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Released: 2001, Black Lotus Records
This is a different review for me. Not so much in the band I am reviewing as in where I am doing it from. I am sitting here at my bosses desk writing this as he is off sick. Not at all strange you might say? Well consider this. The only 2 computers in our office are the one I am using right now and the one that I use in my own work area. This one is a Pentium II and a decent rig. The one I have to use is a 486 that has the computing speed of a retarded, drunk field mouse. Alas, the field mouse has all the work while the boss sits in here and reads the news and surfs the web all day long. So to rectify that situation I am going to do the first real work that this computer has ever seen!! In front of me I have the latest CD from Greek band PhantomLord. This disc came to me in the mail and of course upon seeing the name I at first thought of Metallica! Of course that was their better days when they were still metal. Well Phantom Lord play a slightly thrashy speed/powermetal hybrid that hearkens back to the days of Helstar and Sanctuary. Formed in late 1997, PhantomLord was the brainchild of guitarist Yannis Fiorentis and drummer Angelos Tsouklas. The band had a few lineups but solidified around the founders and Rich Melville: bass and Vasilis Axiotis on vocals. Almost right away they set about creating their first CD "In Twilight World". PhantomLord are now back with their second release EVIL'S DOMAIN.
The Cd opens with, surprise surprise, an intro!! It seems that every single CD I have reviewed lately has an intro. I will start being surprised when CD kicks off with an actual song. The first true song is "Rules of the Past". This track sets the tone for PhantomLord’s throwback thrash speed metal onslaught. Vocalist Axiotis established right away that he has the pipes to carry this kind of music. "Everlasting Curse" gallops along and has a great doubled vocal track that gives the track a character all its own. The band also throws in a power ballad in the form on "Unchained". Though a ballad, this song is one of the most powerful and dare I say emotional tracks on the release. Well the quiet doesn’t last long as PhantomLord cue up a pounding double bass number called "Born In Lust". The only bad thing about this song is the spoken intro which sounds like its from a bad gangsta rap album. The CD closes with an odd track called "Wolverine". It is a seemingly classical piece performed by what sounds like a sting quartet. Strange ending to a great CD.
Its very strange that there are not more bands around like PhantomLord. They cross that boundary between thrash and speed metal, and power metal. They do mix some keyboards and a small amount of orchestration in some of their songs but only do this in minute proportions and never let it overshadow the song. If PhantomLord can get the right distribution for this CD it won’t be long before they gain a dedicated following.
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