Albums of the Year: Phantom Winter

von am 13. Dezember 2016 in ...in english please!

Albums of the Year: Phantom Winter
@ Daniela Hütter Photodesign

As painstakingly slow Phantom Winter like to drill their amalgam of blackened doom and post-metal into open wounds – their working morale suggests a much higher tempo. While we haven’t even recovered from the nasty tour de force through damp ruins on Sundown Pleasures, the Würzburg five-piece is seemingly already collecting ideas for its successor. .

Björn Granzow

tim-hecker-love-streams1. Tim Hecker – Love Streams

It must be noted that Tim Hecker is my favorite musician since at least Harmony in Ultraviolet. Period. In contrast to its predecessors Love Streams experiments with vocals, choral arrangements sung in reverse latin before being cut up to empty them of all meaning. A comparatively mellow and almost poppy album, yet unmistakably Tim Hecker. Saw him live in support of Love Streams at Donaufestival 2016 in Krems. Blew me away.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

billy-gomberg-slight-at-that-contact2. Billy Gomberg – Slight At That Contact

At times dark and cold, other times warm and cosy, Slight at that Contact has it all. Captivating ambient drones with the occasional rumbling and chirping. Perfect for my bike commute at minus ten degrees.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

andrew-pekler-tristes-tropiques3. Andrew Pekler – Tristes Tropiques

Very disctinct and odd atmosphere, never listened to an album like this before. The title describes the listening experience pretty well, it actually sounds like a „sad rainforest“ to me. A huge listening pleasure, demands full attention. Must be heard to be comprehended.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

mats-erlandsson-old-tears4. Mats Erlandsson – Old Tears

Three albums of Mats Erlandsson in one year, one better than the other. „Old Tears“ is the one I played the most. Distorted until close to the threshold of pain while sounding melodic and tragic at the same time. Listened to at high volume, it’s a very engaging and satisfying album. RIYL: Tim Hecker, Lawrence English, Stars of the Lid.

Links: Soundcloud | Amazon

steve-hauschildt-strands5. Steve Hauschildt – Strands

A synthesizer album with relevance. Much more captivating and entertaining than his previous solo efforts. An exciting and well-balanced mixture of synth ambience and arpeggio sounds. Jean-Michel Jarre meets Alessandro Cortini is what it sounds like to me. I’ve been listening to this one a lot this year.

Links: Facebook | Bandcamp

Christof Rath

sun-worship-pale-dawnSun Worship – Pale Dawn

The follow-up to the amazing Elder Giants needs a few rotations to really stick, but it grows into a more than worthy successor. And yes, I dig the clean vocals in Perhelion, even if that isn’t completely my thing otherwise. So don’t be scared off by the glasses, bare feet and other hipster stuff, buy and enjoy. By far my favourite labelmates.

Links: Facebook | Bandcamp

PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition ProjectPJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project

Basically the same deal as with Sun Worship. The current record is the successor to one of the best albums in recent years (Let England Shake), which made it hard to achieve that same level. Even better that PJ Harvey somehow did it, even with the saxophone.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

unru-der-mensch-ist-als-tier-nichtsUnru – Der Mensch ist als Tier nichts

Not a very sophisticated sound, but arther a infernal maelstrom that swallows you whole while listening. It’s wonderful, how Role (Tonmeisterei) manages to give each band a fittingly distinct sound. Musically it’s an interplay of blast beats and in parts extremely slow passages that draws you in. Add well done lyrics, and you got one oft he best albums of 2016.

Links: Facebook | Bandcamp

celtic-frost-monotheistCeltic Frost – Monotheist

While making this list I had to discover, that great new albums in 2016 were a rarity for me. That’s why this jewel found its way into this compilation. Sadly I ignored it at its release in 2006, but by now this deeply dark lump became one of my favourite Celtic Frost records. Doesn’t matter if it’s metal songs like Ain Elohim, or more gothic pieces like Obscured, these songs breathe a bleakness only Celtic Frost are able to achieve. And don’t get me started with the final monolith Totengott/Synagoga Satanae/Winter. That rips. Sadly Tom Warrior couldn’t reach theese Heights again with Tryptikon, which might have to do with the absence of Martin Eric Ain.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

Martin Achter

oathbreaker-rheiaOathbreaker – Rheia

Of course the biggest Differnece to Eros|Anteros is Caros more varied vocal performance. She has clear parts now. It took a bit, but eventually the album gripped me.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

kyle-dixon-michael-stein-stranger-things-vol-1Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Stranger Things Vol 1.

