PHANTASMA - The Deviant Hearts

Phantasma - The Deviant Hearts

12 songs
59:05 minutes


Even though Phantasma is a relatively new band, their members should be well known frotm other quite popular bands. The idea came to Georg Neuhauser, vocalist of Austrian symphonic metal band Serenity. He is joined by Oliver Philipps, vocalist and guitarist of German progressive metal band Everon and by Charlotte Wessels, vocalist of Dutch symphonic metal band Delain. One should assume that such a stellar line-up should guarantee high quality.

And yet! Phantasma are to Delain what Voiciano are to Edenbridge. If there is no problem to let it occasionally rock on their main bands, the pace feels rather sedate on their new project. Itís a strange choice to start an album with a ballad, and things donít really speed up afterwards. The title track never escapes mid-tempo regions and feels somewhat cheesy. Only at times are Phantasma able to come across in a livelier fashion. One of the few highlights on The Deviant Hearts is the catchy Runaway Grey which feels like an outtake of The Gatheringís Mandylion. The two heavier tracks Enter Dreamscape and Novaturient are also among the albumís better moments. The clash between male and female vocals works really well here. The slightly progressive Miserable Me reminds me a little of Spockís Beard and is another of the albumís few bright moments. Only about one third of the album is a success, the remaining material feels contrived and too tame. Especially The Sound Of Fear was a torture to get through, a true avalanche of kitsch.

It should be noted that vocalist Charlotte Wessels just wrote her debut novel, a 100 page work, which has been implemented on The Deviant Hearts. This may not be the first time that something like this has happened, but itís always again a nice idea. My promo copy didnít come with a copy of the novel, so I canít judge if itís any good. I did listen though a couple of times to the CD, yet the spark never ignited. I will go back to Delain in the future, but Phantasma are definitely not my thing.

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