Phantom 5 – Phantom 5


There’s a trend lately of having projects or supergroups where some well-known and established musicians gather together and record an album that most of the times fail to meet our expectations. Phantom 5 is a totally different case. Actually, if we want to be exact, this is the best hard rock album that we have listened to in the first half of 2016 and it has easily surpassed my expectation. But let’s start from the beginning…

Phantom 5 features Claus Lessman (Bonfire), Michael Voss (Casanova, Mad Max, Bonfire), Francis Bucholz (Scorpions), Axel Kruse (Jaded Heart, Mad Max), Robby Boebel (Frontline). One can easily say that this could be the finest sample of the German hard rock sound thus it almost goes without saying that our “demands” were naturally high. Many things have been said and written about Lessman’s “divorce” with Bonfire. Personally, I am of the opinion that there cannot be Bonfire without this emblematic singer but that’s another story.
Phantom 5’ debut album, at least from my perspective, is an ideal mix of classic Bonfire with Jaded Heart (circa 1999-2004). In addition, there is a slight –yet traceable- touch of Frontline as Boebel’s guitar is identifiable and always characteristic. But the one thing that really takes you by storm with the sheer listening of the album is the brilliant songwriting level and the flawless musicianship! All the compositions are catchy, well crafted with hooks that take you back to the glorious 80s. The first five songs are bombastic with Lessman’s raspy lead vocals and Voss’ perfect backing vocals providing the ideal platform for a…sonic lift off! Especially, “All the Way”, “Someday” and “Don’t Touch The Night” could have easily fir into Bonfire’s “Fireworks” ot “Point Blank” records. Yet another highlight is the superb “They Won’t Come Back” that talks about all those late musicians that left this world way to early while the ballad “Since You’re Gone” leaves you under the impression that it’s handpicked out of Michael Voss’ notebook as it bears all his trademark elements.

All in all, Phantom 5 comes up with a classic hard rock album and it raises the bar high for the sophomore release…and hopefully there will be a sophomore release because all the hard rock fans out there are already eager for it!

Highlight: The band was initially called Supremacy.