Phantom V – Play To Win

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When it was announced, more than a year ago, that Michael Voss was about to form a new band with Claus Lessmann behind the mic, I was impatiently waiting for the fruits of that collaboration that would be later revealed under the Phantom V tag. I am a huge admirer of Voss’ compositional skills and of course a fan of Lessmann’s voice so you can realize my anxiousness. Phantom V has not only delivered the goods with their debut offering but the showed the world at the same time what a loss it is for Bonfire not to have Lessmann as their singer. After all, I truly believe that Bonfire cannot really exist without him but that’s another story whatsoever.

“Play To Win” carries on from where the debut stopped and it is yet another hard rock masterpiece with its roots firmly traced in the rich German tradition and most specifically in such albums as “Fireworks” (Bonfire) and “IV” (Jaded Heart). Lessmann sings like there is no tomorrow while Voss is doing a brilliant job both as the main songwriter and producer. As for the rhythm section…well, it’s tight as hell with the veterans Kruse/Boebel setting the founding stones of the Phantom V sonic structure. With songs like the title track, “Read Your Mind” and “Baptised” nothing can go wrong and Phantom V is fully aware of it! In a time and age where the so called supergroups are nothing more than an euphemism, Phantom V is clearly a shining ray of light. Let’s just hope that they will stand the test of time.

Highlight: Having said all that, it would be cool if Lessmann and Ziller would patch up their differences in the future for the sake of all the Bonfire fans out there.