Transylvanian Nightmare

Mexico Country of Origin: Mexico

Transylvanian Nightmare
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Type: EP
Release Date: April 28th, 2024
Label: Independent
Genre: Speed, Thrash
1. Transylvanian Nightmare
2. From The Abyss
3. Epitaph
4. Raging Pyres

Review by Vladimir on May 14, 2024.

From the desolate and accursed crypts of Guadalajara, Mexico, comes the thrash/speed metal band Phantom, hungry for vengeance, death and metal. After these maniacs were mercilessly Handed To Execution in 2023, they returned with their four-track EP Transylvanian Nightmare on April 28th, 2024. In case you want to explore this ghastly realm and raise the dead, you came to the right place.

As you slowly enter the ghastly world of candlelights, skulls, rituals and cold mists, you are instantly awaited with pulsing and maniacal aggression of Phantom's merciless thrashing. From the very first track, the overall performance of wicked oldschool thrash/speed metal goes so hard that it practically raises the living dead from the rotten soil. Alongside all the bloodthirsty vampiric rage, we also have a surprisingly awesome instrumental track 'Epitaph', a beautiful and atmospheric classical guitar tune which sounds like it came straight out of Diablo 2 video game, nicely expanded in the later half by guitar melodies that gives it extra flavor. This one came as a big surprise to me because it brought back the nostalgia of hearing Matt Uelmen's tracks from the first two Diablo games, and considering how the hooded skeletal figure on Phantom's cover was depicted just like the antagonist on Diablo 2's box art, it's definitely no coincidence. All the jokes aside, this instrumental is a nice transition that builds up the closing chapter with the fourth track 'Raging Pyres', giving this Transylvanian Nightmare one last bite in the neck.

Songwriting-wise, it's very common with its simplistic structure that is traditionally used in the majority of 80's thrash/speed metal, while still leaving plenty of room for some dynamics to spice things up. Phantom's dark and sinister output is heavily along the line of bands such as Dark Angel, Mortal Sin, Onslaught, early Slayer, alongside the early days of teutonic thrashers Destruction, Kreator and Sodom. It's very simple, but effective, and there is no denying that Phantom gives a pretty strong punch with their performance and their songs as a whole. The cover art by Sebasti√°n Frigerio nicely adds up to that darkness and evil of Phantom's music, with its very oldschool and retro art style that gives a nice nod to the obscure 80's thrash metal releases.

This EP may be a short delight of nearly 19 minutes, but it's without a doubt a very fun and exciting experience that will satisfy your ghoulish appetites. It's nice to see that there are still bands maintaining the simplicity and heaviness without relying on complexity, and Phantom pulls it off nicely. If you are into 80's thrash and speed metal, and feel like checking out this album, you won't regret it.

Rating: 8.4 out of 10