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Phantasma: The Deviant Hearts

Delain vocalist pursues her novel idea

Literature has long inspired metal acts, from Iron Maiden to Rammstein, but Delain vocalist Charlotte Wessels has taken things to the next level with her new symphonic rock project: she’s based Phantasma’s debut album on her very own novella.

But if you’re expecting The Deviant Hearts to sound anything like Delain, you’re in for a shock. They’ve even plucked guest musicians from prog acts Neal Morse Band and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Theatrical in tone with dual male/female vocals and a soft rock edge, the 12 conceptual tracks here have an almost wintery feel mixed with elements of Within Temptation, Tarot and even Queen – there’s no escaping those Flash Gordon-esque ‘Ahh-aahs!’ on Crimson Course!

Elsewhere, you could imagine Nightwish’s Marco Hietala’s power vocals on songs like Miserable Me, and then there are the ballads. The powerful Runaway Gray and_ The Lotus And The Willow _really showcase Charlotte’s beautiful vocals.

Phantasma’s debut feels like a movie soundtrack, although it’s not quite as dramatic as Nightwish or Epica. Just give them time.

Natasha Scharf

Dark prog (and chocolate) fan Natasha has been a Prog regular since 2009. News Editor between 2014 and 2019, now Deputy Editor, she is the only member of the team to have appeared on Prog's cover.