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Phantom 5 - 'Phantom 5' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/73/19/37/phantom-5-phantom-5-78-1471805072.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 21, 2016    
 
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It's hard to tell if Phantom 5 will ever be more than just a project band, but on the strength of this debut here's hoping they can.

After thirty years fronting one of Germany's premier Rock bands, it came as something as a surprise to find out that Claus Lessmann had been unceremoniously booted out of Bonfire in favour of former Bangalore Choir singer David Reece. It was inevitable that Lessmann would resurface at some point and, thankfully, the wait hasn't been too long.

Phantom 5 was initially viewed as a project band initiated by Frontiers President, Serafino Perugino, who contacted guitarist, singer, writer and producer Michael Voss (Casanova, Mad Max, Michael Schenker, and of course Bonfire at one point), with a wish-list of artists to form a German "super-group". Lessmann was the first name, and the line-up was completed with the addition of guitarist Robby Boebel (Frontline, Evidence One), bassist Francis Buchholz (Scorpions, MS) and drummer Axel Kruse (Jaded Heart, MM). Music-wise, the only stipulation was that it had to be Melodic Rock – mission accomplished!

It seems too easy to describe the P5 sound as an amalgamation of the previous bands of the two principal writers, but that's exactly what you get, with Casanova's blend of US Arena and European Melodic Rock meeting the riff-driven Melodic Hard Rock of the magnificent 'Fireworks' era Bonfire thanks to Lessmann's warm rasp. The album is big on melody throughout, and while the actual choruses aren't exactly immense, there is enough there to keep drawing you back in for repeated listens. Naturally, considering the calibre of the personnel involved, the musicianship is superior; in particular, Boebel's lead guitar work is amazing and the neat rhythm interplay between himself and Voss brings to mind prime-time Scorpions and Gotthard, and it has to be said that Voss' production is simply colossal.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Though Lessmann is lead vocalist, Voss (a vastly underrated singer in my opinion) gets to sing a few lines of his own on 'They Won't Come Back', a touching tribute to some fallen heroes of our beloved Rock music, while elsewhere the slick Rockers 'All The Way', 'Frontline', 'We Both Had Our Time', the rousing 'Blue Dog', the obligatory-but-still-brilliant power ballad 'Since You're Gone' and the simply awesome 'Someday' are highlights of a cracking album totally devoid of filler.

With the featured artists involved in other projects it's hard to tell if Phantom 5 will ever be more than just a project band, but on the strength of this debut here's hoping they can!

Ant Heeks

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