Phantom Fire - The Bust of Beelzebub
Edged Circle Productions
Black Speed Occult Metal
7 songs (28'57")
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Alex

Phantom Fire is a Norwegian duo, unknown to me heretofore, and I am sure not many people are familiar with them either. Harsh climate, genre history and equal amount of anger and mysticism shapes their short and punchy full-length debut The Bust of Beelzebub.

Ornery, buzzing guitars, picking incessantly, with urgency, shape the first three tracks Return of the Goat, title track and Sweet Jezebel. (You get an idea about the lyrical subject matter here). Shifting tempos, but always speeding along, reveling in double bass and blastbeats in equal measure, Return of the Goat reminds me of countrymates Aura Noir or Audiopain, raspy voice by Eld only aiding in comparison. Demonic possessed urgency is the staple of the title track, and Sweet Jezebel is probably the most melodic, with an obvious hook taking center stage. Phantom Fire blackened thrash tremolos cause almost physical intestinal vibrations, or my car volume was a tad too high. Listening to the opening trio you can’t help but think that the whole 30 min of the album will fly at the same mach speed. Pihsrow and Shut Eye prove that notion wrong, displaying an entirely different face of Phantom Fire. Turns out they can couple speed metal with the occult. Pihsrow is a dark dungeon doomy procession with subliminal whispery vocals, while Shut Eye is low key brood, turning a little sludgy and harsh, with pressure cavitating towards the end. Feed on Fire may be the last pulverizing blast careening out of control, but The Ninth Gate announces the return of creepiness with some B-horror movie cheap shock effects. Acoustic, quasi Moonlight sonata, well not exactly, turns more demented by the minute, until full blown solar-lunar nuttiness take over and abyss closes.

Edged Circle Productions (Stian Smorholm aka Iscariah owns the label) may have been playing homey nepotism with this release, but they picked up a good one in the process.

Killing Songs :
Return of the Goat, The Bust of Beelzebub, Sweet Jezebel
Alex quoted 78 / 100
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