"Allow yourself to be transported to another world by the Phantasma" is how initiates the release of this project led by the trio Georg Neuhauser (Serenity), Oliver Philipps (Everon) and Charlotte Wessels (Delain), and was a very happy phrase to present this debut titled "Deviant Hearts", because it is impossible not even be involved by the beauty and the good taste of the compositions.
The sound we can said that is between the Symphonic Metal and Symphonic Rock, with those theatrical nuances, with an air of "musicals", as Meat Loaf style, for example, but we found something of Queen, and even Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
The project was already a long time ambition of Geog Neuhauser, and the driving force was complemented by the other two components, plus some special guests playing characters of history, which is conceptual and based on the novel written by Charlotte exclusively for the project, and production (amazing!), was cortesy of Oliver (who is also a multi-instrumentalist).
So how promises that initial sentence of the release, the listener is transported to another world, involved by the history and musical score, in intense songs with beautiful arrangements and catchy and memorable melodies. Personally, I can say that the trio of composers got their intention, creating a beautiful piece of music, very tasteful, and the album was involved from beginning to end! I cant' stop to listent to it, since i have received the album from Napalm records.
Charlotte made a fantastic job, a true "Diva", and also fully in agreement with what the release says, she is free as the wind, exploring various possibilities of her voice, showing that she is a singer and interpreter who has a capacity beyond what we already knew in her work with Delain and I believe to be a watershed for her this album, she's now on another level.
The journey through this beautiful musical piece starts with "Incomplete", which serves as an introduction, bringing a duet between Charlotte and Georg, accompanied by beautiful melodies at the piano, in these first few minutes you already feel like you're in for something different, for then "Deviant Hearts", the title track that starts and already it holds the listener immediately, with its beautiful arrangements and melodies. Symphonic, intense and climate, with great interpretations of Charlotte and the guest Tom Englund (Evergrey), already bringing this climate of Musicals (like Brodway or Meat Loaf).
Soon after "Runaway Gray" comes...beautiful, symphonyc and theatrical, in a great voice acting and an irresistible chorus, and barely giving you time to catch your breath, and the desire to go back and listen to the first songs again is downgraded to the first seconds of the beautiful ballad "Try", with a fantastic interpretation of Charlotte, highlighting deep and emotional vocal lines. One of the best ballads that i have heard in years.
Are high-level songs, while the story is being told, and what comes first is the intense sound and beautiful and memorable melodies, interpretations full of feeling of Charlotte and Georg, do not expect songs with a lot of weight and speed although we can find moments with more "punch" on guitars and drums, as the tense "Enter Dreamscape" and "Novaturient" with its changes of tempo and faster drums.
The album production have an excellence, and the compositions are top-notch, but there are highlights, and togheter with "Runaway Gray" and "Try", are many great songs such as "Miserable Me ", which also won a video, is perhaps one of the most theatrical songs; "Carry Me Home" and its melodies that convey a sense of peace and well being, great duets and soft melodies, culminating in a memorable chorus! Be attention to the care in the production, as the arrangements fulfill, overlapping voices in the pre-chorus and chorus brings a very beautiful result. To cause chills! This song and "Runaway Gray" and "Try", I believe they are the ones with the most memorable choruses.
But then we also have "Crimson Curse" with its symphonic intensity, keyboards and markable guitar licks, plus a beautiful vocal duet; the softness of "The Lotus and the Willow" and "The Sound of Fear", another beautiful ballad with beautiful vocal melodies, inspired and melodic solo on guitar, a song in the style of Meat Loaf. The exciting "Let it Die", which closes the album, and, well, as you noticed, i have even tried out to talk about some songs, but it would be unfair to mention just this or that.
Highly recommended, good taste, musicality, feeling and memorable melodies in songs that combine softness and strength, bringing this "Musical's" atmosphere and, as promised in the presentation of the project, transporting us to another world. I hope the Phantasma project do not stop in only one album and the members find time to produce more music like that contained in "Deviant Hearts". And this is the side that excites and involves those who like to listen to music, always show up for work by musicians who regard it seriously, like art, and this album is a piece of art.
The album is available in special edition, a beautiful Earbook (see here Charlotte presenting it), where in addition to the album, illustrations and chapters, two CDs with Charlotte reading the whole story.
Text: Carlos Garcia
Album: Deviant Hearts (2015)
Style: SymphonicRock/ Metal
Label: Napalm Records
Charlotte Wessels: Vocals & Lyrics
Georg Neuhauser: Vocals
Oliver Phillips: Producer/Multi-instrumentist
Napalm Records Page
02. The Deviant Hearts
03. Runaway Grey
05. Enter Dreamscape
06. Miserable Me
07. The Lotus And The Willow
08. Crimson Course
09. Carry Me Home
10. The Sound Of Fear
12. Let It Die
13. Symphony of Light (Bonus Track)