As the album title suggests, it’s been 7 years since the band’s second album, and 7-Year Epilogue is one that I’ve definitely been looking forward to. If you’re unfamiliar with the band’s work, then put simply; The Phantom Carriage combine dissonant black metal with blistering hardcore, and to great effect. 7-Year Epilogue carries on this tradition, only with an enhanced melodic side, which includes some unexpected moments of clean singing too.
Despite its hostile appearance, 7-Year Epilogue is a multifaceted release that covers a diverse amount of ground across its 37 minutes, from the atmospheric to the brutal. The band merge their influences very effectively, with black metal, hardcore, screamo, and post-hardcore elements all sitting together like the most natural thing in the world.
The band’s visceral fury is intact and well, and it’s great to hear their brand of sonic violence once more. I love how intense they can be. It’s not all mayhem and chaos, however, as dark atmosphere and moody dissonance are both used wisely by the band to add texture and depth to the carnage. There is a greater emotive edge to The Phantom Carriage than there was previously, and it suits them very well. The tracks are well-written and performed, and it’s clear that the lengthy wait between albums has only made The Phantom Carriage more proficient at what they do.
The singer has an inhuman scream, which sounds like the very embodiment of potent, directed aggression. His screams sound like they are being wielded like weapons. The inclusion of well-performed clean vocals is a welcome addition to the band’s formidable armoury too, and thankfully they’re not overused.
I was hoping for good things from 7-Year Epilogue, and I have not been disappointed. The return of The Phantom Carriage is an impressive and well-realised one.
Very enjoyable, and very highly recommended.