| Napalm Records | Release Date: 20th Nov 2015
What's this mean?
Summary: PHANTASMA "The Deviant Hearts" is a project by Georg Neuhauser (SERENITY), Oliver Philipps (EVERON) and Charlotte Wessels (DELAIN)
Genre(s): Symphonic Metal, Progressive Metal
Record label(s): Napalm Records
Overall I have to give it full marks, it’s an interesting concept and it’s executed beautifully with so many layers to it from all the different contributors. It really is very immersive, you find yourself lost in the story with the incredible imagery from the artwork and the powerful music. I recommend it to all you symphonic metal fans out there; you may well find your new favourite album of the year!
Phantasma surprises all of those that thought that this album was going to be a mix of Delain and Serenity (Delainity). But it turns out is something different from them. It’s a different perspective, it’s a pilot for something artsier and more emotional.
Needless to say, I was impressed. Is this something novel or far removed from other entries in the genre? Not really. But Phantasma has one thing up on all the other symphonic metal bands, especially those with female vocalists at the forefront: the absolutely perfect match, perfect balance, of both female and male lead vocalists with Neuhauser and Wessels. Bravo.
With a story that is easy to follow, and performances that easily stand out individually as they do in unison, The Deviant Hearts is definitely a triumph of melodic symphonic rock/metal.
Even when things break from the expected path, even slightly, such as on “Crimson Course”, we’re still reminded that this material is bridged together by something bigger, something greater than just a series of rock songs.
So, things are pretty simple here; PHANTASMA’s Symphonic Metal has it all - a solid concept, strong songwriting and many guests. If names like KAMELOT, SIRENIA, NIGHTWISH and early WITHIN TEMPTATION have their own space in your album collection, then you should find a spot for this. Don’t let this lil’ gem slip your fingers, and yes, you can thank me later!
Phantasma's debut feels like a movie soundtrack, although it's not quite as dramatic as Nightwish or Epica. Just give them time. [Jan 2016, Issue 278]