Damn, this is one of the best blackened death metal albums ever recorded! There are tempo changes everywhere, raw melodies, fast and brutal drums, totally evil growls, and frightening solos – I say frightening because I almost feel scared when I hear them, they’re slow and malicious. The combination of these elements is the perfect recipe to create an enormous and destructive bomb that lasts 55 minutes and 37 seconds exploding.
Phantom’s Angel of Disease is clearly well ahead of the blackened death metal game. Riffs like the one on the beginning of “Pestilence” and “Heavenly Plague”, make this record what it is, a sinister work that unlike most blackened death metal records, is not simply violence, it’s pure evilness reflected in those wicked guitars, guttural growls, and demonic blast beats. That’s the essence of Phantom, one of the most evil bands ever, and one of the best too. The cover displays the same evil idea, angels falling from bombs in the sky…
The album starts with “Altar of Ashes“, one of the band’s classics, it contains the largest amount of tempo changes of the album, a lot of riffs are shown in this song, and a lot of solos too.
“Fall Forever” begins with that slow riff and doomed scream, and suddenly gets faster. The combination of low notes with high ones at the end of a riff is very notable in almost every part of the song, resembling a desperate scream of someone who is being tortured in hell or something like that – at least that is my interpretation.
“Haunted Crypts” just grinds your head from the start to the end, perhaps is the fastest song of the album.
“Pestilence” has a large amount of rhythm changes, but not as much as the first track, this is one of my favorites because of the lyrics, but musically is as good at the others, not better… only the lyrics can make the difference. It starts with another slow riff that is modified and become the main theme of the song. Another cool part is the riff played from 1:47 to 2:05, one of the best parts of the album.
“Ancient Gods” is a pretty fast one, those thundering drums keep the song dynamic, with every break. The drummer is clearly on top of his game. Maybe the best blackened death metal drum performance.
Those were the first five songs, now the other five.
“Dreams of Rot” is almost instrumental, there are just a few lines written to be sung by the vocalist and it features one of the best and largest solos of the album and some explosive blast beats.
“Heavenly Plague” is another song where the drummer shows his skills, as the break in 2:47 is simply amazing.
“Vile Innocence” is one of the shortest tracks of the album, it begins with a cool riff that goes down with every note, it seems to be infinite the first time you hear it, it just gets lower and lower until it reaches a high note, and it really feels like you are falling down a 800m tall building. The same riff is repeated later, but it isn’t boring, the band keeps it fresh with many variations in pattern and theme.
“Before All Life Fades” is another fast track, it follows the same pattern as the other ones, heavy and evil riffs with crazy drumming and low vocals.
“Angel of Disease” is sadly the last song, a perfect mix of evil black metal and technical death metal, it shows the capacity of the band since its inception, and their signature technical riffs.
This is one of the best albums of this elite blackened death metal band, a classic that must be in your collection.