Storming out of Deutschland is the melodic hard rock monster band Phantom 5 with their self-titled debut on Frontiers Music label. Phantom 5 is a juggernaut if only for the collected musicians comprising the band, talent from the German hard rock and metal scene. Started by guitarist Michael Voss (Casanova, Bonfire, Mad Max) and vocalist Claus Lessmann (Bonfire), the band also includes guitarist Robby Boebel (Frontline), drummer Axel Kruse (Jaded Heart), and ex-Scorpions bassist Francis Buchholz.
With this stellar personnel expectations predictably run high for their music. And you won't be disappointed. Phantom 5 delivers straight up melodic hard rock with a metal edge and then folded into an AOR wrapper. The twin guitars are large, making the riffs both huge and harmonious. Of course, and naturally, riffs lead to epic and soaring guitar solos. To say that the album has a strong guitar presence is probably by design.
Underneath Kruse and Buchholz keep the rhythm groove steady and surging. Lessmann delivers his usual melodic, bit raspy, bit raw vocals with stamina and passion. Toss in some exceptional songwriting and arrangements for these elements, and you have songs that gush with melody, groove, and some darn catchy AOR feeling.
And that latter characteristic of AOR accessibility is what makes Phantom 5's heavier melodic hard rock spot on and very enjoyable. Best examples come with Frontline, Blue Dog, They Won't Come Back, the very catchy All The Way and Someday. You get a something of a ballad with Since You're Gone, likely the lightest song here. To be honest, I didn't favor Renegade and Why, both slower mid-temp tunes. The first seemed muddle along until the chorus, the latter just plain dragged along. Nevertheless, Phantom 5's debut album still hits the mark. If you like the band members and their musical history or simply like Eighties classic melodic hard rock, you will like this album. Recommended.
Phantom 5's debut album hits the mark. If you like the musicians, the bands they've been involved in, or simply like Eighties classic melodic hard rock, you will like this album. Recommended.
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