‘When paranoia runs rampant as hunger. Welcome to the inside. Drowning articulation.’

1. I Am The Lion
This is the classic Phinehas song that got me into the band in the first place. It is probably the band’s most recognisable track with a signature guitar intro riff that starts the headbanging instantaneously. Its introspective, hopeful mood is also a classic part of the band’s sound with the lyrics ‘I’m always peeling back your skin. To rip the lesions from your heart. Every scar you leave yourself Is a jewel in the making.’
The track focuses on self-improvement, trusting the Lord and living a life of victory. This can especially be heard in the crushing bridge, where McCulloch screams: ‘I am the Lion! Clear the path I am the Lion You brood of snakes. I Am The Lion!’

Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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