REVIEW: Seluah – “Phase III”

Phase III
Karate Body

Phase III picks up right where Seluah left off with their last record Red Parole, as the new album maintains a similar thick atmosphere full of menacing guitar licks and eerie reverb soaked vocals.  With their latest effort, we’re gifted seven brand new songs, each with their own unique personality while at the same time exuding a similar purpose.  It’s an early Pink Floyd meets Spiderland type of record, in the way that it combines atmospheric indie rock with building, almost progressive song structures.

This album is wonderfully dark, the kind of record that I could imagine playing behind an early Cohen brothers film. Remember the closing scene of Blood Simple?  I’d love to hear the opening of “Bloodstone” paired with it to serve as an extra tension builder, as this song opens with an ominous bass line coupled with a simplistic, creepy guitar riff that would seemingly work to perfection before any climactic murder/kill scene.  I’d have to say this is my favorite track on Phase III, not only because I love the opening, but because it as a whole it keeps it relatively simple, with a perfectly executed arc right in the middle of the song where it seems to lighten up a bit.  Soon after, the track reverts back to it’s sinister self, and for me personally it’s a huge payoff as the song seemingly comes full circle.

Closing track “The Killer” is another standout, as it starts out as a slow, vocally driven number, but morphs into an emotional, slow builder that rewards the listener with a fantastic ending to a fantastic album.  Phase III is a brilliant showing from Seluah, and while it’s to soon to say if I like it more than Red Parole, it’s certainly of the same caliber. 

Listen to Phase III below: