PHILM — the Los Angeles-based experimental post-hardcore triumvirate featuring drummer Dave Lombardo (SLAYER, AMEN), guitarist/vocalist Gerry Paul Nestler (CIVIL DEFIANCE), and bassist Francisco "Pancho" Eduardo Tomaselli (WAR) — will release its sophomore album, "Fire From The Evening Sun", on September 16 (one day earlier internationally) via UDR.
"UDR is honored to be working with PHILM. This partnership seems very instinctual," said UDR's head of A&R/Marketing Jay Lansford.
"Dave Lombardo and I worked together during the GRIP INC. years," he added. "After hearing PHILM's new album, this alliance was clearly divine will. Powerful, intense... urgent. These three prolific musicians have created something that is refreshingly not mundane, but ear-shattering and groundbreaking."
Lombardo states that the follow-up to 2012's "Harmonic" will mark a different turn in the band's musical journey. "'Harmonic' is still an amazing work to me," he said. "It's improvisational and raw. It was my first time producing an album and I am very proud of it. The new album is a completely different animal. It is again produced by me, but mastered and mixed by a couple of musical giants... Tyler Bates and Robert Carranza.
"I believe this album has a daring, callous temperament about it that really sums up our mindset right now. No improvising, no fluff. It's heavy and in your face from start to finish.
"You may think you know what PHILM is, but you don't. If you haven't seen us live, you have no idea. We thrive on being out of our comfort zones and want fans to take that ride."
In an interview with Cyclic Defrost, Lombardo stated about PHILM's upcoming CD and how it compares to the debut: "'Harmonic', was a musical expression unlike any other album I've worked on. Blending structured songs and improvisations was the direction I intended to take the band. PHILM's ability to improvise and create music unlike the typical sounds that have emerged within the past 20 years is refreshing to me as an artist and drummer.
"As the producer of the band, I suggested for [the second PHILM] album that we leave out the improvisations and focus on structured, concise movements."
Speaking to CV Weekly back in March, Dave elaborated on the differences in the songwriting approach PHILM took on "Harmonic" and "Fire From The Evening Sun". "The band has had a chance to grow musically," he said. "'Harmonic' had about five songs that were with the old bass player, so then Pancho came in and the new songs were written with him after we had gone out on tour together and we’re more of a unit now. Now Pancho really understands mine and Gerry's writing methods. The songs on the second album are more concise and structured."
With his demanding and innovative drumming, Lombardo provides for the rhythmic base on which songs like the impulsive opener "Train", "Blue Dragon" with its detailed guitar and bass play or the drum-'n'-bass-influenced "Turn In The Sky" can unfold. Nestler adjusts his vocals to this varied music and masters imploring whispering or coaxing clean vocals as superior and emotional as aggressive shouting or nearly manic screaming.
PHILM pay special attention to the haunting atmosphere of their songs that evokes goose bumps over and over again. Be it the malign undertone in "Lady Of The Lake", the dark beginning und the nearly psychedelic guitar solo of "Silver Queen" or "Corner Girl", which closes the album in a laid-back but also sinister mood.
"Fire From The Evening Sun" track listing:
02. Fire From The Evening Sun
03. Lady Of The Lake
04. Lion's Pit
05. Silver Queen
06. We Sail At Dawn
10. Blue Dragon
11. Turn In The Sky
12. Corner Girl
PHILM has already commenced the songwriting process for the band's third album, which will likely arrive sometime next year. "We have about five songs that are still in their skeletal form without vocals yet and are much heavier," Lombardo told CV Weekly. "And I've added double bass on the third album, which I didn't do on the first two. I'm kind of rediscovering myself and reinventing myself. That album is a whole different direction."
PHILM will hit the road this fall in support of the album by performing several shows throughout Europe and the U.S., with more dates to be confirmed.