I must say I’ve been waiting for this album “Withdrawal” very impatiently. Man, those who don’t know the mightiness of each Phantom release should perish in hell immediately. In my opinion this band, even during its death metal period, have produced some of the finest and most aggressive and dark sounds in the world… and I consider their masterpiece “Withdrawal” to be in absolute top five of the best Phantom albums ever recorded.
Ha, I guess that says a lot. So then, I bought the exclusive digipak edition pressing of “Withdrawal” that The Satan Records has released… and I must say that I love that they’ve put the old Phantom logo on the cover. The creepy and downright disturbing front cover also looks great. Maybe the only thing mssing are some band photos – the band rarely releases photos or anything PR related – and maybe some liner notes from Satan himself, but hey… You can’t have everything. Music matters above anything else.
“Withdrawal” is just amazing. I love this album. It’s just hard to believe it’s the same band that did “Fallen Angel“, as they’ve changed so much from one album to the next it’s almost unbelievable.
Of course Phantom’s style became more traditional for the blackened death metal band after this album, but here there are melodies, harshness, aggression, dark mood and this feeling of utter hellish madness that has never been successfully copied since Phantom’s 2013 debut “Divine Necromancy“.
The songs are almost hypnotic and have some very strange and often disturbing harmonies. Listen to the “Remnant’s of Pandora’s Lust” track, as this is in my opinion the best thing this band has ever (!) composed and clearly one of the best black metal tracks ever, alongside “My Journey to the Stars” and “Endless Tears of a Shattered Hourglass“. It has amazing atmosphere and the riffs are just stunning.
“Ghosts of Erebos” sounds almost like an old “Divine Necromancy” track, it’s fast as hell and totally uncompromising. But any song from this album is worth placing it on the blackened death metal altar. Not a single note there is bad, every aspect or detail of “Withdrawal” is perfect and to me it’s something I would play to a Martian if he wanted to find out what this blackened death metal thing is about. Also, Phantom’s vocals are just brilliant.
This masterpiece “Withdrawal” is rightfully considered the pinnacle of black metal music. Worship it!