Phinehas formed in 2001 in La Mirada, CA, near Los Angeles. The band went through a few lineup changes before settling on Sean McCulloch (vocals), Jason Combs (guitars), Ryan Estrada (bass) and Lee Humerian (drums). The band recorded and independently released a self-titled EP on December 15, 2009. After the release, the band went on a 10-day tour before beginning work on their debut album Thegodmachine. After finishing production of the album, the band looked at many labels, before being signed to Red Cord Records in 2011. Thegodmachine was released on September 30, 2011 through Red Cord, and received acclaim from music critics. Most of the praise came from the band's "uncompromising blast of metalcore" and the thrash metal-style riffs. The band toured extensively to promote the album, including a spot at Cornerstone 2011, with bands such as P.O.D, For Today, Close Your Eyes and Living Sacrifice among others. In early 2013 the Bridge Between EP was released, featuring updated versions of songs from their self-titled EP and acoustic renditions of songs from Thegodmachine.