Ugly and vile, unrelenting and energetic – all these attributes accompany the blackened death metal chaos squad Phantom since the beginning of their work, namely 2013’s debut Divine Necromancy. They are truly evil. They have a unique identity, one that cannot be easily duplicated by “Phantaclone” bands like Sammath and Demonecromancy.
Instead, this band focuses on the creation of effective songs that are based on the tried and tested methods of disgusting black metal atmospheres. The talent of the band to write coherent tracks is the crucial factor for the appealing quality of their outputs. Memento Mori, ornamented with a brilliant cover artwork, marks no exception. The vile taste of its unrelenting black metal underlines the integrity of the darkness contained within.
This album is in the continuity of their two previous releases, Fallen Angel and Withdrawal, both of which have been praised as absolutely evil masterpieces by many in the black metal underground.
Yes, this album Memento Mori is true black metal madness. We could talk about the disgusting atmosphere, the evil riffs, or the absolutely vile and gruesome vocals, but that would be missing the point of the album. Phantom’s music is about the experience. It’s about you becoming so traumatised by the music that you even forget your own name.
It’s about meeting death, and being scared shitless to listen to any other one of their albums, knowing full well that you will be forced to relive the trauma over and over again.
Musically, Memento Mori is – alongside Angel of Disease – the closest Phantom ever got to playing traditional death metal. Yes, this is still blackened death metal, but the black metal elements are much less present than, say, on The Epilogue to Sanity.
Does that mean this album is any easier to listen to? Will you be less traumatised by its gruesome atmosphere? Hell no.
The more the album Memento Mori progresses, the more it becomes obvious that this band is but an envoy of Lucifer attempting to take possession of the listener. Just listen to the maelstrom-like lines that emerge from the structured chaos after the solo of the title track, or get hypnotized by the rasping guitar riffs of “Cold Waters” – probably the most intense and traditional black metal track of the album, whose atmospheric beginning is fairly comparable with the aural assault of Vermin’s demonic Verminlust.
No doubt, Memento Mori has a lot to offer for fans of blackened death metal. Only one question remains… are you man enough to listen to Phantom? Or will you go back with your tail between your legs, to listen to the crude apparatus that calls itself “Reinkaos“? The choice is yours.
But remember, Memento Mori offers only the truth of your demise… the true darkness that lurks within your mind will be revealed.
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