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Phideaux - Number Seven CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.03 | 553 ratings

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4 stars In the year 2007 I kept hearing about this artist named Phideaux and the new album "Doomsday Afternoon". After hearing all the hype in the progressive rock community over this particularly album, I decided to pick it up, and I was immediately blown away by what I heard. I couldn't get enough of the album, it was the perfect blend of progressive elements that I had been looking for. There was true beauty and magic throughout the whole album. That is why I eagerly anticipated the release of "Number Seven" and after waiting for several months, I was finally able to order a copy from Greg Walker, and I anxiously put it on in my car as soon as it arrived in the mail. And, I was blown away all over again!

This is a concept album involving a dormouse, crayfish and shrews. I think it is quite a feat to craft such a beautiful album from those topics. As far as the story goes, I'm still learning exactly what the meaning is behind it. It follows the journey of a dormouse from escaping the hive and experiencing the real world before finding his inner peace. The album is broken up into three sections and each section is brilliant and contains highlights. The first section, called "Dormouse Ensnared" begins with an acoustic guitar playing the dormouse theme, and it is a beautiful beginning to the album. Then, the epic, "Waiting for the Axe To Fall" starts slowly and builds into a powerhouse of a track. This track has every trademark element that Phideaux is known for. The vocals, both male and female, are excellent. I especially enjoy the use of a female vocalist, I believe that it really compliments the music and adds an important element. There is also some extremely beautiful piano work throughout this whole section, and moments that sound like the best possible cross between Genesis and Jethro Tull.

The second section is called "Dormouse Escapes" and it starts with a nice acoustic guitar led ballad called "Darkness at Noon". It has an almost latin feel, and Phideaux's voice is perfect for this track, it is beautiful. I love the track "Gift of the Flame". It starts off with an almost Dark Side of the Moon era Pink Floyd section complete with Saxophone and a great groove. On top of this groove are the incredible female vocals the band is known for and the track continues to groove from there. I also have to mention the great little nursery rhyme section in "Interview with a Dormouse" that leads into an interesting keyboard driven instrumental called "Thermonuclear Cheese". This track is actually majestic and leads perfectly into the nice acoustic ballad "The Search for Terrestrial Life". Another highlight for me I have to mention is the ending of this section titled "A Fistful of Fortitude" which plays like some kind of triumphant western anthem. It is a great end to this section!

As if that weren't enough, there is a third section called "Dormouse Enlightened". This begins with one of my favorite instrumentals of all time: "Love Theme From Number Seven". It begins slowly, and is hauntingly beautiful with some amazing piano work that sounds very classical. This leads into a section with faster jazzy piano before leading into a fast-paced full band workout. It is brilliantly constructed and I could listen to it over and over. It leads fantastically into the ballad "Storia Senti" which starts softly with Phideaux singing beautifully (in French, I believe) with some beautiful piano and violin. It is truly heavenly. This leads into a faster, bouncier part that is always a joy to listen to. This leads into another beautiful piano led ballad "Infinite Supply" before going back into the Dormouse theme that began the album.

I can't stress how much I love this album and how I consider it a true masterpiece. The thing about Phideaux is that he is a true artist, he is not just creating progressive rock, but a masterpiece of art. Everything from the ability of the musicians to the lyrics is completely brilliant. I hold both this album and Doomsday Afternoon in very high regard in my progressive rock collection and feel that both album transcend the boundaries of progressive rock and become true art. I adore this album and it grows on me with each lesson. This is a great album that can not be missed!

natewait | 4/5 |


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