Definitely worth a listen.
Phantom X is a rather solid power metal band from Texas. Your standard power metal clichés are all here. The CD starts with "Call to Arms", complete with the sound effects of a vast medieval army. They address the listener as part of the "Legions of the X". The first word uttered is "Hail!" It's very Manowar. There's even a song called "Into Battle We Ride".
For the most part, the music is straightforward, mid-tempo powerish metal with a traditional feel. There is the occasional clean guitar part here and there, which gives the album a much-needed dynamic that they could have easily missed.
Their vocalist is pretty good, but manages to sound like a power metal gremlin every so often. "This is War" and "The Lord of the Sword" are rife with his gremlin-esque sound. He has an underused range, in my opinion. On "Discovery II", track 10 of the album, you finally hear that this guy actually has a good voice that isn't one-dimensional.
The solos aren't anything mind-blowing, ranging from "fine" to "technically proficient". But there's nothing on here that makes me want to quit playing guitar.
Phantom X's choruses are catchy, but they are dancing on the line between just enough and too many repeats. Sure, anything's going to be catchy if you do it 8 million times. (That's the way all pop music seems to work.) I feel like they could still get the point if they got rid of some of the repeats of the longer choruses on this album.
There appears to be some kind of multiple-album spanning story going on with Phantom X. Chapters 8 through 10 of whatever this story is can be found on This is War. Interesting concept, but frankly I just don't care enough to get the other albums and find out what's going on.
All the artwork in the CD and the website seems like they're trying to mimic Symphony X. (In fact I wonder where the name came from....) I mean, the art isn't bad, I'm just saying that I have a copy of Paradise Lost, too. But I have to admit the artwork is what caught my eye when I first saw this band's CD in a store in Norway. (The second thing that caught my eye was the sticker on it, claiming they sound like Iced Earth, which I definitely disagree with.)
Phantom X is worth checking out.
(Originally written by me for SteelResolve.com)