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Say “Night Sweet Night,” Phantom Has Arrived

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While Cradle of Filth coined the phrase “vampiric addiction,” there are countless other artists who have successfully conveyed the goals of cleanly-produced symphonic black metal without it feeling quite so silly. In a post-Deafheaven world, outfits from Dimmu Borgir to Satyricon have preserved the soundtrack of platform boots trudging around in the shadows in search of blood. And so, we witness the heart of this ilk continue to beat both here and abroad in good old self-important 2018. In perhaps the same theatrical vein as forefather King Diamond, Denmark’s Phantom offers a horrorfest of theatrical solos and tremolos that takes itself seriously when it needs to, but still knows how to have fun. Listen to an exclusive premiere of Phantom’s new single “Night Sweet Night” below.

While the four-piece’s inaugural Incendiary Serum goes right for the jugular, upcoming follow-up Death Epic — out July 20 via I, Voidhanger — uses a variety of tempos and a stylish flair to create more delicate paranormal undertones. Mid-paced moments conjure the patience and restraint of a gothic Victorian novel. Not wanting to give it all up front like conventional modern horror, Phantom follows up more traditional black metal and symphonic breaks with an explosion of battle-like dance parties, à la Finntroll. Ultimately, opting for gripping transition in lieu of one homogenous sound-wall sets the proper context for truly appreciating the Medieval town turn-up vibes.

While the King may hold a lot of the glory, Phantom encapsulates the heart of their homeland — one which has tight roots in the history of metal yet remains a nation that’s a few levels ahead. Vocals in the finale of “Night Sweet Night” enter into a fairy tale-like chant heard from the deck of an impending Viking ship while guitar solos rip through the tides, propelling the journey onwards to meet its rock-and-roll destiny. Together, a special blend of nostalgia for our it’s-not-a-phase phases and longing to discover what’s next on the horizon creates a smooth cadence. While The Crow-esque lore of European rock-metal hybrids may seem like it has strayed from modern course, it still remains within close range of metal’s meditations on death, the occult, and humankind’s inner beastliness.

— Jenna Depasquale

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