PHANTOM-X - The Opera Of The Phantom

Phantom-X - The Opera Of The Phantom

16 songs
67:27 minutes
***** **
Pure Steel

Bandpage

Since 2004, Phantom-X from Dallas have been a synonym for flawless US power metal, and this hasn’t changed on their meanwhile fourth album The Opera Of The Phantom. Their most high-profile member is Kevin Goocher who was the vocalist on Omen’s album Eternal Black Dawn from 2003. The remaining three band members have also played in other lesser known bands before.

The Opera Of The Phantom is, unlike its three predecessors, a concept album, at least for the first thirteen tracks. Some songs were already featured on previous albums, bt they have been redone, among other with new lyrics. From a musical perspective, they circumvent not a single cliché from their chosen genre. The songs are either fast or mid-tempo, without ever neglecting the melodic component. There are of course a lot of guitar solos, high yet firm vocals and some spoken word parts that elucidate the story’s concept. The vocals remind, especially during the quieter moments, of Ronnie James Dio. The band even dedicates one song, The Majestic, to the vocal god who died two years ago. Unfortunately this tribute is piling it on too much, which especially disturbs during the chorus.

My main complaint is the album’s length of sixty-seven minutes, which seems just too much under the circumstances. The band’s major strength are the fast songs. Tracks like Storms Of Hell, Storm Riders and Deep Six Down are undisputable highlights that remind of great bands like Overkill, Metal Church, Vicious Rumors and Omen. There are some other really good moments on the album, but all in all there are just too many mid-tempo tracks which lack the suspense and tension of the faster material. 1000 Quatrains and Everspill are two instances where I felt tempted to push the skip button.

Those who like traditional US power metal will hardly find fault with Phantom-X, as The Opera Of The Phantom is far from being bad. But I can’t recommend it unhesitatingly either. The band has yet to learn that brevity is the soul of wit. Twenty minutes less, and the album would without a doubt have left a more lasting impression.

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