Phoenix Doval (Vocals, Songwriter) and Armando Doval (Songwriter, Music Production, Live Drums) form phoenix/NEBULIN, an Industrial, Metal and Goth rock band originating from Miami, Florida. The album, “Mainframe”, is the band’s 5th release. Much of the album’s intoxication comes out of the fact that Phoenix is brutally honest in her vocal delivery. When her voice tears a hole through the beat in the opening track “Play Pretend”, it’s visceral, but it’s “Purge Create Destroy Rebuild” that quickly shows off Phoenix’s range better. She’s up-and-down, even a bit raspy on the verses, but returns to her power-rock, supercharged roots for the chorus. phoenix/NEBULIN are a band that’s been waiting to explode for years now, and their high-octane music on “Mainframe” and their explosive lead singer are finally ready to push them to the fore of US hard rock.
Composed of twelve songs, the band’s new effort manages to sound more polished and yet harder than their previous work. Opening duo, “Omegaworks” and “Shadow Wolf” set an intense pace, once again showcasing Phoenix Doval’s convincing bravado and effortless range over rip-roaring guitar arrangements.
Armando Doval’s drumming is another highlight, as his playing has an old-school Bonham feel and sounds huge as the backbone of each song. His combination of stomping beats and dexterous fills complement the songs without sounding too glossy.
Tracks like “Hollowed Out City Limits” and the cover of “Toy Soldiers”, made famous in the 80’s by Martika, shows off the band’s diverse sound and ability to not only go from one end of the rock spectrum to another but to create a new spectrum entirely.
Next, the catchy radio-ready shine of “Perfect” makes way for one of the most powerfully upbeat songs on the album, as Phoenix croons and yells the very infectious melody of “Professional Liar”, backed by chants that are bound to get stuck in your head. This is a straight up anthem for misfits with deep thinking minds. With sleezy guitar riffs, crashing cymbals and deep bass lines what’s not to like about this hard rocking, fist pumping track?
No matter which way you turn, the choruses on this album are huge, uplifting, and effortlessly composed. Throughout, Phoenix dominates. It’s an astonishing, tour-de-force performance, ferocious, committed and dripping with confidence.
But she is also able to turn down the edginess during the verses, something she does with aplomb on “Alone”, which is also infused with a fair dose of dominating electronics. The strings and pianos come rolling out to the fore on the opening of the instrumental “Thorazine” which becomes ignited and set to flames by a thumping beat.
“Mainframe” is filled with frequently savage, righteous stuff. Spitting, furious brutes with a modern, polished sheen. But phoenix/NEBULIN also know how to infuse their songs with layers of rich melody and luxuriously comforting layers of harmonious sound.
They encapsulate all of this in the final stunning song “Equation”. phoenix/NEBULIN have really outdone themselves with this album, their sound and approach has really paid off and enabled them to create something special. Each song will make you fall in love with the band even more, as they go from pure melody to pure mayhem!