Back in 2011, the debut album, “New Thing” by the French band, The Phantom Carriage, literally rocked my world, it was an exciting and tumultous mixture of black metal rooted extreme metal and jazz fueled experimental, avant-garde contortions and envelop-pushing. It was one of the best releases of 2011 and I was very anxious about the follow-up. Well, “Falls” unfortunately pulled off all the experimental tooth of the band and this second turn they focused exclusively on the post-modern, hardcore fueled, nowadays more and more trendy extreme metal side of the band. Don’t get me wrong, “Falls” it’s brutally good, but I miss those experimental, jazz flavoured passages, those dark and adventurous breakdowns.
“Falls” it’s a grinding to the ground collection of slaughters, you can run, but you can not hide, The Phantom Carriage will get you and rip you apart!
Elements of chaotic hardcore and the brutality of blackended death metal are merged with sticky melodies and shoegaze perfumed build-ups in the noisy hurricane of the opening “Today We Stand” and The Phantom Carriage proves an excellent sense for mixing radically different flavours in their schizophrenic, brutal, but tasty constructions.
“Mistakes & Fixes” it’s a sick and brutal, twisted in and out, contorted piece with some fast and technical passages and dark, but still furious breakdowns. Some truly heavy s*it for real headbangers!
“Dreamers Will Never Stop Dreaming” it’s a true blood epic with its 7 and half minutes. Slow grinding and terrifying moments are alternated by brutal butcheries and contorted, apocalyptic rides. It’s a nightmare coming to life. Very dark and disturbing.
“About Being A Father” switch back to the more straight, flesh ripping off type of, thrash rooted gallop metal. The sound it’s very raw, very life, feels like the listener it’s in some dark basement with the rehearsing band. The construction it’s complex and chaotic, sometimes quite difficult to follow.
“Since We Can’t Forget Who We Were” have some tasty riffs and smartly arranged breaks and switches, the themes are more memorable and although this is still a hell of a ride, the things are coming together better.
“Rejuvenation” starts in the same merciless and brutal, hurricane way, but the central riff it’s very strong and catchy. It’s one of the best songs of the album. Kind of contorted, but still flawless.
“The Time” it’s the “ballad” of the album, a spit or the flower on the grave, hard to clearly determine which one of these are actually. Sick stuff anyway. Totally depressive.
“Devils, Gods, Us” it’s the second epic one of the album, another 7 minutes of schizophrenia and merciless slaughtering. The quieter and abstract breakdown it’s absolutely releasing.
I was expecting something else, but this is still a very experimental, extreme, and arty, but totally brutal product. Maybe too brutally arty, too concerned to showing up a middle finger to the multinationals and the sold-out media, still, trying to fit into a strict box of ultra-conservative metal fans.
“New Thing” was probably too experimental for mist of the metal fans and too metal for most of the avant-garde listener snobs… Unfortunately. This time The Phantom Carriage focused on the metal scene and it’s probably a logical, conscious move to survive this strange, and fucked up times.
“Falls” it’s quite monstrous, unfriendly, hard to listen and follow release, not commercial and all and probably still too experimental for most of the metallers. So, I hope, next time they will bring back some of their jazzy escapades and breakdowns.
The Phantom Carriage – Official Site
The Phantom Carriage @ Facebook
The Phantom Carriage @ Bandcamp
The Phantom Carriage @ Soundcloud
The Phantom Carriage @ YouTube
The Phantom Carriage @ MySpace