Sound — 8
When you first look at the cover of Deadsy's latest CD Phantasmagore, you might think that you're in store for a scary, goth-tinged ride. But then again, we were always told to not judge a book by it's cover, so why do it for a CD? The cover art shows the band in a horror movie-like pose, looking extremely ready to eat our brains. So when you finally get to the first track, it's almost a letdown to not hear a zombie-like voice emerging from the speaker. While the band has a metal-tinged ethereal sound that is pretty interesting, it never quite lives up to the darkness that the cover evokes. The first track Razor Love is a catchy little number that features the smooth vocals of Phillips Exeter Blue 1, backed by solid peformances from bassist Creature, percussionist Alec Pure, synth guitarist Carlton Megalodon, and Dr. Nner on synthesizer. It's not that the song is a disappointment musically, it just takes you off guard when it is less than the usual Goth sound. It's respectable that the band isn't afraid to take the music in a direction that is not necessarily expected, even when all the songs on the CD aren't as memorable. Babes In Abyss is a satisfying track with almost has an Orgy-like feel to it. Exeter Blue 1 sounds eerily like Orgy frontman Jay Gordon, who not surprisingly has collaborated with the band in the past. The driving synth really is what makes the song so infectious, and multiple songs on Phantasmagore (particularly Book Of Black Dreams) thankfully take full advantage of showcasing the synth work. Deadsy are definitely putting a lot of heart and effort into their tunes, but Phantasmagore does not have the full power to command your attention the whole time. When the band takes a stab at The Rolling Stones' Paint It Black, the version just doesn't add much new to the song. While it does include a sitar that is the highlight of the song, you still end up kind of wishing they would go a bit more goth and make it creepier. There have been so many versions done of Paint It Black that Deadsy's version just doesn't go in a new enough direction to make it stand out from the pack.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are an impressive aspect to Deadsy's Phantasmagore. There is plenty of imagery that your average rock band would not always include in it's lyrics. When you take on the gothic style, there's often an expectation to write deeper lyrics, and Deadsy conquers the task well. In Dreamcrusher Exeter Blue 1 paints plenty of visuals in his lyrics, giving it a poem-like quality. He sings, The misty highs we climb; A search through fear disguised. These sudden facts can make you hollow. It's in the words that band really shows it's promise in being a band that exceeds expectations and shows it's stuff. Better Than You Know is a song that has eyebrow-raising lyrics that make it a worthwhile listen. Exeter Blue 1 sings, Do you think I'm gonna find it in a travelling show; Between the legs of a woman that I hardly know; Deep in a place where the devil is as white as the snow. The introspective lyrics stand out from the rest as being edgy, but at the same time having a poetic aspect.
Overall Impression — 8
Deadsy shows that it is a band that is interested in making thought-provoking and interesting songs on the latest release Phantasmagore. While not every song grabs your attention, there are plenty of songs that prove that the band it's musical talent and song arrangement ability. The band is at it's best when they take advantage of intertwining eerie synth bits in with the crunching guitar work, and it's at these points where that cover art makes plenty of sense. It's actually fun to hear the synthesizer sound like the theremins that were used in all those cheesy '50s movies. While the CD never packs quite the punch as Orgy in it's heyday, it does show promise. If Deadsy's music is able to catch up with the mesmerizing quality of it's lyrics and moments of inspired eeriness, the band is likely to be on the lips of those in the music world.