Phantasma is the result of a collaboration project between Charlotte Wessels of Delain, Georg Neuhauser of Serenity and Oliver Philipps of Everon. The idea behind it, it seems to be a band that has little to nothing to be with their main projects. The Deviant Hearts is their début album.
Phantasma is about to release their first album titled The Deviant Hearts, a collection of songs that showcases a diverse range of musical influences from hard rock, metal, AOR, progressive and even soul. The Deviant Hearts opens with Incomplete, a beautiful piano driven song that features Charlotte‘s & Georg‘s voices on perfect harmony. The Deviant Hearts (Give Us A Story), opens with this amazing acoustic guitar parts that evolve into a bombastic and catchy melody that has a bit of Disney-like style. There is a small proggy section in the middle of the song that makes it quite interesting and fun to listen to.
Runaway Grey comes off as a dark and somber ballad that once again it develops into this Disney-like style which is very present on the rest of the album, I don’t know if it was intentionally written that way or it just turned out that way. Try is a slow song that explores a different facet of Charlotte‘s vocals which includes blues, mixed with soul and a tiny bit of gospel. It’s really interesting to see how dynamic Charlotte‘s voice is and how this song showcases some of her hidden abilities. Enter Dreamscape carries a bit of the Serenity style on the song which reminiscence the song Serenade of Flames from their Death and Legacy album.
Miserable Me and The Lotus And The Willow are songs that had some catchy melodies which again have this Disney-style all over them, really interesting stuff. Crimson Course is an upbeat song, quite different to the rest of the album with a little bit of 80’s style on it, a really fun song with a lot of keyboard effects on it. Carry Me Home is a more AOR kind of song that features a series of really nice minimalistic melodies around the song.
The Sound Of Fear is a really cool song that has an air to Aladdin or Hercules’s soundtracks on it. Novaturient sounds like the kind of music that you would listen at an Elizabethian court ball in the 16th century but mixed with metal. The Deviant Hearts closes up with Let It Die which is without a doubt the most epic song on the album. Lovely orchestrations with amazing and beautiful melody changes, this song has a lot of different elements that even ends with the humming melody from the first song on the album.
Phantasma surprises all of those that thought that this album was going to be a mix of Delain and Serenity (Delainity). But it turns out is something different from them. It’s a different perspective, it’s a pilot for something artsier and more emotional. I would love to see what they do next, but I am also curious if any of this material would ever reach the stage level at any point or if it will remain as a studio project.
5 out of 5 Rating:
02. The Deviant Hearts (Give Us A Story)
03. Runaway Grey
05. Enter Dreamscape
06. Miserable Me
07. The Lotus And The Willow
08. Crimson Course
09. Carry Me Home
10. The Sound Of Fear
12. Let It Die
Record Label: Napalm Records
Playing time: 58 minutes
Tom Englund (Evergrey) vocals on “Enter Dreamscape” and “The Deviant Hearts”
Cloe Lowery (Trans Siberian Orchestra) vocals on “Try”
Dennis Schunke (Van Canto) vocals on “Carry Me Home”
Jason Gianni (Daredevil Squadron/ Neal Morse Band/ Trans Siberian Orchestra) – drums
Randy George (Neal Morse Band/Ajalon) – bass
Tom Buchberger (ex-Serenity) – guitar