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Freddy And The Phantoms – A Universe From Nothing Award winner

Freddy And The Phantoms
A Universe From Nothing
by Mike McMahan at 08 March 2020, 11:35 PM

I was uncertain going into this review of exactly what to expect. The promo kit that accompanied the download stated: “For fans of BLACK SABBATH, RIVAL SONS, and GRAVEYARD,” so there were some fairly lofty comparisons being drawn already. After my first listen to the individual tracks on the record, I could honestly say they were not far off.

The content of “A Universe From Nothing,” FREDDY AND THE PHANTOMS’ fifth release since 2010, is heavy and complex; both musically and lyrically speaking. The inspiration for this album was drawn from such diverse sources as Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy” and Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time,” and as heady as that inspiration is, you can certainly expect some lyrical fireworks.

The album opens with its first single to be released, “First Blood Universe.” The song starts us off at a blistering pace, and until the midway point of the record, never really takes its foot off the gas. I noticed the musicianship here immediately, with all involved obviously being at the top of their craft. Schnoor’s guitar and vocal work is top notch, and the remainder of the band follows suit. It is clear before we ever leave the opening track that the band has some definite influence from the RIVAL SONS’ camp, as well as obvious influence (specifically to Haahr’s amazing organ work) working its way in from Jon Lord and DEEP PURPLE.

“River of Hate” follows and is another great example of the premier musical talent on display. The cut is also very strong lyrically, taking some pretty good swipes at the sensationalism of the media and the effect it carries. The song also features a guest spot from Soren Andersen, who provides a scorching guitar solo.

“Andromeda” and “Andromeda Pt. 2” serve as a midway point, with the former being as heavy as anything on the record and the follow up being a neoclassical instrumental and an incredibly beautiful piece of music. As with all the other tracks on the album, the musicianship is first rate, and these songs serve to break up what feels like two halves of the same game.

Moving forward through the remaining five songs, “Loners On The Run” almost has the feel of an old school power ballad (think late seventies and early eighties U.F.O. or WHITESNAKE), and is fantastic. “The 11th Guest,” “Hunger,” and “Freedom Is A Prison” all continue on with the same lyrical intensity, but seem to push the envelope even further. Where that content comes to a very sharp point is in the age- old religion vs. science conversation of the album’s final cut, “Inferno.” The guitar work on all these tunes also pushes hard, with each opening riff just a tad nastier than the one before. From the opening of this record, I was truly hooked, and that hook deepened the further I went along.

I love that this band is playing the music they are playing, as this is certainly a fantastic sounding album. I also love that they aren’t afraid to ask some scary questions, never seeming to flinch at the scary answers to follow. This is truly a masterpiece, and I hope this amazing band can reap the rewards that should come with it. Incredible effort.

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

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. First Blood Universe
2. River of Hate
3. Lilith’s Nightmare
4. Bermuda Blues
5. Andromeda
6. Andromeda Pt. 2
7. Loners on the Run
8. The 11th Guest
9. Hunger
10. Freedom Is A Prison
11. Inferno
Lineup:
Frederik "Freddy" Schnoor – Guitar/ Vocals
Rune René Hansen – Drums/ Percussion/ Backing Vocals
Anders Haahr – Organ/ Keyboard/ Clavinet/ Mellotron/ Backing Vocals
Mads Wilken – Bass/ Backing Vocals
Record Label: Mighty Music
     


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