The Phantom Carriage

New Thing

Written by: PP on 29/08/2011 19:30:24

Uh oh. The black metal elitists won't be happy once they discover there are new youngsters playing around their sacred altar. They go by the name of The Phantom Carriage, originate from France, and have some very interesting and unique ideas on how different styles of metal can sound like when churned together in a blender. The seven tracks of "New Thing" might be their debut release, but that certainly doesn't show as the band seamlessly transitions from black metal and elements of grindcore to screamo and mathcore within the same song, sometimes throwing in a groovy jazz sequences as well.

Oh, and by the way, I'm one hundred percent serious. They are marketed as "jazz for screamokids in corpsepaints" or something along the lines of that, which certainly makes sense when you hear the opening track "The Horses Feed Their Birds". A terrifying black metal shriek opens the soundscape with extensive tremolo riffing and rapid-fire blastbeats, which further regresses into indecipherable guttural growling and serpentine-style death metal riffing in a moment's time. But then come in haunted clean howls, quick time-signature changes and angular guitars known from mathcore, and the whole atmosphere of the song has shifted from a bleak and pitch black one typical to the black metal scene into something that resembles modern retrospective screamo (skramz) bands like, say, Traktor, We Were Skeletons or Sed Non Satiata. It's a really interesting proposition bouncing off genres that normally are prohibited from co-existing beside one another, and it works to a surprisingly good extent.

However, the organic energy of a real black metal band rarely manifests during "New Thing", because even though the opening might fool you into pigeonholing them close to them, the inclusion of tremolo and atmospheric black metal parts quickly starts to resemble bands like envy, Celeste, and perhaps even Pianos Become The Teeth. These are all groups who use similar progressive tremolo guitar and ambient sections as in black metal to their advantage, but without ever really reaching a point where you'd feel comfortable lumping them alongside someone like Valkyrja, Ragnarok or 1349 for instance. Most of this can be attributed to the nagging mathcore-ness of the guitars in each song that already establish the music isn't something you'd recommend to a black metal fan. And when you integrate moments of jazz in a way that makes you think of Heavy Heavy Low Low more than Ephel Duath, it's unavoidable to label The Phantom Carriage as part of the 'scene' rather than a black metal band willing to experiment. If anything, "New Thing" is their way of showing their own scene that 'hey, it's possible to do this and this and still sound reasonably good in the process'. In that sense, it is successful in its objectives.


Download: The Horses Feed Their Birds, Our Roses
For the fans of: Deathspell Omega, The Rodeo Idiot Engine, Envy, Pianos Become The Teeth, Traktor
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 09.04.2011
Throatruiner Records / Swarm Of Nails

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