Whenever I listen to this soundtrack I feel like I’m living inside of Tron, one of my favourite movies. The sound aesthetics on this record are insane. If you need distorted guitars, you’re wrong here.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

black-table-obeliskBlack Table – Obelisk

Black metal for students, some would say. The I would say: fuck off! Obelisk is fun. Blast beats and clean guitars, that have so much reverb on them, you want to dive in there. But it’s not smooth at all. Very nice!

Links: Facebook | Amazon

touche-amore-stage-fourTouché Amoré – Stage Four

If I would make hardcore, not metal, it would sound like this. I just love Touché Amoré. From Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me over Is Survived By to Stage Four.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

russian-circles-guidanceRussian Circles – Guidance

If it’s post-rock, I’ll have it like this. Guidance is a really great album, sometimes maybe a little too euphoric. Sometimes the guitars sound lke synths with arpeggiators. That sounds really interesting.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

Christian Krank

throwers-lossThrowers – Loss

With Loss, our labelmates on Golden Antenna gave birth to a piece of dark hardcore, that immediately got this old Botch fan. Very sad, that the boys from Leipzig split up at the end oft he year. I would have loved more from that same direction.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

David Bowie - BlackstarDavid Bowie – Blackstar

When Bowie died two days after Blackstar released, his farewell record really became the masterpiece it is. Especially Lazarus, with its intense melancholia, is deeply touching on every repeat.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

die-antwoord-mount-ninji-and-da-nice-time-kidDie Antwoord – Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid

He likes his Coffee black as his Soul“. Southern African mixture of rap and rave with afrikaans lyrics. Best female vocals out there. Enough said.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

Nails - You Will Never Be One of UsNails – You will never be one of us

An incomprehensible anger thats accumulated there, and discharges with this massive lump of brutal riffs and ultra pissed off vocals. I can’t remember another preview-song I’ve listened to as much as the title track. Destroys everything.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

pisse-kohlruebenwinterPisse – Kohlrübenwinter

Cold lo-fi deutschpunk with pretty much the best lyrics. Was on heavy rotation these last few weeks and will stay there.

Links: Website | Bandcamp

Andreas Schmittfull

Martyrdöd - ListMartyrdöd – List

Simply the best new Crust/D-Beat-album I listened to for a long time. Start with the titletrack. It is so catchy and just so good! Powermetal meets Crust!

Links: Facebook | Amazon

leichnam-leichnamLeichnam – Leichnam

In the 90s there were a few bands that made that kind of sound. Silence of Thoughts, Nebel, Zorn (germany), maybe it also has a bit of Lvmen. I love that kind of music so much. Creepy, depressing, emotional, just awesome. The song Black Tar kills!

Links: Facebook | Bandcamp

m-i-a-a-i-mM.I.A. – A.I.M.

I’m someone’s shot of whiskey, not everyone’s tea“ – enough said.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton TreeNick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

It might not be the best Nick Cave album (as a lot of critics would agree, who cares about critics) but I still love it. A lot. He is one of the guys who could shit into a bucket and make it sound overwhelming.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

bombus-repeat-until-deathBombus – Repeat Until Death

As Christof already mentioned the new PJ Harvey-album, which would be definitively on my list, I go extreme. I could choose the Anagnorisis or the new Asphyx Vrtra! All very good. But I listened to BombusRepeat Until Death that often, I saw them live and they blew me away, this album has to be on my list.

Links: Facebook | Amazon

Phantom Winter online : Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Twitter | Amazon || Golden Antenna

Photo Credit @ Daniela Hütter: Facebook | Website | Instagram |

@ Heavy Pop: CVLT | Sundown Pleasures | Das Jahr in Platten 2015 |

Cheers, Phantom Winter!

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  • Albums of the Year by: UNRU - […] it needed any more proof, that the recommendations by Phantom Winter are to be counted on –Als Tier ist…

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