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Phi - Cycles CD (album) cover

CYCLES

Phi

 

Heavy Prog

3.87 | 16 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars PHI is a greek letter, and stands for the golden ratio, the perfect aesthetic balance. The band work towards this golden ratio with music, creating a powerful alliance of aspiration and Rock 'n' Roll attitude. Formed as long ago as 2006, this is their fourth studio album, but it is the first time I have come across them. Apparently they have had a break in their career, and the current line-up is quite different to the original, but I must admit to being somewhat surprised to have not come across them prior to this as this is a very interesting album indeed. This Austrian band are very much from the heavy prog side, and it is no surprise to discover that it is the guitarist, Markus Bratusa, (also vocals, synthesizer, sound design) who is the main songwriter. What was particularly interesting to me is that he is obviously a fan of Meshuggah and djent, although he does treat that medium quite differently indeed.

This is a very melodic, very modern sounding album. While I can see them having commonalities with Threshold, if these guys had been around in the Nineties I am sure that we would also have been pointing towards Mentaur as potential influences, albeit that PHI are more melodic than both. The bass is also incredibly important with this band, strongly backing up the guitar while also going off on musical tangents when the need arises. When they cast away the melodies and vocals and start to really let rip, these guys move solidly away from heavy prog and into prog metal, resulting in an overall sound that will appeal to fans of both sub-genres, as well as those wondering whatever happened to good old fashioned neo prog. Melodic, great songs with a strong production, this feels very much an album for 2018 and has got me wondering what the other material is like. Easy to listen to and thoroughly enjoyable, this is a thoroughly enjoyable romp.

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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