Released: 2013, ThroatRuiner Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
The Phantom Carriage seem to be impressing the masses at the moment. The French Jazz (or something groovy at least) Metallers who sound as though they might be friends with Gojira, have thrown another masterpiece together and named it ‘Falls’.
This second album (after aptly named, ‘The New Thing) sounds like everything an adoring metal fan would enjoy; the drum riffs pierce through your soul but not before doing an intricate dance around it first, the searing and painful vocals from Tieu shred your eardrums to pieces (in a wonderful way), the beautifully minor keys used throughout the album by guitar supremoes Max, Ant and Yann make me weep with joy… it all sounds so sinister! It is an absolute joy to listen to.
Hints of synthesized samples here and there only support the continual dark and twisted sound in a way that does not sound too ‘black’. I would not stick TPC into the Black Box, instead I would happily place them somewhere in the Experimental Metal bag. As each song dramatically ends and the next abruptly starts, a bit like being thrown off a bridge then being slapped in the face on your way down, you do feel like you are being shoved from pillar to post; I am sat in my seat but my brain feels like it’s in the middle of a sweaty beer- sodden pit in a smelly venue in the darkest depths of France somewhere and it’s great!
TPC have managed to create a slightly ‘live’ feel to their album which instantly teleports you to a gig. OK not literally, but it sure as hell makes you want to be at a gig right away. Each song has a slightly different vibe; I mean every track is as dark and succumbing to all that is evil as the next, but where they have such a refreshingly unique approach to their genre of expertise, it really keeps you hooked, desperate to hear what they will pull out of their hat next.
When Tieu is not attempting to shred your ear drums, his clean vocals make you feel as though he is screaming the most valuable words at you that you will ever hear. There is a powerful sense of importance in his delivery that keeps the whole band perfectly orchestrated. He doesn’t just do his bit and sing; he pulls the whole band together. Each and every musician is incredibly talented in their own right but, like any good orchestral arrangement, even the best of the best need a leader in the shape of a conductor, and that is exactly what Tieu is; A conductor of supreme and twisted evil.
For fans of Gojira and heavy Opeth, The Phantom Carriage really do know what they are doing; they grab you by the face, shove into your mouth an abundance of peculiar blast beats, eerie minor riffs with some chunky grinding guitar riffs thrown in the mix, super funky bass guitar riffs, punky rhythms and absolute mind shattering vocals/lyrics, make you slosh it all around in your mouth, swallow it, throw it back up then see what kind of arrangement you’re left with. That is precisely what they play; all that is good about metal but majorly twisted and fucked up. Only ever in a good way though.
I absolutely adore this band, this album! The band are currently doing a few gigs in France, TPC need to be dragged to the UK this year, for all to bask in their wonder. I demand it!
Review by Soozi Q