Earlier this year I heard a preview from a new melodic death metal band called Phantom Horde. While the members hail from California and Texas, the blood of Gothenburg’s golden era rages through their veins. Their debut EP The Umbra sounds massive, despite the band being a power trio. Cody Brown’s guitars and bass lines rip the speakers apart. Vocalist/guitarist Chance Steward snarls supernatural tales while drummer Taylor Devorsky motors their EP to its crushing conclusion. Today we share the entire EP before its October 21st release date, courtesy of Cursed Oath Records.
Album opener “Wraith” is ominously titled but offers sanctuary with its gentle melodies. “Mira” incinerates that (dark) tranquility with their wild-pulsed approach to melodeath. But Phantom Horde aren’t simple At the Gates or In Flames acolytes. The central riff of “Rise” is a contagious growl-along winner before the band plummets the track into the sewers with a moshable death slam. “Fear” is a riveting pace-changer that emerges as a standout track. Across six songs, Phantom Horde demonstrate confidence and control with their abrupt stylistic mutations. It’s a powerful debut, down to the final dissonant pummel of “Doom.”
“The Umbra is a concept EP involving a young woman named Mira who’s drawn into a world rife with otherworldly beings and apocalyptic destruction,” shares guitarist/bassist Cody Brown. “That [narrative] is delivered in the form of crushing, down-tuned guitars, pounding drums and layers of devilish vocals.”
Join the horde and press play on The Umbra below.