Kory Torgerson (Guitar) ‘’Back in 2019 I started writing some songs that would eventually become the debut album. It was originally just going to be a personal project just for fun. When the pandemic hit, I was laid off from work and decided to spend more time on music.
I enlisted my friend and bandmate Shane Richardson in another band we're in called Bladewolf on bass. I found our original singer Naomi Weston through an online ad. I've known our drummer Danial Devost for a long time. I reached out to him when we were nearly done writing our first album. I had always wanted to write and play symphonic metal music since high school. A friend of mine back then introduced me to Nightwish, and I immediately fell in love.
‘’The name Phantom Divine was kind of just thought up one night on my drive home from work. The kind of funny part is my friend's dog's name was Phantom, and I thought it would be a cool part of a band name!
Your New Vocalist
‘’Yes we do! There was some personal stuff that got in the way of Naomi continuing on with us, I won't go into details. I'm really excited to work with McKenna Rae! I've known her for a few years now. She is in another symphonic metal band called Solborn with our drummer. They've had some success, and I knew that McKenna would be a great addition to our band! She really is a pro at what she does.
Your debut album. The Cosmic Vision.
‘’Once we got rolling, it really didn't take that long. It took about a year or so. It would start with either myself or Naomi having a song idea, then we'd go back and forth with suggestions until we were satisfied. Naomi wrote most of the lyrics for the album, with the exception of River of Dreams. Before Phantom Divine was created, I had hired a session artist to help me with that one. For the most part, I'd write the instrumental parts, and Naomi would write the lyrics and vocal melodies.
‘’Naomi pulled inspiration from both literature and everyday concerns. The Necromancer is inspired by historical events such as colonization, and is told from the perspective of the people who's land was stolen from them by the colonists. My Purpose however is a more personal song, with the main theme based around mental health. River of Dreams is inspired by tales of sirens seducing men to their deaths. We really had a broad range of topics and inspirations for the album.
The Metal and Classica ?
‘’I grew up listening to a wide range of music. I discovered metal in my early teens, and knew immediately that I wanted to play that kind of music! The heavy and fast guitars were the first thing that pulled me in. Despite it's aggressive nature, I find it very soothing. It's one of the few things that keeps me sane these days.
’Maybe a bit of Bach, and Mozart. But for the most part, when it comes to the orchestrations, I'd say I pull most of my inspiration from more modern sources. Gustav Holst is one great example. I absolutely love his masterpiece The Planets! Other influences would be John Williams, Howard Shore, and Hans Zimmer, just to name a few. I really love film scores, a lot of them have an epic sound to them that draws me in!
To Break Your Patterns?
You can take meaning in our work however you wish. The meaning I find in it is breaking habits, or patterns that are harmful, and moving on.
We do have some new music in the works! Some of it is definitely heavier than we've previously done. Lyrically, it's more fantasy inspired. This time around, every band member is contributing songs and ideas. I can't yet say when the next release will be, but it will be very soon!
The Canadian scene?
Oh, it is very diverse! The underground scene is full of great bands. There's not as many symphonic metal bands, but the ones that are out there are fantastic! We will be playing our first show with McKenna in a couple weeks in Edmonton with our friends in Hyloxalus. If you haven't checked them out before, they are a great blend of symphonic and power metal!
The greatest symphonic metal song of all time is?
That's a really tough one! One song that definitely stands out to me would be Dark Chest of Wonders, by Nightwish! Really heavy, and guitar driven.
Top 6 albums of all time
Oh boy, if we are talking just metal I'd have to say,
The Holographic Principal (Epica),
The Black Halo (Kamelot),
Cowboys from Hell (Pantera),
Abyss (Unleash the Archers),
Rust in Peace (Megadeth).