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Phantasma - 'The Deviant Hearts' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/62/db/69/phantasma-the-deviant-hearts-47-1496171527.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 30, 2017    
 
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I don't think it matters if you are a Metal/AOR/Hard Rock etc. fan, this album will appeal to everyone.

What do you get when you put together three of the most well-respected musicians working today? The answer? One of the most entertaining and beautifully written Rock/Metal albums of the last few years.

The three names of whom you'll likely be more than a little familiar with are Georg Neuhauser (Serenity), Oliver Philipps (Everon) and Charlotte Wessels (Delain) with the album itself entitled 'The Deviant Hearts'. It's based on a novella written by Wessels, about two children born with heart defects (hence the title).

The album's songs/lyrics are all about how the children live with the pain, sense of childhood loss, love, death and everything else that life has dealt them. The lyrics are stunning because at the beginning they have a sad and sombre nature, then later they're tinged with hope, then at the end happiness and forgiveness. And for lyrics like these, of course you need music that complements and brings them to life. To that end Wessels, Philipps and Neuhauser have written a musical score that does that and so much more.

A sweet lullaby called 'Incomplete' opens the album, with a recurring refrain that is found many times throughout this release. It features Wessels and Nuehauser as the two protagonists and it (at first) lulls, then pulls the listener into the world of '...Hearts' so that they can take this journey along with the children.

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Now I could easily wax lyrical about every song on this release but with space at a premium, I can't. So the enticing 'Runaway Gray', 'Try' (featuring, for me personally, the best vocal Wessels has ever laid down), 'Enter Dreamscape', the superbly catchy 'Crimson Course' and the AOR brilliance of 'Carry Me Home' should be your first ports of call.

If you need any more proof however, then please listen to the album's big curtain closer 'Let It Die'. A full production piece with vocals to die for and overblown keyboards and guitars; this really is a tour-de-force in how to write, produce and deliver a great song. The whole group of musicians involved on this project, putting their all into this number and producing one of the best songs of 2015.

As albums go 'The Deviant Hearts' is, for me, something quite special. Everything about it has been done to the highest standards; the music, the lyrics, the production... nothing has been left to chance. I don't think it matters if you are a Metal/AOR/Hard Rock etc. fan, this album will appeal to everyone.

Ian Johnson

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