Betraying the Martyrs - Phantom“Phantom” is the latest release from Betraying the Martyrs and the follow-up to their debut album “Breath in Life”. I have to say that it’s not often that an album stops me dead in my tracks, and then forces me (yes, forces me) to play it four times in a row…you bastards, I’d got shit to do!

Anyway, “Phantom” opens up with ‘Jigsaw,’ a cacophony of brutal riffs, snarling yet superbly executed vocals. ‘Jigsaw’ has a nod to so many metal genres that I really can’t be arsed to try and assign a pigeon hole for it (not that I want to do that anyway).

‘Where the world ends’ doesn’t disappoint, with its melodic keys and vocal interludes, ferocious guitars and immense drumming, it continues the battering. ‘Walk Away’ has so much stuff going on, it’s vicious in its opening vocal style, then leads you off somewhere melodic, accompanied by organs and anthemic choruses.

THEN there’s the cheesy (but perfectly in keeping and superbly finished) little nod to the Disney epic ‘Frozen’ in the form of a cover of ‘Let it go’…Oh man – I hate that cartoon but can’t help raising a wry smile to this; again, you bastards!

‘Labysse De Anges’ is a stunning instrumental interlude (and most definitely needed after throwing in a cover of a fucking Disney tune!). It’s beautiful, haunting and reminds me a little of Mastodon, in style.

‘Let me clear my throat’…(gotta love a bit of DJ Kool)…OK, that lame reference is due to the fact I love that they’ve left in Matts’ clearing his throat in the final mix of ‘Phantom (Fly Away)’; it sets the scene nicely for an aural assault of speed and growls, same can be said of ‘What’s left of you’; a fucking ace tune, sans the throat clearance!

A hauntingly beautiful, piano laden, ‘Afterlife’ provides some much needed respite before launching into the tirade that is ‘Legends Never Die’. ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘Your Throne’ have somewhat of a film score vibe in their opening styles and yet they both maintain the ferocity of this album with ‘Your Throne’ blending seamlessly into another ferociously beautiful track in ‘Our Kingdom’.

Finally, ‘Closure Found’ blends all that has gone before into an epic, concluding blast.

If you hadn’t gathered by now, “Phantom” is a juggernaut of a record and one which should be played A LOT; it is, quite simply, a stormer and I now cannot wait to see Betraying the Martyrs play live!

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