Phi have been active for more than ten years and have long become a respected member of Europe’s progressive rock scene. And yet the band has so far not achieved big the goal that is referenced in the group’s name: the golden ratio, the perfect proportion between rock power and artistic aspiration. Up until now the approach had always been based on collaborative composing within the walls of the rehearsal space. But how does a guitarist play his instrument when he has cut his left index finger in his role as an amateur chef? He just does not play. Confronted with the aforementioned situation in the songwriting process Markus Bratusa chose to simply take the bull by the horns and started composing “dry” for the first time: straight from head to paper, no filters.

In terms of content and lyrics Markus Bratusa has been hard at work trying to reconcile beauty with transience and mortality for years, which may sound like the closest thing to a suicide mission. But the revamped and more distanced approach of Cycles has provided the songwriter with the clearest, emotionally boldest and – without the trace of a doubt – most honest view on the issue to date. Where a less courageous artist might have resorted to hiding behind monumentally big words of emotionality in their lyrics, the Austrian opens himself up and gifts the listener with unrestricted honesty.

Markus Bratusa (vocals, guitar, synthesizer, sound design), new addition Stefan Helige (guitar), Arthur Darnhofer-Demár (bass, he left the band shortly after recording finished) as well as returnee Nick Koch (drums, percussion, keys, programming, backing vocals) have dared big on their new release and that has not only provided them with tremendous energy but also the courage to use it and ultimately create the great accomplishment that is Cycles.


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