Principally “Dead Of Alive”, debut album of American formation PHANTOM, is a great album. Principally, if there was not this abysmal production, which more than once awakens memories of the equally badly recorded LIVING DEATH debut. But you can’t hold this against the band, but rather their US label New Renaissance Records, which simply took the self-financed productions and slammed them on vinyl. And which combo had the money for a first class sound?
Okay, when you really crank up the stereo, the sound is not as bad and the music simply deserves to be heard. Straight forward Power Metal with powerful guitars and great catchy choruses and especially singer Falcon Eddie with his charismatic voice gives the material a lot of memorability. When the songs slow down, as on "Take Me Down Slow", he even sounds a bit like Robert Plant (LED ZEPPELIN). But mostly the songs are plowing ahead at a brisk speed, but without scratching the barrier of Speed Metal.
The melodies have a very European touch and should appeal to fans from ACCEPT to HAMMERFALL. Apart from the production there is no fallout, but tons of killer songs that still wait to be discovered. And the Drew Elliot cover artwork is great, too! (Online July 9, 2006)