Thursday, 22 February 2018

ALBUM PREMIERE & REVIEW: Phantom Winter, "Into Dark Science"

By: Ernesto Aguilar

Album Type: Full length
Date Released: 02/03/2018
Label: Golden Antenna Records

From the opening chords of "The Initiation Of Darkness," Phantom Winter create an experience that grinds into you relentlessly and the results are truly phenomenal.  You'll be thankful for this experience, harrowing though it may be.

"Into Dark Science" CD//DD//LP track listing

1. The Initiation Of Darkness
2. Ripping Halos From Angels
3. Frostcoven
4. The Craft And The Power Of Black Magic Wielding
5. Into Dark Science
6. Godspeed! Voyager

The Review:

Following 2016's well-received "Sundown Pleasures," German sludge/doom crew Phantom Winter rejoin the living in 2018 on its latest. Its six-song "Into Dark Science" are hereby your reminder that doom and sludge, like cold brew coffee, are best served pure and without flourish.

The subtle beauty of Phantom Winter's music has always been its truth in vision. It stands out because it isn't preening with the idea of being something more exceptional that a doom group. They do not need to: the performance is so unique and powerful that its presence is all that is necessary. Such focus on craft is freeing. What's more the sheer quality of the musicianship virtually guarantees that the band does not require a hyphenate sort of marketing. Instead, Phantom Winter, from the opening chords of "The Initiation Of Darkness," creates an experience.

"Into Dark Science" is effective because of its claustrophobic soundscapes and baleful vocals. Storytelling is very much part of this mood; Phantom Winter shares its lyrics with fans, and its misanthropic vignettes are certain to sit with you for awhile. "No god can help you here, no sun will ever shine," goes "Frostcoven." "We are usurpers of the night… the ghosts who haunt us scream in pain." " The Initiation Of Darkness " crashes against your head in fits and starts, with words inspired by poet Sylvia Plath and activist Adrienne Rich. "Ripping Halos From Angels" throbs with Full of Hell-style abandon. "The Craft And The Power Of Black Magic Wielding" sets a mood and grinds it into you relentlessly. In all, these are seem disparate, but share common bonds, sonically and lyrically. The results are truly phenomenal.

As you come to the album's conclusion, Phantom Winter present more of that harsh edge of doom it presented earlier. Broken-glass vocals and a tumultuous guitar sequence will leave you spellbound. You'll be thankful for this experience, harrowing though it may be.

"Into Dark Science" is available to preorder/buy here

Band info: facebook