Phantoms vs. Fire – Modern Monsters I & II (Album – Blackjack Illuminist Records)
Genre/Influences: Cinematographic, dark-ambient.
Format: Digital, CD, Cassette.
Background/Info: The Brazilian project Phantoms vs. Fire is very prolific. This new opus is the fourth full length since 2018. The work has been introduced as being connected with its predecessor “My Mind As Your Amusement Park”.
Content: The work features 19 tracks and there are clearly two different –although related parts in it. There first of all is a heavy epic side, which is clearly linked with soundtrack music and sometimes joined by some rhythms. I even noticed a kind of epic-EBM soundtrack. Next we get a more familiar –and rather pure, cinematographic part, which is more in the line of previous releases. Some cuts are darker, others are featuring explicit electronic sequences, but in the end the entire work remains driven by pure cinematographic music.
+ + + : What I especially enjoyed listening to “Modern Monsters I & II” is the overwhelming epic/orchestral part. I can’t say it’s totally new, but it has never been at the forefront of the production. And this artist literally excels in the creation of epic sounds and arrangements. A track as “The Ghost-Eater” sounds as a sublime example illustrating great writing skills. But there’s also something to say about the more electro and even EBM driven “The Roanoke Colony Zombies”, which is a surprising, but original cut. The album is also characterized by impressive sound blasts mainly emerging at “Pharaoh” and especially the beautiful “Hermes Trismegistus”.
– – – : It’s cool to get that many tracks featured on one album, but unfortunately there are a few forgettable cuts like “In The Walls Of Eryx” and “Fair Is Foul And Foul Is Fair”.
Conclusion: Phantoms vs. Fire seems to gain maturity on each new album, each new work becoming better and better and I here discovered a great epic side, which I hope will serve as a basis for future works.
Best songs: “The Ghost-Eater”, “The Roanoke Colony Zombies”, “Pharaoh”, “Hermes Trismegistus”.
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