Phantom - Incendiary Serum
I, Voidhanger Records
Black/Doom Metal
9 songs (44'10'')
Release year: 2013
Phantom, I, Voidhanger Records
Reviewed by Jared
Album of the month

With the year rapidly coming to a close, there have been some great releases up to this point. Black metal being one of my favorite genres, I was hoping to hear at least one more album of this style before the year closed, and especially closer to the holidays so I could blast an evil and ghastly album over the non-sense that is the Christmas season. What I came to happily discover is Denmark’s black and doom influenced metal band simply called Phantom. The name is well suited, as their music sets a dark and overall ghastly tone to their music.

Not much has been heard for the band except for one song up to this point called Ghostly. The track first intrigued me to look into this relatively unheard of band more and I’m sure glad I did. The track begins with horrific screams of pain, followed by a slow steady approach with a bit raw sounding guitars that are more than qualified to be black metal influenced. The steady rhythm opens up to an atmospheric choir sounding keyboards to make it come off darker than expected. The atmosphere the song provides here was hard to forget, and the clashing of aspiringly dark keyboards and guitars immediately put me into the most perfect mood for metal listening.

Pushing forward, Erratum combines great evil sounding tremolo picking with double bass. The keyboards once again coat the song with an essence of a darker presence. The black metal shrieking of the vocals is well done, but towards the end cleaner voices that are come off as very doom metal make this album feel all the more special. The following song, Dark Death Pale Star, heads for harder and tougher sound, but still revisiting a shadowy feel. Here the album takes a bit of a break with acoustic guitars and classic sounding piano, but doesn’t ever at one point loose its Phantom glow.

For the more blast beating drum fans, The Sickening Sermon gets a little bit more upbeat and quick than most of the other tracks. This album balances fast and quick moments well, and the blast beating is more than welcomed, but never used to initiate a headache. The song Judge Them begins with a doom sounding beginning and contains fantastic guitar soloing. At this point I didn’t recall hearing much tearing up of the fret board, but songs is well-crafted enough that I looked past waiting for any sort of blistering solos. The keyboards in this track are well placed at the end with a sorrowful sound that had a huge emotional touch to the piece.

There might be a little bit left for the year, but ending with an album such as Phantom’s debut Incendiary Serum is a fantastic way to finish. The dark and ghastly sound will appropriately settle in as my soundtrack for the Christmas season and well into the coming year. They have found a great balance between both black and doom metal that has me looking forward to whatever obscure sound they muster for metal in the future.

Killing Songs :
Ghostly, Erratum, The Sickening Sermon, Judge Them, The Ancient Unspeakable
Jared quoted 90 / 100
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