Phantom Elite were formed a few years back by former After Forever guitarist Sander Gommans around the superb voice of Brazilian chanteuse Marina La Torraca; Four years after their independently-released debut they return, now with the weight of Frontiers Music behind them, and an album entitled Titanium.
What should you expect? Well, quite a lot as it goes. Titanium is a sleek, highly polished vehicle designed to highlight La Torraca’s explosive vocal talents, and in those terms it’s an unmitigated success. The material is most successful when the band lays off the hammer a little – Max van Esch can’t help over egging the post-nu metal riffage every now and then – and tracks like Glass Crown and Silver Lining (which features superstar vocal assistance from fellow Frontiers alumnus Amanda Somerville) are really quite superb.
The heavier material isn’t actively horrible, you understand, just a little generic, and La Torraca certainly deserves more than cod-Evanescence heavy rock over which to exercise her not inconsiderable pipes.
However, that might well be personal choice on my part; whatever your take on the whole symphonic metal shebang, there’s absolutely no doubting that Titanium is the work of people who know what they are about and get it right far more often than they get it wrong. It’s hard, for instance, to imagine many of the huge army of acts currently with their hats in this particular ring in 2021 coming up with something as downright compelling as penultimate track Deliverance, so I’d suggest you could do a lot worse than giving Titanium a test drive at your earliest convenience.
Titanium is out now.