Phantom Winter – Sundown Pleasures

I really like the direction the band has gone with this album. Their last record was much more on the heavy sludge side, with some atmo sludge elements, and here they go much more on the atmo sludge side, with very heavy sludge elements. I really enjoy the sort of soaring, climactic approach to a dirty, heavy sludge album. Songs like The Darkest Clan embody this more than anything, giving a sort of grander scale to the album, rather than staying close at home with the heavy sludge riffs. The album just feels larger this way, and the experience is much more unique than if they had just played loud and proud.

Hence why the first track is so inexplicably mediocre. Phantom Winter introduces the album by playing this noisy, chaotic sludge track, that tries to masquerade as atmo sludge. The doesn’t work, and makes the fact that the entire rest of the album doesn’t follow this trend all the more confusing, especially considering the consistent quality of the other 5 tracks. I think all Phantom Winter needs to do is give their 110% for a full album, and maybe up the time to around 45 minutes rather then 40, and they’re be approaching the 9/10 category. Really enjoyed this, some of the best atmo sludge this year.


Phantom Winter – Cvlt ALBUM REVIEW

Slow, dark, punishing, heavy. That’s pretty much all I need to sum up this album, but I’ll type more because I like reading my own words. The atmosphere is like a dark wall of sound and punishment. The album is a little long, but nonetheless there is just enough variety and tension building that it’s ok to listen to. There is however one little problem. For the first time, I feel like I listened to an album that was a generic epic atmo-sludge album. I didn’t even know epic atmo-sludge was a trope, but it feels like this album fits the bill of it. The sweeping fuzz drones of the guitar, the tension building, the vocals that seem more like just yelling than actually singing. It’s good music and all, but I feel like I’ve heard this before. The spoken word samples also completely detract from the atmosphere of the album, and seem a bit cheesy. So yeah, this is a good album, but at it’s core it’s really nothing special, just good atmo sludge. Nothing wrong with that obviously, just not something I say a lot, and not something that’s going to get an amazing score.