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Phideaux - Number Seven CD (album) cover

NUMBER SEVEN

Phideaux

 

Crossover Prog

4.03 | 550 ratings

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Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars After my disappointment with Doomsday Afternoon I wasn't sure whether to approach this album or not. Would this one offer more of the same fluffy folk and balladry? Or would it try to be a bit more adventurous?

As it turned out, the sound of the album sits somewhere inbetween the light rock of The Great Leap and the ultra-light pop folk of Doomsday Afternoon. But the song writing is decidedly more proggy and in this case I believe that to be an improvement. While the songs are ballads at the base, there are plenty of rocking outbreaks and unexpected side-steps that make them more interesting and decisively less predictable.

The album starts very strongly with a string of atmospheric ballads, the sombre folk-prog epic Waiting For The Axe, the anthemic Hive Mind, the folksy Claws of a Crayfish waltz and the sad ballad My Sleeping Slave. The female vocals have become more prominent but are quite fitting here.

The middle part of the album is less interesting. After a couple of short pieces, Gift of Flame goes for old-school folk-rock of Jethro Tull's end 70's albums and the album loses its tension and freshness in the process. With The Search for Terrestrial Life - A Fistful of Fortitude, the downward spiral continues. Female cliché vocals similar to Maggie Reilly's drag down what wasn't a very exciting song to start with.

Act three of the album starts with the minor key piano theme of Love Theme from #7 which grows into a mainly instrumental progressive rock song, swirling organs, vivacious rhythms and sharp rocking guitars provide the wake-up call this album needed. With Storia Senti Phideaux gives a nod to Italian prog. Or should I say pop in this case? The Italian lyrics, the sweet flavoured melodies at the start and playful continuation should sure please RPI fans. Nice tune. Some of the vocal melodies of Infinite Supply sound slightly like those from Soundblast of the Fiendish album but they are nowhere near as good. A deliberate nod to earlier greatness or just not very inspired?

Considering the popularity of The Decemberist's 2009 album, it looks like classic folk rock is receiving some sort of come-back. Not something I was waiting for but if the quality remains as good as on these two albums I won't complain neither. Despite the classic rock attack in the middle part, it's a decent folk-rock album. 3 stars, probably 4 if you're really into folk.

Bonnek | 3/5 |

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