Phantasma – “The Deviant Hearts”

PhantasmaPhantasma is a side project made up of Georg Neuhauser (Serenity), Oliver Philipps (Everon) and Charlotte Wessels (Delain). The supergroup pose a bit of a quandary for me, personally. I am not a huge fan of any of those bands, nor the symphonic metal genre. The debut album from Phantasma, “The Deviant Hearts,” is a concept album though. Rather than dismiss it as just not my type of music, I thought I should review it based on merits. Is it good music? Simple as that.

The answer is actually quite clearly yes. While, I still probably won’t listen to it after this review. It is not because the music isn’t beautiful or moving. In fact, this album stays away from being cheesy and over the top like many symphonic metal is. The main reason that Phantasma are so good is the voice of Charlotte Wessels. She has a very powerful, strong voice that can do anything. If anything, I’d rather she be the only vocalist but I suppose that’s what Delain is for!

“Runaway Gray” is a showcase for what makes Charlotte a cut above most vocalists in the symphonic metal genre. Plus the song has one of the best choruses on the album. The closing track “Let it Die” is another favorite because it lets Charlotte really cut loose. Another reason that Phastasma appeal to me more than most symphonic metal bands is they feel more grounded. Too often, symphonic metal is off in fairy-tale land. That’s fine but it’s refreshing to feel like this band is in the real world with you.

I was prepared to legitimately not like this band or album but truthfully, it’s quite good! Phantasma are indeed a case of the right people being assembled for the right project. Fans of the bands mentioned will find plenty to love here. “The Deviant Hearts” is a lush and powerful dose of symphonic metal that has enough grit to appeal to fans outside of the genre.

Rating: 8/10

1. Incomplete
2. The Deviant Hearts
3. Runaway Grey
4. Try
5. Enter Dreamscape
6. Miserable Me
7. The Lotus And The Willow
8. Crimson Course
9. Carry Me Home
10. The Sound Of Fear
11. Novaturient
12. Let It Die

Label: Napalm Records

About Rob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music!
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