PHANTOM ELITE – Titanium (2021)

PHANTOM ELITE - Titanium (2021) full

Fronted by Marina (Avantasia) La Torraca, with relative newcomers, Max Van Esch on guitar and bass, Joeri Warmerdam on drums, and keys by Koen Staam, PHANTOM ELITE are releasing their new album “Titanium” tomorrow via Frontiers Music.
The range of styles they encompass varied and expansive, embracing Progressive Rock, Contemporary Metal and Symphonic Rock, all mixed with a melodious approach and polished production.

Opening track ‘Conjure Rains’ sets out the band’s stall with a flourish, inspired song. Van Esch and Warmerdam drive the melody trailing La Toracca in their wake. And that’s a brilliantly clever piece of arranging, with the singer’s vocals constantly off the pace. And yet even with La Toracca marching to the beat of her own drum, the track is a cohesive, highly effective piece of music. If this sounds unusual, it’s because it is, and it works a treat.

‘The Race’ is a richly textured mix composition – heavy riffs, crashing keys and guitar glissandos – framing those moments when La Torraca’s voice enters the fray, effortlessly expressing the melody and the lyrics.
The rushing harmonies of ‘Diamonds And Dark’ are the song’s focus, accelerating joyfully into a brief bridge, a key change and a towering hook, while ‘Glass Crown’s tight, taut, majestic riff does the heavy lifting.
On both of these tracks, La Torraca’s satisfyingly unhurried vocal melody gives the material the kind of pop immediacy you don’t often find inhabiting Prog Metal, especially the contemporary variety.

The amazingly talented Amanda Sommerville drops in for a cameo on ‘Silver Lining’. The song is a punchy and driving atmospheric rocker. The combination of vocal styles meshes brilliantly. Sommerville also lends her voice to the album’s final track, ‘Eyes Wide Open.’

Arguably, the episodic, seven and half minute title track is up there with that so impressive opener. It spills some gothic blood, as whispering voices urge La Torraca to rise in response to her demons. Meantime Van Escher’s guitar laces the music’s more reflective moments with bombastic cues, leading us back into the more explosive passages.

From top to bottom, Phantom Elite has delivered a stunning and divinely produced album. ”Titanium” is packed with plenty of addictive tracks that mix bombastic and cinematic flourishes with somber and wistful moments. La Torraca’s voice is exceptional throughout and Warmerdam is on fire behind the drums.
The symphonic grandiloquence of Titanium meshes in impeccable unity with each songs’ progressive, at times cachty pop-melodic leanings. Phantom Elite has created its own signature style that goes well beyond those boundaries.
We have all been waiting for 2020 to go away, and ”Titanium” is one more reason to look forward to 2021 with renewed enthusiasm.
Highly Recommended


01. Conjure Rains
02. The Race
03. Diamonds And Dark
04. Worst Part Of Me
05. Glass Crown
06. Titanium
07. Bravado
08. Silver Lining (feat. Amanda Somerville)
09. Haven
10. Deliverance
11. Eyes Wide Open (feat. Amanda Somerville)

Marina La Torraca – Vocals
Max van Esch – Guitars, Bass, Keys
Joeri Warmerdam – Drums


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