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Phantom Elite - Titanium Award winner

Phatom Elite
by Kevin Lewis at 04 March 2021, 7:07 AM

PHANTOM ELITE is an international band formed in 2016. Part Brazilian, part Dutch, all metal, this is a new breed of symphonic metal that is heavier than much of what is out there today. Incorporating elements of power, progressive and a lot of melodic metal, they are breaking boundaries and shattering norms. Titanium is their second full-length offering and was released January 22, 2021 through Frontier Records.

This record starts with “Conjure Rains,” a song with a quick start and a heavy riff. The chorus is heavy and full of darker tones that are melodic and powerful. The drums are rapid-fire and the bass just pounds out the rhythm. The vocals go from full-throated wails to eerie intonations that hang under the instruments and just set a mood. Right from the start, this band means business.

Dropping down to track three, “Diamonds And Dark” starts with a gentle piano intro before the song really kicks in. While there is no keyboard played credited on the record, the keyboards are there and they greatly enhance the songs. In this song, the keys really go above and beyond. Those sections where it is nothing but a piano and Marina are enchanting and a little haunting. The tones and textures are effective and fit the song really well.

Worst Part Of Me” is that heavy, almost plodding song that chugs along at times and cruises at others. The tempo shifts show the progressive influence, but the growled vocals add a death metal feel, giving this song a lot of divergent sounds that work well together. This runs into “Glass Crown,” a Power Metal song with a really good guitar intro and verses that feature the vocals more prominently as the guitars hang back, waiting to jump into action for the chorus.

Now we get to the title track. “Titanium” is a seven-and-a-half-minute song that starts with a nice fast intro, then shifts to a mid-tempo before dropping even farther for the first verse. This variation of tempos. speeds and tones run through the entire song. The song is about strength and toughness and the composition matches the lyrics. This is a song that transitions smoothly and never misses a beat. For just sheer musicianship, this is the best song on the record. Lyrically, it ranks up there, but there a lot of different themes to choose from. Any of them can hit you hard.

Bravado” could be that song you relate to more. It’s about surviving the fight. “Worst Part Of Me” was about facing and trying to fix that which is going wrong. “Silver Lining” is that song about trying to overcome adversity. If you are going through something in your life, you will find a relatable song on this album. The musical themes fit the lyrical themes. The music builds the bridge and the lyrics guide the steps.

Haven” is a relaxing, gentle instrumental that carries you along to “Deliverance,” a powerful song with a powerful riff with a rhythm that just surges along, carrying the lyrics. This song feels like it is about getting to the other side of an issue, surviving together and getting stronger. “Eyes Wide Open” wraps up the record in style, showing off some more killer keyboard work and demonstrating again the skills of tempo shifts and variable rhythms.

There is a lot of music packed into this record. The influences you can hear of everything from Power to Progressive to Melodic and Symphonic Metal.  There is just too much going on to classify this as anything other than outstanding. There are some bands that just catch the listener and draw them in, creating an immediate bond that is hard to explain. This is one of those bands.

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

5 Star Rating

1. Conjure Rains
2. The Race
3. Diamonds And Dark
4. Worst Part Of Me
5. Glass Crown
6. Titanium
7. Bravado
8. Silver Lining
9. Haven
10. Deliverance
11, Eyes Wide Open
Marina La Torraca – Vocals
Joeri Warmerdam – Drums
Max van Esch – Guitar/Bass
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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Edited 09 February 2023

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