The Phantom Carriage - New Thing

7 songs
30:38 minutes
***** ****


Not satisfied by just sticking to a single musical style, The Phantom Carriage from France decided to use ingredients from such different genres like black metal, screamo, jazz and progressive rock, and put it all together into their very own sonic universe. Such experiments can go awfully wrong, especially when the musicians don’t know how to make it all sound coherent, but this young band certainly didn’t fail on New Thing, a record that lengthwise lies somewhere between an EP and a longplayer.

Starting with the six and a half minute long The Horses Feed Their Birds, the listener is immediately immersed into a crazy and unpredictable hurricane that might confuse the less adventurous, but definitely intrigue and enchant those in search of something unprecedented. Many bands have done great things in the mathcore genre, but it speaks for The Phantom Carriage that they don’t sound like the umpteenth rip-off of the likes of Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge and Coalesce. Most of their songs make it over five minutes, and they certainly need that space to make the rush of ideas work. The vocals are full of vile venom, the guitars are screeching with a wicked force, the bass guitar has a jazzy tinge to it, and the drummer provides a backbone that keeps it all together. A high number of breaks, time signature and pace changes make sure that the listener will be entertained throughout the full half hour of the record.

Other tracks that deserve to be singled out are the very jazzy Black Rain Falls In Drops with its clarinet part, and the one and a half minute short instrumental Les fantômes se cachent pour pleurer, a strange tango consisting only of accordion, violin and drums that conjure a ferocity you would expect from a metal band.

The ingredients may not be anything new, but The Phantom Carriage deserve high praise for their fearless and above all successful attempt to merge it all into something truly original. This is even more astounding considering these are not seasoned veterans but a new band that doesn’t cowardly just rehash the formulas of their predecessors. Let’s hope that The Phantom Carriage will be around for a long time. Their record label gives you the choice to either buy the CD, or download a free version online. If you like it, you should absolutely invest your money into these promising Frenchmen.

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