Album Review: Phil Stiles – The Anchorhold (Trepanation Recordings)

Born from and within the challenges, frustrations and isolation of lockdown, The Anchorhold is the new album from Phil Stiles (Final Coil) and the direct follow up to The Anchorite EP (2020). It is a release, an outpouring, a window into the world that reflects on the past and dreams of the future. It is loneliness and connection, uniquely personal and universally relatable, the sound of these strange and difficult times.

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The Anchorhold will be released on September 17th, 2021 via Trepanation Recordings.

Sci-fi effects and melody is what greets on I’m Not Done Yet, layered and chanting vocals rising up to create something that has an incantation feel to it. Then the guitars and drums kick in, the beat becomes heavier and a brief but screaming solo sticks out.

Following that, eerie electronica and guest vocals from Kyle Brandt (A Light Within, Molitoth) creates a discombobulated feeling on C21H22N2O2. Before the dark post rock sound of Reflections from an Echo Chamber takes the mental faculties on a disconcerting but powerful journey.

The pacing of Dance Fucker might be peppy but the keyboard melody is quite mournful sounding. Not looking to make you too miserable, the track’s main electronica beat stays mostly the same throughout with added elements sliding in here and there. It’s quite catchy, even more serene and is one of the album’s strongest tracks.

End This Way keeps the icy post-electronica at the forefront but with an outburst of harder rock intensity in the chorus. Celtic Bluesman, Matt Steady joins Phil on the reflective chill of The Wanderer before Phil’s old Metanoia band mate Tomek Wolski helps take us on a dreamy journey into the electronica ether.

Silence is, well, 4 seconds of silence (a bit pointless) but Phil makes up for that with the bonus track. A burst of heavy head-banging heavy metal with dirty industrial to end things on a real high.

Overall, The Anchorhold is a complex and imaginative release.

Phil Stiles – The Anchorhold Full Track Listing:

1. I’m Not Done Yet
2. C21H22N2O2
3. Reflections From an Echo Chamber
4. Dance Fucker
5. End This Way
6. The Wanderer
7. Sleep Take Me
8. Silence
9. It Follows Me (Bonus Track)


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Phil Stiles - The Anchorhold (Trepanation Recordings)
  • The Final Score - 7/10
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