In a world inundated with up-and-coming metal bands, Phantom Divine tries to bring their own sound, feel, and theme to the genre. But do they succeed? Let's take a look.
The traditional metal instruments are really well done. The bass is strong and heavy, the guitar is solid with short impressive riffs and solos, the drums pound like you want them to. It all comes together for a traditional metal sound that isn't groundbreaking but is very confident and powerful, especially for the band's first album. But what makes Phantom Divine stand out as far as instruments are concerned is the "guest instruments."
The album is, summed up in one word, "ethereal." It has definite Nightwish
vibes, and the guest instruments, powerful string, flute, and others, are all real. The violin isn't digitally put in there, there's someone playing it. These instruments make the album a proper escape from the normal. It makes me really hope they keep trying new guest instruments. It gives different tracks an entirely different mood, feel, and approach. "My Purpose," in particular, is an emotional ride that just feels intense because of the strings and piano.
The lead singer definitely has a Nightwish
thing going, and it's absolutely beautiful. I wish her vocals were a bit easier to hear, to be honest. Some songs were really hard to make out the lyrics, which is a shame with such a gorgeous voice and dark, emotional lyrics. "The Necromancer
" in particular was really hard to hear for lyrics. One possible solution is having the vocals be in one channel, say the left, so that the vocals are loud in the left ear or left speaker so that the vocals aren't drowned out by a guitar riff.
All-in-all, Phantom Divine's first album is a short, refreshing trip into symphonic metal. It ticks all of the boxes for a wonderful up-and-coming band. They even have an impressive music video for "River of Dreams
" that puts the music videos of well-known metal bands to shame. Don't let the quiet lyrics or short runtime put you off, because if you like symphonic metal, this one will be on repeat for a long time!
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