Sound — 8
I miss the heavily atmospheric feeling of Commencement. As I listen to Phantasmagore, I can't help but think that most of this stuff has been done before. It's just got the Deadsy twist to it. And, that's what keeps me from stopping the CD. I love Deadsy, and their insane tone. Elijah (Phillips Exeter Blue I) shows a lot more variance in his vocals, compared to the generally atonal rumble of Commencement. The guitars are also brought to the front a lot more, now. Whereas Commencement focused on keyboards, and heavily distorted low-end, Phantasmagore brings the entire band together, at all times. The general feel seems to be that of a hard rock band, mixed with gothic over- and undertones. Also, I'm not sure if I've finally killed these speakers, or what, but there's a rather annoying crackling coming through. It goes away when things get loud, though. So, it doesn't happen to often. Maybe it's an attempt to sound like an actual record.
Lyrics — 8
I've always had difficulty understanding everything Elijah says. He tends to slur things. However, what I can hear is pretty great. I'd love it if lyrics were included with the CD, but, we can't win 'em all, can we? I'm not sure if the lyrics, based on the musical style, can stand up to the brilliance of Commencement, though. Don't get me wrong; a number of the songs have really catchy lines, but I'm not sure that that's what I was really looking for. I was moreso hoping for the "academia" presented on Commencement.
Overall Impression — 8
Phantasmagore is interesting. It's fast, raw, and heavy. Pretty much what I usually enjoy. But, it's not entirely Deadsy. Although, I suppose if one were to change their style, this would be the way to do it: take elements from previous sounds, and carry them forward. I love that it's a continuation of what the band has done, while being a departure. That's also exactly what I don't quite like. The sounds that made me feel like I was on a foggy plane (of existence. Not the flying ones), separate from our own, are pretty much gone. To be honest, my complaint is petty; I'm probably the only person who really cares that much about sounding like the original album. As a whole, Phantasmagore is pretty awesome. I guess I expected a bit more, though, given the number of delays the album went through. I wouldn't necessarily buy it, again. Sad as it seems, I base that mainly on the CD case. I feel like I just spent $18 on something I could buy from a local band. Downloading, or at least waiting for a bargain, would be sufficient. I'd end up not supporting a band I love, but, I don't always have $20 to spend on something like this.