PHANTOM SPELL is the newest project of Kyle McNeil, frontman of the U.K. classic metallers SEVEN SISTER. I know many of you would say “Why should we need a new project”, well the answer is that McNeil felt that his inspiration strayed beyond the classic metal boundaries that Seven Sisters have established, therefore he decided to create this side project.
So, PHANTOM SPELL is all about prog /pomp rock with some touches of heavy metal in the form of twin lead themes. Most hard rock references appear in the form of BLUE OYSTER CULT (a feeling of sweetness into the overall sound), THIN LIZZY (double leads), RORY GALLAGHER and late URIAH HEEP but the themes that dominate PHANTOM SPELL sound come from bands like SAGA, STYX, late GENTLE GIANT, ANGEL, KANSAS, early MAGNUM, early JOURNEY etc.
Yes there are tons of inspiration here. Songs, though are guitar dominated, feature interesting and inspiring keyboard themes, sweet melodies, complex yet catchy themes. For example, the peak of the album, “Blood Becomes Sand”, an epic prog song that absorbs almost all key features of the band and creates unique feelings of melancholy. Other interesting tracKs are “Keep on Running”, which is a more straightforward rocker with a prog / pomp twist, “Seven Sided Mirror” (a.k.a. “I was listening a lot of GENTLE GIANT when I was younger”) prog rocker which is my personal choice of the album and “Up the Tower” that blinks an eye into Brit late 70’s pop/rock scene like SNIFF ‘N’ THE TEARS.
I must admit that I enjoyed PHANTOM SPELL more than the usual retro rock band. While I am no dying hard fan of the retro scene, I must admit that when bands / artists absorb their influences instead of just copying them, then the result can be really great and the music can take the listener to wonderful sonic journeys. I’d say that this is one of the best retro rock albums around and surely a future classic. I expect more from PHANTOM SPELL.
I know that at least one slot on my top 10 list of 2022 releases belongs to this one. What an amazing combination of Proto Epic Metal with Pomp, Hard and Prog Rock we got here! I am obsessed!
How amazing the songwriting is on this release! How beautiful the twin guitars are sounding. And I must admit that the NWOBHM touches that can be heard here and there, within the songs, fit perfectly! This stuff pretty much reminded me of DAWNWATCHER, OMEGA (ex- APOCALYPSE). I can even catch a serious PATRIARCH blessing in here and I have to point some newer bands as influences I would for sure put HALLAS and WYCH HAZEL on the list. We got beautiful epic melodies on guitars, wonderful keyboard themes and melancholic -still epic- vocals. This is the real deal!
I was sure that this band would release something great after checking their debut single some moons ago. In fact “Keep on Running” is included in this full release on a different version.
I also got to point that “Dawn Of Mind” is one of the best compositions that I have checked out lately -in general- and that I really enjoyed the cover version on “Moonchild” -yeah the Rory Gallagher classic-.
Well no need to write more in here. “Immortal’s Requiem” rules. PHANTOM SPELL delivered a sonic jewel! (Chris Papadakis)
Check out the discussion in our forum pages.
Chekc some PHANTOM SPELL airplay on our radio show.