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Phideaux - Doomsday Afternoon CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.22 | 903 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I've owned this album since it came out and it took a great deal of conscious effort to resist the zeal of rating it right away. However, after a long time of contemplating it, I think this album is absolutely a masterpiece.

First off, you will hear lots of stories about how this is the second part of a trilogy with similar sonic references, lyrical references and how it isn't quite done yet. Ignore these things. This album stands up magnificently on its own. While you may miss a couple musical and lyrical cues culled from THE GREAT LEAP, they won't detract from the experience. In fact, this was the very first Phideaux album I ever heard and it blew me away immediately without even knowing anything about the trilogy, let alone that this wasn't the first part.

When Phideaux says that this plays like one massive song, he isn't kidding. If you put this on and let it run to the end, it functions as a singular, rather structurally complex piece. I just read a rather interesting essay by Umberto Eco on structuralism in poetry that would shed some great light on this album, but I don't want to bore you! In short, the structure is much more complex than a single song split into tracks, or even multiple movements. Instead, there is a complex interweaving of lyrical and musical recapitulations and permutations going on through the album. Similar riffs appear again and again, but are paired against such radically different instrumentation and lyrics that they feel fresh. Indeed, the structure is a great boon because it makes a through-composed song cycle that still feels workable no matter which tune you listen to, which is normally a big failing of these large songs. In this, you can pluck out any tune and listen to it on its own to get something satisfactory while also retaining the power of the song cycle when listened to as a whole.

This, I feel, is the album's greatest strength. The instrumentation reminds me of classic Genesis albums perhaps a bit too much; but keep in mind that I have all three Genesis studio box sets not just in my possession but in my car at all times. The sonic similarities are, to me, a tremendous boon, but I can see them as a weakness in the eyes of others. Likewise, the lyrics and vocals, while I like them, I can see perhaps being a little of an annoyance; not the female vocals, which are astounding and pretty and disturbing and powerful whenever the feel like it, but Phideaux's. However, the compositional strength of this piece, the sheer songwriting power brought to bear, makes all of these rather meek arguments. It's like saying the intros on a couple songs on DARK SIDE OF THE MOON are too long; yeah, but who cares?

A masterpiece. Five stars, no doubts.

Gorloche | 5/5 |


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