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Black Phantom – Zero Hour is Now Award winner

Black Phantom
Zero Hour is Now
by Rachel Montgomery at 14 April 2020, 9:16 AM

BLACK PHANTOM is a melodic metal band formed in Italy in 2014 by bassist Andrea Tito. He started while his former band, MESMIRIZE, went on hiatus. He collaborated with other artists to being old projects he had sitting around to life. With this time and resolve, he and his formed group produced their first album, “Better Beware.” Now, debuting their sophomore album, it’s a high-octane metal act that should satisfy fans of traditional thrash and early power metal.

The album opens with “Redemption,” a hard-hitting track which starts heavy and bogged, down, but then flies into this beautiful, surprising soaring melody. As far as opening tracks go, it’s an energizing song that excites you for the rest of the album. The notes are smooth, and the guitar solo displays the range of the guitarist incredibly. The vocals are high tenor and have a little grit on them; they remind me of Canadian rocker BILLY TALENT. The next album has a different take on the hard and fast song, surprising the listener with some snares halfway through the intro. It keeps the album fresh while still delivering a fast-paced song. Similarly, the next track delivers a narrative and a lower notation to distinguish itself. And next, they hit us with a nearly-right-minute ballad, “The Road”. The song goes slow and steady, changing tempo mid-stream. Their slow song, “Either You or Me” doesn’t let up on the intensity and like their other songs, features a detailed guitar solo as a treat for the ears. “Begone!” takes an interesting turn. It starts with a techno opening and goes into a biting intro that sets it apart from the smoother melodies that came before. Finally, “Hands of Time” features a beautiful intro before giving us a hard-edged sendoff. All in all, each song has enough variety to keep it from being too repetitive throughout the album.

Personally, I think these are one of those bands that has their own distinct song style. However, that’s not necessarily as bad thing, as they’re a talented band. Vocally, the operatic clarity and  are on point, as are the instrumentals. The post-apocalyptic themes, particularly in “Aboard the Rattling Ark,” aren’t lost on listeners. The clarity of the vocals and the range of the melody are impressive. The guitar solos are all complex with intricate melodies that showcase true talent. If you’re a fan of BILLY TALENT or AVENGED SEVENFOLD, this is definitely a band you should check out. However, if you’re not a fan of same-sounding songs, I would still say check it out, but throw it through a mix.

Songwriting: 9
Production: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Redemption
2. Hordes of Destruction
3. Schattenjäger
4. The Road
5. Aboard the Rattling Ark
6. Either You Or Me
7. Begone!
8. Hands of Time
9. Schattenjäger (Deutsch – bonus track)
Manuel Malini – Vocals
Luca Belbruno – Guitar
Roberto Manfrinato - Guitar
Andrea Tito – Bass
Ivan Carzenuola – Drums
Record Label: Punishment 18 Records


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Edited 28 May 2023

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