Marianas Trench - Phantoms
Review by Shannon Shumaker
Since their inception, Marianas Trench have been known for their ability to write catchy as hell, cinematic pop anthems, and their newest album, Phantoms takes things to a whole new level. Bookended by the stunning a cappella “Eleonora” and the massive “The Killing Kind,” Phantoms not only finds the band creating some of their biggest, most exciting songs to date, but it’ll also pull at the heartstrings and make you want to dance.
Although pop is a driving force behind Phantoms, Marianas Trench really don’t conform to one single genre on this album, and the result is a sound that surpasses expectations and standards. Where most bands might hesitate, Marianas Trench charge forward without fear, making for an incredibly fun and mind-blowing listen. Following the cinematic opener is the inspirational, “Only The Lonely Survive” and bop, “Echoes Of You.” Both songs are easily some of the album’s strongest, but for two entirely different reasons. While “Only The Lonely Survive” manages to evoke emotion with just the slightest change in vocal style or sound, “Echoes Of You” is a massive pop track, complete with a string section, that’ll have you singing or dancing along.
Each song on Phantoms stands alone as a masterpiece, and when combined, it makes for a very dramatic, exciting listen. Although the massive sounds on the album can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming, and the more energetic songs might sound a bit similar, it’s the little stand-out moments throughout the album that make it special. From the spectacular high vocals on “Don’t Miss Me?” to the retro guitar work on “Your Ghost” and the massive chorus on “I Knew You When,” there’s a spark to each and every song on the album that makes it fun to listen to.
The album’s crescendo comes on its final track, “The Killing Kind.” Playing like a rock opera, “The Killing Kind” clocks in at over six minutes in length and in that time, finds Marianas Trench building from just guitar and vocals to a full band and entire string section, taking a pit stop back at “Eleonora” with a cappella vocals again before coming to an epic conclusion. Not only is “The Killing Kind” the best song on the album, it is easily one of the most well written songs to come out of modern rock or pop in years.
The thing that makes Phantoms so special is Marianas Trench’s fearlessness. The band is unafraid to try new things or chase after a new idea at full speed. The term “go big or go home” comes to mind when listening to the album, because that’s exactly what the band has done this time around. Phantoms is massive without trying too hard and emotional without losing an ounce of poppy energy, making for a near perfect listen.
LISTEN TO: “The Killing Kind” or “Echoes Of You”
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