Phantomsmasher - _Phantomsmasher_
(Ipecac, 2002)
by: Xander Hoose (9.5 out of 10)
Forced to change their previous name, Atomsmasher, due to 'legal issues', James Plotkin's super star band is back under a new moniker and with a brand new album to terrify the living daylights out of the innocent souls wandering on this planet. When the Atomsmasher album came out I loved it, but it soon faded into obscurity, as it lacked the necessary structure to make it playable on a regular basis. The new Phantomsmasher album is different: where Atomsmasher was a brutal, violent and chaotic attack on the aural senses, Phantomsmasher stands out as a more structured and well-aimed kick in the head. Its music -- death metal meets jazz meets blastbeats meets electronics -- is insanely accurate and well composed, resulting in a much more solid album than its predecessor on the whole, but not in any way less crazy or insane. The fucked up vocals and haunting samples make it hard not to envision Jap-style anime movies as the perfect visual companion to this onslaught, while those who are willing to listen carefully to this album will discover layers upon layers of instrumental texture that many a band would be jealous of. Even though this is not music for the weak or narrow-minded metal fans, Phantomsmasher will have a undeniable appeal to sci-fi oriented fans and people who are disturbed by the lack of creativity and technical progression in music nowadays. The only reason why I'm not giving this album the full 10 out of 10 is that I overrated the Atomsmasher album. However, I'm quite certain that in the end it'll turn out I've actually underrated this one.

(article published 26/3/2003)

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