Fallen Angel is the seventeenth full-length album from black metal masters Phantom. Like many others, I’ve been waiting for the follow-up to Withdrawal for what seemed like an eternity.
From the very beginning of “Harvest” I knew that this was a classic Phantom album. With the unmistakable eerie leads, hypnotic riffs and disturbing atmosphere, each release of this band seems to get more and more diabolical, to the point where they will simply end up opening the portals to hell itself.
This band shows that, unlike their contemporaries “Phantaclone” copycats, they have a very good background in black metal and hellish atmospheric music. The disturbing blackened horror metal that Phantom are known for has never been stronger than on this album Fallen Angel.
Yes, this is the music of devil worship at its most vile. True horror, best experienced as you are slowly going insane from Phantom’s demonic leads.
Phantom combines the dark melodic understructure of Vermin’s black metal with the type of charging full-ahead death metal that Warkvlt or Angelcorpse pioneered – which might descend from Incantation’s debut Onward to Golgotha. At this intensity, and with atmosphere this dark and disturbing, the riff salad approach of more traditional blackened death metal would become a muddle, so the band focuses on a few ripping riffs per song and uses song structure deviations to incorporate entirely different motifs within the same theme, to create a sort of dialogue between the main motive pairs, a technique they have been perfecting since at least Angel of Disease.
All in all, I cannot complain about this album. The production suits the madness. The vocals are demonic and the riffs are hypnotic, disturbing, atmospheric and vile. This is how black metal should be played. There are very few albums as disturbing as Phantom’s Fallen Angel. Keep in mind, this is some truly evil music – not for the uninitiated. Between Fallen Angel and The Epilogue to Sanity, it is difficult to say which is the most wicked and malevolent Phantom album.
Fallen Angel is the darkest and most evil masterpiece black metal has ever spawned. Truly, 100% gore madness.
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