25 June, 2012
Phobos Corp. - Felicity EP
1. One Eternal (Felicity's Song), 2. Conceived Fate, 3. This Divine Tragedy, 4. Angels in Despair (Instr.)
Whenever you enjoy a movie it's because of the plot, editing, syncing, aesthetics, wardrobe, actors, screenplay, special effects, camera filters and other technical solutions. However, any movie can fall flat without a soundtrack.
Phobos Corp. has released a true concept EP entitled Felicity, with content that perfectly illustrates drama, science fiction or fantasy movies as well as atmospheric video games. A fictional character named Felicity is the focal point of this EP. She was once killed, but now returns as a ghost to tell the story of her tragic love through four symphonic metal songs.
"One Eternal (Felicity's Song)" opens the tracklist with the sound of a piano echoing a light rainfall. This aspect brings a sort of theatrical tension which is usually utilized in dramatic movies. The action begins right after the intro, along with synth tracks that seem to be programmed to sound like violins. Repetitive choral voices make this song sound epic. The contrast between high and low tones result in creating the counterpoint behind the atmosphere of this song, which carries with it the effect of stealing a listeners attention right away. Orchestral arrangements last until they are met with symphonic metal drums, guitars and keyboards. The initial piano parts continue in the background, leaving space for female vocals and guitar riffs which come in next. The voice of Tara Louise reminds me of popular and inspirational female metal genre vocalists such as Tarja Turunen (Nightwish), Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) or Simone Simons (Epica).
A trumpet is not an instrument utilized very often in metal music and thus, it may sound surprising when it comes into the mix right after such metal-orientated arrangements. However, it does work well with the initial piano score when combined with the symphonic metal sections of the song.
Large choirs begin the track "Conceived Fate" and are followed by a rhythmic set of guitars, drums and Tara's vocals. In fact, the guitars will make you want to headbang, but after such a symphonically orchestrated intro you may anticipate these elements of the tune to return once again. Indeed, the smartly composed orchestral parts appear in the middle of the track. This contrast hits incredibly hard with its beauty after such a storm of previous metal arrangements. The following conversion is a fully symphonic arrangement that may give you ideas that consist of sonic illustrations and mental images such as discovering treasure in the depths of the sea, entering a secret cavern while a beautiful sorceress awaits or crossing through the gate of a mystic temple. Everything seems to be meaningful, sublime, mysterious and glittering like ice crystals or precious gems. However, this part of the track is kept in a serious, indifferent, not happy, yet non-depressive mood.
Later, previously heard metal arrangements return to lead the listener towards the end of the song.
"This Divine Tragedy" is song number 3 on the tracklist. It begins with an instrumental introduction that would perfectly match an RPG fantasy video game such as Skyrim, Witcher or World of Warcraft. After such a magical beginning, the composition brings angelic female voices and chunky guitars that are accompanied by bass and drums. The track also includes a guitar solo near the end of the song while keyboards and a violin occasionally interlace with the arrangements. We're not talking about songwriting aspects that comprise the fury of a storm here, but compositional structures that are built in a safe way that avoids deviation.
The choirs return on "Angels in Despair", then the atmospheres grow even more expansive thanks to rhythmic guitars and drums in unison that are joined by keyboards next. If there is ever a need to replace the keyboards, a real violin could make this track sound even more epic, but on the other hand, trumpets or a brass section may bring an experimental jazz vibe into the mix (like the trumpet did for "One Eternal (Felicity's Song)"). Moreover, the song is short enough to become an intro or outro on a full album, possibly released by Phobos Corp. sometime in the future. "Angels in Despair" seems as if it could be a fitting ending for the part of a movie where the credits scroll up as well.
Phobos Corp. was founded in Greece in 1995, then relocated to Germany. They belong to a collective of bands creating both music and stories which give their songs additional meaning.
Felicity was written by Spyros Papadakis (keyboards) and recorded with the help of soundtrack composers such as Jon Ong & Zach Lemmon (orchestral arrangements), Shoi Sen (guitar), Mark Jones (guitar, bass), Chris Sutherland (drums) as well as a professional female vocalist named Tara Louise. The EP was mixed & mastered by British producer Dave Chang who worked with artists such as Orange Goblin, Dagoba, Earthtone9 and Stampin' Ground.
Spyros should seek the attention of high budget movie and video game industries as well as big multimedia orchestral performances which would allow his musical and visual concepts to go viral. It would be great if Phobos Corp. could get a full symphonic orchestra to perform the Felicity EP live.
(Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, June 20th, 2012)
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on Fabryka Magazine