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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Phantom 5 - 2016 Phantom 5
Phantom 5 - 2016 Phantom 5

ARTIST: Phantom 5
ALBUM: Phantom 5
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2016
SPONSOR: Frontiers Haulix Portal-


LINEUP: Claus Lessmann - lead vocals * Michael Voss - guitars, vocals * Robby Boebel - guitars * Francis Buchholz - bass * Axel Kruse - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 All The Way * 02 Blue Dog * 03 Someday * 04 Don't Touch The Night * 05 Renegade * 06 Flying High * 07 Since You're Gone * 08 They Won't Come Back * 09 Frontline * 10 We Both Had Our Time * 11 Why


This is a new German outfit laden with personnel from past 80's and 90's greats. It is veritably a German supergroup. That doesn't always translate into instant success, and one listen to Phantom 5 kinda confirms that. No two ways about it, when bands like Jaded Heart, The Scorpions, Casanova, Mad Max, Bonfire and Frontline get mentioned in the same sentence, then that's enough for old 80's rockers with hazy memories to sit upright in their lazy-boy. I always take an interest in what Robby Boebel does beyond his time with Frontline, the other bands less so. I'm not totally convinced with Claus Lessman's vocals. They aren't quite on-song for me, and that made much of this Frontiers pet-project a scary proposition at the outset. Should I have been scared?

The Songs
Probably not, but there are some drawbacks. This opinion is forged on the back of the first track 'All The Way'. I mean the chorus: 'don't push me baby, we'll go all the way'. Really? The music sounds great though, and therein lies the contradiction. Music, arrangements, delivery and lyrics. The band get most of it right, but not always. Phantom 5 leans more toward the Bonfire camp, due to Lessman's over-saturated vocal, but admittedly he sounds pretty good on some tracks after listening to the whole thing. There's a load of back-alley references on 'Blue Dog', while 'Someday' comes close to Frontline which is a good thing from my point of view. 'Renegade' too comes close, but the lyrics are silly. 'Since You're Gone' is easily the best thing here, even if the tempo is half-paced. It has a bit of style and finesse. I like the sentiment of 'They Won't Come Back'. The song is a tribute to all our recent departed rock n roll heroes. Similar to Frontline's 'Heroes ' track from the 1997 album of the same name. All the big names are mentioned in this song. Pick them out. Good one chaps! Quite how Robby Boebel got away with a song named 'Frontline' on this album is a mystery! But he did. 'We Both Had Our Time' is my second favourite track here, Claus delivering a great vocal, followed by the intense mid-pace closer 'Why'.

In Summary
The lyrics in parts are cornball but the musicianship is supreme, as can be expected from a line-up this talented. You can sit back and take in all the years experience and try to chew the fat on these songs. I'll have to play it a few times to get to grips with it. That might mean taking a few trips down memory lane and listen to all the associated bands to round out the listening experience. Phantom 5 should be given an opportunity for those of you with a longing for German melodic hard rock, reinvented in 2016.

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This article has been tagged
#1 | englandashes on June 30 2016 21:05:18
Much as i like Michael Voss, quite agree with George on the lyrical content, for instance....'renegade.....walking on a razor blade' from the tune Renegade, obviously...hmmm
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