Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Dark Phantom-Beta


There's no need to lie about the atrocious quality of this one. These guys are the very definition of "garage metal". They find inspiration/borrow from the likes of Metallica, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. Even the opening cut is more or less just a reworking of "Maggot Brain". If they wanted to Funkadelic could sue.
For that matter I'd be very surprised if James Hetfield didn't hear the second cut and scream "Hey, that's my "Jump In The Fire" song your ripped off guys! I'm going to drag your butts into court and squeeze every penny I can from you!". That cut does go from "Kill 'Em All" to Black Sabbath in the split of an eye (With death metal background growls-oh my!), but there's some clear Metallica love going on. If you're wondering why I'm not listening song titles I'll get to that in a second. The third track is a hard rock ballad before track number four starts to show the band forging their own take on primitive speed/thrash metal. Finally you have track number five (also a ballad!) which opens with just the singer and a piano before it goes rambling about in pop rock/light hair metal territory. Here's the thing folks. If this was any band from anywhere other then where these guys are from then I'm dog on them to no end. To even risk playing music where these guys call home (let alone "metal") is dangerous to your life! You see, Dark Phantom are "The first official rock band to come out of Iraq!" That's right, Iraq! To be anything resembling "counter culture" means you risk death at the hands of Al-Qaeda! So I'm giving these guys some serious props and giving them a HUGE PASS! I imagine these guys had to sneak in their rock and metal albums and listen to them behind closed, locked doors for fear of being caught. The band was formed in Kirkuk in late 2007 with 2008 spent just trying to learn how to play their instruments. They started off playing covers of their favorite bands (you can see the list of their influences on their Facebook page) before 2010 saw them play their first live show! That takes some serious b*lls folks. In case people haven't been paying attention Al-Qaeda isn't exactly all that "hospitable" when it comes to being different. The band did attempt another show in 2011, but from the sounds of it things never got past the talking point because of a serious fear of violence and retaliation.  Somewhere along the line the band slowly (and no doubt secretly) went about learning how to use recording equipment. This 5-track EP is the result of years of rehearsing in secret, risking death for playing live and daring to make a stand in the face of overwhelming adversity! While I haven't been able to figure out exactly what the song titles are supposed to be (The link below says one thing, but I only found out about this band from other sources who had the song titles listed in a different "fashion". Therefore I'm just going to call them 1, 2, 3, etc.) I will say that when you step back and look at what it took to record this EP...well, it's nothing short of AMAZING! When you live in someplace like America you take certain things for granted. It might not be perfect these days, but we can still listen to, watch and read what we want to. We can say what we want to freely and gather together in social situations with like-minded individuals. These guys can't. I strongly encourage you to buy a digital copy of this EP and tell all your friends about it. Spread the world about Dark Phantom and what they are trying to accomplish in a very dangerous plays with limited resources. Metal is a brotherhood. It's a sisterhood. It's universal as we stand together LOUD and PROUD. Support these brothers in metal as they'll need all the support they can get!

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