Since the release of their fourth studio album Astoria back in October 2015, Canadian pop band Marianas Trench have kept album number five under wraps for a long time. Dropping the singles such as “I Knew You When”, “Echoes of You” and “Only The Lonely Survive” alongside the occasional teaser on social media, they know how to keep their fans in suspense. But, was Phantoms worth the wait? Absolutely.
From the stunning cover art to the jaw droppingly beautiful sounds of a new ghostly era, the craft within this album is truly phenomenal. Although taking a risk by carrying their music in a completely new direction, Marianas Trench have kept elements from almost every album, making a fan like myself fall even more in love with it.
The album opens with “Elenora”, an acapella track which instantly sets the mood and raw emotion which lays ahead within the album by combining both breath-taking harmonies and heart-rending lyrics to immediately catch the listener off guard. This, by far, is the best album introduction I have ever heard due to its individuality and passion. “Elenora” alone definitely shows the amount of time, effort and overall thought that was put into Phantoms.
I may be biased in saying this, but there seems to be not a single flaw throughout this entire album as their sound further evolves into a hauntingly beautiful era. With so many seemingly combined genres, it’s almost impossible to class this album as one lone genre. “Your Ghost” is the closest resemblance to pop with its catchy melodies and high energy, making it my new go to dance tune! Definitely a party starter too, keeping you tapping your toes or humming along.
“Glimmer” slows things down a little as it slips into more of a ballad which tells the story of longing for the idea of what a relationship should be and constantly wishing to go back in time. “The Death of Me” keeps things low as it continues along similar lines to which a ballad would. Although common, the ‘ballads’ on this album aren’t like anything we have previously heard from Marianas Trench in the past. They’re seemingly more modern and poppy compared to songs like “Alibis” or “Beside You”. Nonetheless, these songs still create and capture emotional experiences and stories many may relate to and often expect to hear from Marianas Trench.
The final track of Phantoms, “The Killing Kind”, is on a whole new level yet still pulls me back to familiar roots. This song itself has so much depth – modern orchestral accompaniment, out of this world harmonies and even lyrics from older songs which helps tie up and bring this album to a close. Left breathless and emotional, “The Killing Kind” left me with a determination to see it live and truly experience it. It brings back the sound of as many different albums that it seems to good to be true. Further highlighting Josh Ramsay’s insane vocal range, his recognisable screams alongside bellowing guitar solos are an obvious reference to Astoria alongside many more references, making us fans feel more than loved.
When I listened to the last few seconds of the album draw to a close, I felt so overcome with emotion that I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I was absolutely blown away and inspired by their combined creativity and raw passion. Phantoms will definitely push Marianas Trench up within the music industry and hopefully get them more recognition they deserve. Overall, it left me more than satisfied as it finally filled the almost four year made void in my soul. It is more than what you expect and nothing like what you have ever heard before.