Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Frontiers Records, 2021)

Karakter: 4/6

PHANTOM ELITE album cover.jpgPhantom Elite's "Titanium" is a hard-hitting mixture of modern metal, symphonic metal, and semi-progressive metal that is nicely complemented by Marina La Torraca's beautiful vocals, and the whole thing is filled with drama and emotionally expressive tunes.

This Dutch/Brazilian outfit is an entirely new entity to yours truly and I had never picked up on the name previous to listening to this sharp and current-sounding musical affair of theirs, but it contains just the right amount of thick and heavy riffs, slightly pompous passages where the keyboards feature prominently, clever arrangements, and melancholy atmospheres. "Titanium" is a diverse offering and neither one-dimensional nor predictable, and I like the epic vibe of it all and the fact that it packs a lot of punch and bombast. Unlike some of the other symphonic metal acts on the Frontiers roster, Phantom Elite actually make it work and deliver songs that possess a good flow and where things just gel naturally. From mellow, almost fragile-sounding parts to massive outbursts of energy, this one rarely turns stale or boring, and its gothic undertones add a moody and dark flavor to the proceedings.

The disc is the kind of opus that one needs to listen to a handful of times before it truly reveals its many qualities and depths. It lacks organic spark, but judging from the CD booklet I would wager that they recorded their respective parts separately and in different studios, so that is hardly surprising. Still, a bit more warmth and band feel with respect to the sound and the interplay between the musicians would have been a nice touch. Tracks such as "Eyes Wide Open", "Diamonds and Dark", "Glass Crown", and "Bravado" are instantly pleasing to the ear and memorable, but the prog-influenced title track is the most interesting and creative piece to be found here and the album's highlight, so make sure you check that out.


Phantom Elite - Facebook

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