Among Phantoms – Memories/Catastrophes
Release Date: 01/10/2020
Running Time: 25:47
Review by Beth Jones
Do you ever have one of those weeks where, by Tuesday lunchtime, you feel like you’ve climbed Everest on your hands, whilst being repeatedly beaten around the face by an angry Octopus? Well, it’s been that kind of a week! But what better way to unwind than with a bit of shouty Hardcore! And you could do a lot worse than Danish Metallic Hardcore band, Among Phantoms.
From Aarhus in Denmark, and formed in 2016, the band released a self-titled EP in 2018, and were set to release their debut album, “Memories/Catastrophes” earlier this year. But, you know, this year’s just been a bit of a cluster fuck really hasn’t it! However, the album was finally released a few weeks ago, and is the subject of today’s musings from me!
The first thing that struck me about Among Phantom’s sound was the mix of influences going on. It’s got a punk edge, and some really thrash inspired riffs and rhythms, but they also dabble in some off-beat proggy bits, and at times, some 90’s-esque hardcore grunge sounds. It’s pleasing. The one constant throughout though is the tortured screams of Lars Raun Petersen.
The album starts with ‘It Is Us’. Opening with a classic sounding guitar riff, it launches into an off-beat chunky little number fairly quickly, transitions into a bit of thrash in the middle, then drops back into riffs and off beats, then a bit of Rage Against The Machine style rhythms, before meandering off into thrashy prog a bit more! It’s a lot to cram into one 4-minute song, but technically, it’s executed really well.
‘Breath You In’ follows, dropping into a more standard approach to rhythms! Solid thrashy riffage, that you can really bang your head to, and screams that penetrate through everything. The following track, ‘Anticipation’ runs in much the same way, but then they step things up again in ‘Oblivion’. This offers a lot of really great headbanging sections, but none of them keep the same rhythm for long, just to try and screw with your mind! That said, I think this is my favourite track on the album. It’s really dark, and heavy as hell. It also has some funky little samples going on in the middle. It feels exciting, and aggressive; almost primal. One of those song that you just don’t risk putting on in the car for fear of losing your shit and ending up in a hedge!
Track 5, ‘Taking Over’, is more on solid ground, and has a great little call and response section involving the guitars, which is panned nicely between left and right, giving it a really wide feel. Talking about mixing, the band’s guitarist, Mads Trebbein, took care of that, and Andreas Linnemann created the final masters. And a fine job they’ve done too. One of my bugbears is not having the correct balance of sound, but I haven’t found anything with the levels here that particularly irks me!
There’s nothing that’s going to move mountains within this release. However, as a debut, it’s a great solid start for Amongst Phantoms to grow from, and it’s a very enjoyable listen. There’s one thing for sure though. With only 7 tracks, and just shy of 26 minutes long, “Memories/Catastrophes” doesn’t outstay its welcome. If anything, it’s not long enough for my liking! I needed another couple of tracks to irritate the obsessional rhythmic headbanger lurking withing me! For their future releases, I’d like to see the same standard of vigour, but for a longer duration! And if they do that, then I’ll be a very happy bunny!
01. It Is Us
02. Breathe You In
05. Taking Over
07. Don´t Look Back, Commit!
Lars Raun Petersen – Vocals
Rene Holmboe – Drums
Mads Trebbein – Guitar
James Amstutz – Guitar
Anders S. Mikkelsen – Bass
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