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The Phantom of Phobos - From a Dead Channel/The Univited

The Phantom of Phobos
From a Dead Channel/The Uninvited
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 04 April 2019, 10:06 AM

THE PHANTOM OF PHOBOS is about as mysterious as their moniker. Their Facebook page had very little information about them, and I could not gain access to the webpage. Under “about,” the only thing they say is “tune to a dead channel with us.” So, let’s get to the music, shall we?

“Collide” is the first track. Thick, spacy keys open the track, leading to a mid-tempo, dark and electronic sound. Female vocals sound at first sound like they are sung inside a metal tube, but break out soon after. “Phobia” is the next song, and is full of guitars and bass. The verses are subdued and the vocals are a bit odd, at least until the chorus. They sound like Punk music. There is also a darkness that permeates the entire song. “Brother Mine” opens softly, with just bass and vocals, but guitars join in soon enough. It has a fairly tender song, and I can’t quite make out what the meaning of the lyrics are, but they sound lamenting. The instrumental passage following the second chorus however is beautiful.

“No Signal” opens with soft and solemn piano notes, and vocals sung in a low registry. It slowly builds like a good Doom song, with bass and guitars and vocals turned up a notch. “Halloween” is indeed an electronic re-make of the original horror classic, done with their own twist. Originally played on piano, playing it on keys gives it a menacing edge. “Made of Stars” opens with bass and clean guitar, with vocals subdued at first. They have an interesting way of adding layers to the music and before you know it, the anger is near 100%. “Of the Undead” opens with an ominous keyboard melody that is soon joined by guitar and bass. It waxes and then wanes, takes a deep breath and then plunges. It’s very unconventional music. “Cydonia” opens slowly and cautiously, with pensive vocals, that lead to a slow and dark riff with some background electronica. It moves slowly so that you can take it all in…the vocals building along the way.

“Counterkarma” opens with the vocals on point. They are calmer than previous songs at first. The overall sound is again dark and gloomy, with a heavy riff coming in at one point. “The Uninvited” is another one that opens slowly and with a solemn tone, coming from just a few guitar notes. I get an OCEANS OF SLUMBER vibe here with this dark song. “Them” feels like you stuck in a dark alley at night with hot breath over your shoulder. It has a tense, mysterious sound. It has a steady, gloomy sound, fueled by monotone-type vocals. “Dreaming of Dying” closes the album. It has a depressing sound as the title would suggest. It builds a bit and then ends with “I’m dreaming of dying, when there’s nothing left to lose.”

Overall, I’m not quite sure what to make of the album. I think it would appeal to fans of dark music in general, bands like THE CURE, and OCEANS OF SLUMBER, and the like. I’m not sure I would necessarily call it Metal as well, though there are moments for sure. It’s kind of like taking a ride down an unknown path at dusk…you never know what you might get into. I can appreciate their devotion to their craft here as well, but something about the vocals just rubbed me the wrong way. Still, overall, a solid album.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Collide
2. Phobia
3. Brother Mine
4. No Signal
5. Halloween
6. Made of Stars
7. Of the Undead
8. Cydonia
9. Counterkarma
10. The Uninvited
11. Them
12. Dreaming of Dying
Lineup:
I
II
XX
XIX
Record Label: Inverse Records
     


Rating

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Edited 15 November 2019
 

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