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Zero Hour Is Now

   
       
       
       
     
             
Black Phantom are a heavy metal band from Italy formed in 2014 by Mesmerize bass player Andrea Tito. The band released their debut album 'Better Beware!' in 2017, followed by concerts and festival appearances all over Italy. The bands second album 'Zero Hour Is Now' was released in 2020.    
             
Featuring the classic sound of traditional heavy metal, Black Phantom's sophomore album is a galloping gourmet of "foot on the monitor" style heavy metal, harking back to metals formative years during the eighties when bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon where defining the traditional heavy metal sound. Where Black Phantom differ from these greats, is the addition of the European style of power metal, creating a powerful tornado of fist punching, head nodding and highly infectious anthems. Opening with the fast paced and furious 'Redemption', Black Phantom get the album off to a flyer. Galloping at pace, the foot is firmly planted on the monitor, as 'Redemption' exhibits all the trademarks of a power/traditional metal crossover. Heavying things up a bit, 'Hordes Of Destruction' proceeds to carve out a savage path of devastation across the land as it proudly strides on. The heavy riffing of Saxon mixed with the power of Judas Priest and the "foot on the monitor" style of Iron Maiden - Black Phantom have got it all in the locker as far as the iconic sound of traditional heavy metal is concerned. Add to the mix a sing a long style chorus and you have a crowd pleaser right here.    
             
Fans of traditional metal and the NWOBHM genres will be wetting themselves with excitement over this album, as it proceeds to hit the sweet spot with 'Schattenjager'. A thundering gallop of bombastic heavy metal, 'Schattenjager' has a glorious chant style chorus - so come on sports fans, start practising your pronunciation, "schattenjager"... And for any wannabe brainiacs out there, 'Schattenhjager' is a German word that translates to "shadow hunter". Adopting a more mid tempo heavy foot stomp, 'The Road' is an eight minute long steam roll through the land, flattening anything and everything that gets in the way. There is a certain melodic edge to 'The Road', keeping it on the safer side of devastation. 'Aboard The Rattling Ark' on the other hand, has no safe side. A cacophony of savage riffs and bludgeoning drums, sees 'Aboard The Rattling Ark' set new heights, or should that be lows, of heaviness. Either way, prepare for a beating as 'Aboard The Rattling Ark' cuts and thrusts its way on. Black Phantom don't ease up on the intensity for one minute, keeping the throttle wide open...    
             
...as the album swaggers on with one of the most heavy hitting power ballads you're ever likely to hear. 'Either You Or Me' displays most of the hallmarks associated with ballads, but manages to extinguish the flame of every lighter held aloft! Black Phantom truly are delivering an intense, no holds barred, take no prisoners slaughterhouse of an album. The classic sound of the bluesy doom driven sound of Black Sabbath rises to the surface with 'Begone!', nodding its head toward the seventies and early eighties metal sound. A time for heavy metal evolution, the eighties sound is written all over 'Begone!'. Oh this is great stuff... With a dramatic change in pace, 'Hands Of Time' hurtles along at full tilt. A classic example of how traditional heavy metal should sound, Black Phantom weave elements of power metal into 'Hands Of Time', making it the most infectious song on the album. The final song on offer is a German sung version of 'Schattenjager' - and even though it's in German, the chorus retains the chant style of the earlier English sung version, so come on, all together, "schattenjager"...    
             
Overall, an intense and heavy hitting fusion of classic heavy metal with the oomph of power metal, 'Zero Hour Is Now' is a full on and in your face album.    
             
             
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
             
Reviewed For Black Phantom    
             
Review is also featured at Metal Gods TV    
             
             
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