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A major trip down Memory Lane. - 90%

Harachte, October 23rd, 2004

Phantasm was a side project of Hirax vocalist Katon W. DePena and it seems like -with the release of the new Hirax album in mind- people were thinking ‘hey, let’s get those old, dusty recording tapes from the shelve and put ‘em on a CD!’, because these recordings were in fact made in 1987.

Beside a 6-track studio demo you’ll find on this CD also 9 live tracks.
Phantasm sounded more aggressive than Hirax, that’s for sure. The 6 studio tracks are to be placed in the same category with the likes of (old) Slayer, with DePena’s typical vocals mixed to the front. Tracks like “Pray For Power” (fast) and “Dachau” (heavy!), combined with a typical eighties sound make that I fancy myself back in 1987. Cool!
A few points of interest: drum monster Gene Hoglan played drums on this recording, whereas bassplayer Ron McGovney is also known as a member of first Metallica line up.

It’s too bad that the demo has a playing time of only fifteen minutes though, the other nine tracks on this CD are livetracks recorded at some show the band did in Phoenix, Arizona in the same year. All six demo tracks are played live and one can hear a very well performing band with DePena in great condition.

Objectively speaking, the overall sound of these recordings is not too great but I don’t give a rat’s ass, this is a major trip down Memory Lane. Great!