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Phideaux - Doomsday Afternoon CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.22 | 903 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars With this album PHIDEAUX is finally barking up the right tree.

Better composition, better production (I can't account for this because I hear it was recorded at the same time as 'The Great Leap') and, finally, some substance to the hype. I must say the addition of an orchestra (while it must have been expensive) was a master-stroke, giving the music depth the synths just can't imitate. I'm also pleased the drummer has finally sunk back into the mix a little. And to give Xavier credit his voice is much more expressive here, allowing himself to take more risks which mostly pay off.

'Micro Softdeathstar' is a solid opening, followed by the excellent instrumental 'The Doctrine of Eternal Ice #1'. Here is a theme worthy of prog rock greatness! The piano-driven 'Candybrain' and 'Crumble' separate the two halves of the 'Eternal Ice' duology, pleasant enough without being outstanding, and then we plunge back into the album's more memorable moments. The second 'Doctrine' is flat-out beautiful, alternating the theme from the first part - albeit muted - with some gorgeous melodies (and annoying synth, but you can't always be perfect). This is distinctly Floydian, even more so because Xavier's voice, like Waters', is workmanlike rather than expressive: he has to take a run at the more dramatic moments, but on this album it adds character. The song peters out a little, but a foundation is laid and 'Thank You For The Evil' builds on it with its ponderous, sludgy beat and layers of synthesisers, a slow rise into a simple but impressive intensity. 'Formaldehyde' marries folkish and symphonic prog very nicely, repeating earlier themes. Here comes 'Doctrine' again. Clever, this. This is an album easy to get into due to the repetition of the main themes, for me a prerequisite for great traditional prog rock. Two stirring 'Doctrines', two pretty 'Crumbles' and, to round out the album, a second stunning 'Microdeathsoftstar', the title a rearrangement of the first track, just as is the music.

This is PHIDEAUX's main contribution to progressive rock. It is an album with a clear shape, well balanced, filled with excellent songwriting and is more than competently played. Certainly no threat to the classics, and by no means a masterpiece, but well worth a listen.

russellk | 4/5 |


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