Perpetually reawakening.

Phantom Heir is my musical endeavor and moniker. I developed a visual identity system, aesthetic style, and website for all current and future releases.

music composition & production
art direction
branding & identity

The sound and style I incorporate in Phantom Heir fuses contemplative and tranquil atmospheres with a visceral tenacity drawn from metal and hardcore music. Together, this culminates in soundscapes guided by conceptual narratives and punctured with emotional depth.

I chose the name Phantom Heir as a way of drawing meaning from the familial trauma, loss, and pain I’ve experienced. It’s a meditation on what it means to exist without the bonds and inheritance one might establish with family. The desire to harbor these connections may exist, but in the wake of dysfunction and fallout, they are merely a spectre out of reach — a phantom heir manifest. 
The visual identity system utilizes a subdued wordmark lockup with simple geometric type, a limited color palette, and a unique icon — referred to as Sigils — beside the wordmark. These Sigils and color palettes alternate with each new release, conceptually referencing the respective themes of that release.
My debut full-length album — Fear Harness is an exploration of repetition, introspection, and the surreal worlds we travel to during unconsciousness. It ponders what is real and what is fiction, and how the two can overlap in the corridors of our mind. 
listen to the album here ︎︎

In addition to the front cover, individual artworks were made for each song on the album, their aesthetic compositions reflecting the sound and themes of each respective song. The collages were composed of various photos I’d taken over the years, forming abstract and atmospheric landscapes evocative of nightmares and dreams.

The Phantom Heir website is intentionally straightforward and reductive, emphasizing the music and their details over any other criteria. Future phases will include new releases, additional images and videos, a shop feature, and much more.
view the site ︎︎

musician, art director, & designer: james edward bonilla
front-end engineer: andrew krawchyk
© Sombra 2023