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Headless Beast - Phantom Fury - 94%

Edmund Sackbauer, September 12th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Housemaster Records

Just by looking at the cover and the song titles one can get a pretty accurate feeling about which kind of music to expect once “Phantom Fury” has started to play. Headless Beast are a German band playing an uplifting branch of traditional metal and this is their second full length album following “Forced to Kill” from 2011. These guys are not interested in reinventing the wheel but have instead delivered a great slab of classic and highly addictive metal.

Deeply rooted in NWOBHM they take some of the best elements that made their better known peers famous a few decades ago. Some might scream “copycats” but Headless Beast put the best pieces of that style back together in such a great and energetic manner that most fans of traditional metal will not care about that argument. To round things off they throw a few power metal harmonies and even some hard rock attitudes into the mix keeping things fresh and diversified over the whole playing time.

The riffs are sharp and perfectly executed and some of the chord progressions are of such an uplifting and rocking nature that one cannot help but bang the head while listening to the music. The rhythm and the lead guitars are perfectly harmonized offering a perfect blend of straight rocking grooves and some clever placed melodic elements. Of course there are solo parts to be found as well but those are never overdone hurting the flow of the music.

The drumming is on point and while the rhythm section is mostly focused on building a great foundation for guitarist Ingo there are moments where both drummer and bassist get their chance to shine. Certain sections are highlighted by faster fills and double kicks while other parts ask for a more laid-back approach.

Singer Jürgen has a perfectly suited style for that kind of music. His soaring voice helps ramping up the intensity level but he also shows a broad enough range for slower and smoother parts compared to the fast-forward pieces dominating on “Phantom Fury”. He delivers the refrains in great fashion and while not each chorus is a 100 % winner most of them will stick with the listener after the first listen.

The productions is powerful and punchy. The mix is clear and transparent without sacrificing the organic feel that is needed for that kind of music. No details are buried in the mix and also the bass is fully audible. Coming with great and atmospheric cover artwork “Phantom Fury” is a must for each fan of traditional and heavy music.