Fantome is the new side project of Atari Teenage Riot's Hanin Elias and her co-musician Marcel Zuercher. However, it has to be said, fans of ATR will not necessarily enjoy Fantome's debut release 'It All Makes Sense'; sure there's some very industrial vibes and heavy drums on there but, for the most part, you are looking at an album that constitutes a lot more 'easy listening'.
So while Atari Teenage Riot enjoyed their noisy techno beats and crazy synth riffs, Hanin has gone on to produce something a lot more pop-orientated. Though has she kept up the Atari excitement in her new release?
Opener 'Future Heroes' is an example of just how much thought has gone into the structure of each song on the album. It kicks off with military style drums over some hushed, slow and breathy vocals before it's imbibed with soothingly uplifting guitars. It's a solid opener and tells you what to expect from the rest of the album.
'Love' is a stand-out track on the album with celestial sounding tones providing a background to the melodic guitars and pounding drums. The vocals are less hushed and a lot more poppy, and there's a lot of memorability to it. 'Song Of God' is very different, but equally as exciting with its dark, industrial hum that sounds far from godly coupled with Hanin's now eerie, dreamlike voice. The title track, 'Scream' and 'Infinite Moment' also build on that evocative, industrial feel, but unfortunately, they fail to be as interesting to listen to.
Drum-led track five 'The Key' is probably one of the only tracks on the album that could actually get your feet moving; there's a lot of ATR about it with its distinct rhythm and more boisterous singing and, in answer to my previous question, it does indeed embody some of the Atari excitement.
However, that's where it ends unfortunately. There's nothing unpleasant about any of the songs but sometimes the lyrics get a bit pathetic and the melodies boring; 'Everywhere Nowhere' and 'Crash' sound more like they've come for the noughties emo-rock scene than a woman with more than 20 years' experience in hardcore industrial music.
Fantome have a really good album with 'It All Makes Sense'. It's fun, unique and Hanin's vocals are on top form. But it just feels a bit messy at times; the lack of consistency throughout each track often ruins the perfectly good ambience set up at the openings. Lyrically, a lot of improvement could be made as well, and maybe throw in some catchier melodies. Nonetheless, for a first attempt at a brand new project, it worked well and was more than easy on the ears.