Vienna-based industrial/post-rock veterans PHAL:ANGST today reveal their latest video for “What A Time To Be Alive.” The track comes by way of the band’s fifth full-length, Whiteout, out now on Noise Appeal Records.
“What A Time To Be Alive” is the final track on Whiteout. The track’s last and repetitive line, “So also ist das Sterben” (So this is what it’s like to die), carries its listener beyond the realm of the living on a crescendo of noise and harmony, and sums up the cerebral magic of PHAL:ANGST’s sonic sphere.
The video was created by the band’s bass player who inhabits the ‘:’ in the band’s name (which makes sense as the colon is also part of the bass clef) and is also an active solo artist under the name The Bassenger. The work is again an interpretation of a possible journey of life itself. Towards the end, this journey becomes more and more exhausting, the cycle begins to close; it’s a sign(al) of life gradually weakening eventually lost in noise and is also a subtle homage to Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s legendary graphic novel Signal To Noise.
Comments “The Bassenger,” “Everything was filmed, modified, and cut by myself. While creating the video, I chose the themes water, parents, machines, and humans. This was due to the music itself, the lyrics and samples, but also because of my fondness of the world of water and machines of all kinds, be it wind generators, oil pumps, or cheesy mechanical anthropomorphic effigies from Prater, the famous historic fun park in Vienna. There are also some visual Easter eggs you may want to watch out for.”
Contrary to the band’s signature depressive vibe, the message may very well be: between birth and death there is life, and this can and should be enjoyed as best as possible.
Watch PHAL:ANGST’s “What A Time To Be Alive” at THIS LOCATION.
Watch PHAL:ANGST’s previously released video for Whiteout’s title track HERE and “Severance” HERE.
Additionally, nearly two months after its initial release, Whiteout is finally available on Bandcamp at THIS LOCATION.
The music contained within Whiteout bears the hallmarks of an exceptionally individualistic, if not idiosyncratic, band. There are no “songs” in the traditional sense of the word; instead, there are sticky, cinematographic sound epics which meander through numerous atmospheres and temperaments. These are frequently dystopic, melancholic, but also hyper harmonic with a distinct penchant for romanticism. This time, distorted eruptions of rage have been reduced in favor of more reverbed Southern Gothic, dulcet metallophone, subtle dub breaks, and rhythmic vocal samples with stomping beats in slow motion. It’s a work that demands patience, quietude, and attention from its listeners… And possibly mental resilience.
Whiteout includes remixes by industrial/dark ambient icons Brian Williams AKA Lustmord (Current 93, Nurse With Wound, SPK, Terror Against Terror) and Jarboe (Swans), two musicians who have had a fundamental impact on the work of PHAL:ANGST.
The artwork was designed using photos by Kurt Prinz, pictures that were partly featured in the book Sezierte Architektur (“dissected architecture”), only adding to the record’s disquieting vibe.
“Austrian quartet PHAL:ANGST exist somewhere between industrial, EBM, goth, post-rock and doom, peddling a brand of music that is equal parts dark, heavy and danceable, almost the more brooding cousin of something like Boy Harsher…” — MetalSucks
“If you’ve ever wondered what a light and airy version of SunnO)))’s Black One might sound like, without losing any of its terrifying qualities, you’ll love this.” – Metal Injection on “A Tale Of Severance”
“…a slow-burner, gradually escalating from a graceful and gentle ambient-pop intro, marked by gorgeous piano flourishes, into a heavy and noisy climax that goes out with a bang.” – Treble on “Whiteout”
“The sprawling, eight-minute soundscape offers a tense blending of PHAL:ANGST’s more traditional post-rock instrumentation… with Lustmord’s ominous electronics. The piece features a strong, prominent bass line; loping rhythm; repetitive guitar riff, growled vocals; and electronic atmospherics—like a demonic reggae dub track. It’s psychedelic, pulsing, dark and haunting.” – Decibel Magazine on “Unhinged”
“It’s possible I picked this up at the perfect time, the synthy, moody soundscapes a fitting accompaniment to the grey January days. But it’s definitely not only that. Whiteout is a brilliant example of understatement done right, and its magnetic envelopment is real. There are certainly worse ways to lose an hour in hazy daydreaming.” – Angry Metal Guy
“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.” – Thoughts Words Action
“Whiteout, sees them calm down part of their aggressive nature in favor of an atmospheric approach. The emotive post-rock structures and solitary piano of the title track establish as much. PHAL:ANGST fully submerge in this cinematic essence, combining the ceremonial progression with precise drumming and whispering vocals…” – PopMatters
“PHAL:ANGST have created something hallowed, isolated, and truly beautiful with their latest album Whiteout. Developing a world made of post-rock staples, such as ethereal guitars and heavy drumming, being dragged against the jagged, industrial world of harsh synths make comparisons to bands like Earth, Mogwai, Coil, Front 242, and Neurosis fair.” – The Sleeping Shaman