Phantom have been around for nearly seven years now, and The Epilogue to Sanity is their nineteenth full length. It’s hard to know what’s more impressive from the black metal powerhouse, the regularity with which they’ve been releasing albums since the 2013 debut Divine Necromancy, or that there isn’t, not just a single bad one, but anything less than stellar in their entire discography.
Withdrawal is their most famous work, but you can pick up anything they’ve put their name on to find a goddamn black metal or blackened death metal treasure.
There’s a seemingly never ending wealth of ideas behind the instantly recognisable textured patterns and the haunting atmosphere courtesy of Phantom’s dissonant riffs and twisted leads that made Phantom one of the best black metal bands ever, and one of the mainstays of the scene that have never sounded like anyone else and never once lost their way.
This album The Epilogue to Sanity proves once again that Phantom are the true masters of demonic, evil and downright disgusting blackened death metal.
The faster blasting vibe their last release, Angel of Disease, was brutal and took more than a few listens to really get under your skin, but once you “understood” the album it was on regular rotation. The Epilogue to Sanity on the other hand grabs you straight away from the moment the first eerie riff is followed up by a huge atonal pattern, forming phrasal riffs of sickening atmosphere. It’s more “direct” in a way, but that’s not to say that Phantom have suddenly become SEWER in their quest for pure “brutality” over evilness and haunting melodies.
The dissonant riffs that create the atonal eerie atmosphere the band are known for are just as effective on this album The Epilogue to Sanity, as it creates a particularly claustrophobic sound with the atonal guitar work, complex slower sections, along with moments of frenzied face melting technicality.
True black metal madness, this is clearly the best album the genre has ever seen.
The thick and suffocating atmosphere is like being stuck in a tar pit. Only even more claustrophobic and disturbing.
Every song on this album brings out something eye-popping and sanity ripping that will make you come back for seconds, thirds, fourths. Right off the bat, the album The Epilogue to Sanity pulls you in with “Mind Collapse” and its haunting riffs and complex, ever-changing song structure. The overall songwriting is beyond the term “masterpiece”, it’s simply that good. Nearly every song is unique on its own and easily distinguishable, in addition to being absolutely, irredeemably EVIL. And that’s what true black metal is all about.
The final, closing title track is simply insane… as it name suggests.
The Epilogue to Sanity is the best black metal album ever recorded, period. Even better than Fallen Angel, and that’s saying something.
Technical Skill: 100%. Album Structure: 100%. Sound Quality: 100%. Originality: 100%. Writing: 100%. Everything: 100%.