Pre-order “Eminente Lucifer Libertad”
It was but May 2021 when a brand-new entity burst from Bergen, Norway, bearing the all-too-apropos moniker PHANTOM FIRE. With members hailing from such bands as Gaahls Wyrd and Krakow, the duo surprisingly went a different route with their debut EP, Return of the Goat. Hard-rocking, hard-charging, reeking of rust and diesel, Phantom Fire proved they were their own band removed from any sort of lineal references. Better yet, perhaps, they were just getting started and already promised a debut full-length…which arrived a mere seven months later, bearing the title The Bust of Beelzebub. Flexing the same chops and some new ones, Phantom Fire’s first full-length poignantly displayed a timeless HEAVY METAL magick, salaciously spanning pitch-black speed metal and moody epic metal alike. Not for nothing did the record reap widespread acclaim.
And now, little more than a year later, Phantom Fire are ready to REAP again with their second album, EMINENTE LUCIFER LIBERTAD. Masterfully so, the duo keep their core sound intact and yet show palpable new sides of it across this slightly longer and daresay-stronger record. Keeping schizophrenia at bay and working with a sinuous flow that’s anything but jarring, Phantom Fire both ride the lightning of all-out speed here as often as they moodily march to pagan vastlands, sometimes all in the span of the same song. It results in a rowdier listen but also one that’s stoic or even ceremonial; the chill of the tundra coats all of Eminente Lucifer Libertad, and so does the burning light of Lucifer (up)rising from beneath. “As above, so below,” or so it goes: a Nordic heavy metal vomit party that turns into a Viking funeral, all on some cosmic dimension? The manner in which Eminente Lucifer Libertad moves is absolutely crucial here, as it’s truly the epitome of an Album Experience; pieces could be moved, sure, but the track order is key in conveying Phantom Fire’s ever-growing artistry.
Once again, Nifelheim’s beloved Hellbutcher provides suitably twisted cover artwork for the album, and Enslaved’s Iver Sandøy not only handled session drums, but also the album’s production, mix, and mastering at Solslottet Studio. Free your mind and your demon wings will follow with Phantom Fire’s Eminente Lucifer Libertad!
November 25, 2022