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  PHILM
'Fire From The Evening Sun'
(UDR Music)
Out Now


Johnny Main

johnny main



philm

Dave Lombardo is probably best known for his work behind the drum kit with thrash giants Slayer (a band he co-founded with Kerry King in 1981) and is regarded as one of the finest thrash Metal drummers ever.

Along with Anthrax tub-thumper Charlie Benante, it's arguable that Lombardo pioneered the double bass drum sound in thrash Metal. Of course, Lombardo's no longer with Slayer but here is not the time to debate the rights and wrongs of his forced ejection from the band in early 2013; this is about his subsequent project, Philm.

Lombardo has never shied away from the fact he's capable of so much more intricate playing than what Slayer afforded him to do and the Philm project had already been started by frontman and guitarist Gerry Nestler along with Francisco Tomaselli on bass guitar when Lombardo joined. Philm describe themselves as a "progressive" (and dare I say experimental) trio and this gives Lombardo the chance to show what a talented drummer he really is.

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It should be noted though that with Lombardo being the main draw for me here, this is much more than just a showcase for his prodigious talent. Don't get me wrong, he's still able to take centre stage with some impeccable fills and more standard beats.

If you listen to 'Turn In The Sky' for example, it's full of atmosphere from the get go and really serves as a showcase for Lombardo and his skill as a drummer. Coming in at just over six minutes, the song has him going through different drumming techniques, using every drum and cymbal at his disposal.

He brings so much to the song that other drummers might have struggled with, and the track allows his contributions to come to the fore during the extended instrumental moments. Nestler also puts in a great vocal performance too, though so not all the glory goes in Lombardo's favour.

philm

The band are albe to produce a couple of very fast numbers including 'Fanboy' which has Tomaselli leading the way in a short intro before the song starts properly. The bass guitar and drums are unrelenting whilst the guitar riff dips in and out of the song before Nestler takes centre stage with his guitar solo before the song reaches its conclusion with a sudden finish.

'Lady Of The Lake' is arguably the fastest track on the album, once the long slow build of the into is out of the way. After a short pause, the track begins in earnest with Lombardo working hard playing a complex beat during the mid-section as the track hurtles towards its conclusion.

'Train' is more of a punky number rather than Metal with Nestler giving a good vocal performance going from tuneful vocals right through to some quite aggressive sounding screams, whilst his guitar riff isn't too shabby either. Title track, 'Fire From The Evening Sun' has a heavier edge to it but it's certainly more hard rock than Heavy Metal. Having said that, Lombardo still manages to put in a stunning performance, only taking a back seat during Nestler's stunning guitar solo.

'Silver Queen' really is a great song that gifts Nestler one of his best vocal performances – a soft vocal underpinned by a solid but not flashy drumbeat. Don't get me wrong, it's not Lombardo "phoning in" his performance, but it doesn't try to swamp the track. With ‘We Sail At Dawn’ the band produce a mid-paced number with an incredibly catchy guitar riff. Nestler once again gives a more restrained performance here before the tempo picks up during the chorus as the band really let go.

'Corner Girl' is the album closer and I can't think of a better way the band could have found to close with. It's a piano led track with a slower tempo and an easy to remember chorus. Nestler sounds thoughtful in his performance, and the minimal guitar and drums blend with the piano before a trumpet joins in the mix as the tempo begins to pick up slightly to make a unique sounding track.

It's clear that Lombardo may not ever go back to playing with Slayer and on the basis of this album, you know what? I'm okay with that because this album proves without a doubt that Lombardo has so much more to offer with his incredible talent and something like Philm is the perfect vehicle for him to show his talents off.

'Fire From The Evening Sun' Tracklist:
Train
Fire From The Evening Sun
Lady Of The Lake
Lion's Pit
Silver Queen
We Sail At Dawn
Omniscience
Fanboy
Luxhaven
Blue Dragon
Turn In The Sky
Corner Girl

Philm are:
Gerry Nestler – Guitars/Vocals
Francisco Tomaselli – Bass Guitar
Dave Lombardo – Drums

Philm photo by Alex Solca (http://alexsolca.com)


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13.2.2015










 


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