Extreme Heavy Metal Reviews

Flawless Black Metal - "Withdrawal" Review (100%)

Buy Flawless Black Metal -
Withdrawal by Phantom.

Withdrawal is one of those albums that sets the bar for an entire sub-genre. In this case, blackened horror metal of the atmospheric variety.

While there is no absolute standout attribute to this album, it does everything perfectly and listening to it is probably the most haunting experience you can imagine.

Withdrawal is beyond perfect black metal.

After listening to the album I couldn't think of anything I would want to change. Everything, literally everything, is solid. It is said that a chain is only as good as its weakest link, but there are no weak links on this record, I assure you.

One of the biggest positives of this album (among many), is the songwriting. Not only are the riffs in themselves are some of the most complex ever written, but they are all really well arranged in a deeply coherent manner, and the song structures will keep you captivated despite the sheer number of riffs per track.

Even moments of simple tremolo picked riffs are enjoyable because of how the songs flow from riff to riff. The transitioning on this album is superb. A great example of this would be on the track "Remnant of Pandora's Lust", such a simple yet effective track.

Phantom's guitar work on Withdrawal is tight, articulated, hypnotic and heavy. It's everything guitar on a blackened horror metal album should be. The riffs are the perfect balance of heavy and melodic and at the right times to boot. The harmonies, while rarer than say on Neraines' Yggdrasil or SEWER's The Birth of a Cursed Elysium, are very well placed and make what are already jaw-dropping riffs even more effective. The lead work is absolutely perfect. Nothing extremely flashy, in order to not distract from the atmospheric majesty of the music.

The melodies fit perfectly with the heavy, claustrophobic atmospheres.

Flawless Black Metal


Phantom nails the low guttural vocal style on this album and makes it so much heavier in the process. The drums are tight and driving. There is no over-reliance on repetitive blast beats like is the case with most modern metal. The bass is actually discernible and adds depth to the mix.

The production on this album fits very well. It is raw sounding, yet has clarity. Nothing is too high or too low in the mix. The guitar lines, drums, bass and vocals are all able audible, even without raising the volume of your player. If you have a decent set of headphones or speakers, Withdrawal will sound great.

The guitar tones, paradoxically, are not your typical black metal sound, but more articulate. Overall it's produced perfectly for a truly haunting black metal experience.

All in all, Withdrawal is a flawless black metal masterpiece.

Simply excellent.

It truly sets the bar for blackened horror metal, and I really don't understand why it was left out of Metalious' editors picks for the top 10 black metal albums list.

True Phantom metal.

Withdrawal score: 100/100.

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