When I first got into the rock and metal scene women were thought of as objects for the guys to drool over as they watched videos of their favorite bands. As I began my quest for great rock and metal I was awakened to the fact the woman can rock out just as well as the guys. From the all girl bands like Girlschool, Vixen, and Kittie to women leading the band vocally like Arch Enemy, Lacuna Coil, and Nightwish; the proof is in the music. And now is time to add Phoenix Reign to that list of stellar bands with female fronts with their album Destination Unknown.
The strong yet haunting vocals of frontwoman Theresa Gaffney will grab you and almost force you to listen. And her voice is only one of the tools used by Phoenix Reign as they put together an album full of intense songs that show the full potential off what they can do as a whole. YES, I said whole because while Theresa’s voice may the first thing to get your attention, it isn’t long before you entangled in the double guitars, much like that of the legendary Iron Maiden.
The riffs that Billy Chrissochos and Kostas Psarros pour out into every track on the album are amazing. They work together like a well-oiled machine and can blow you away with their individual abilities. They show that they have a true passion for their craft and have speed that would make Dragonforce feel like fools for using editing equipment for speed. And they work in unity with the rhythm that you almost forget about the bass and drums if they allowed you too.
Just when you might start wondering about the bass and drums you come across the title track where Wayne Noon and Chris Pallatos make their stand as they set the pace. And because the title track comes late on the album you are instantly triggered to go back to the first track and listen to the album over again. Resulting in new discoveries being made and having tracks remind you of places or people.
For me Masquerade Angel jumped out like a monster in a haunted mansion. With the line of “you’re a devil on disguise” triggers the thought of someone you might know now or someone you once knew that hid the true colors from you. And then you move on to the parts of Destination Unknown that show how talented this band is. Open Your Eyes opens your ears to the possibilities as it starts with a gentle opening that slowly builds to a intensity that shocks you as the speed kicks in.
And then there’s the epic of the album, Constantinople 1453 (On The Eve Of The Fall) coming in at just under twelve minutes at the end of the album pulling it all together. This track takes everything you’ve come to know about Phoenix Reign from this album and throws it all together into one amazing piece of work. It isn’t often you find a track that defies description, but this one does. It just needs to be heard to understand and appreciate its full potential.
Everyone knows that a Phoenix is a legendary bird that rises from ashes, but Phoenix Reign hasn’t risen from ashes. It is a band whose member’s talents belong together as if destiny set it in motion years ago. They are surely a band whose future is as bright as a blazing firestorm.