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Phideaux - Snowtorch CD (album) cover

SNOWTORCH

Phideaux

 

Crossover Prog

4.17 | 665 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Textbook
3 stars Like The Watch and a few other bands, Phideaux are the prog equivalent of dad rock, safe comfort food for the nostalgic and unadventurous. A pleasing and inoffensive affair, Snowtorch is also vanilla and middle-aged in its sensibilities.

I do not mind Phideaux's Floyd influenced vocals, though I find the female parts lack character. One sticking point is the atrocious lyrics. I am absolutely baffled to find people praising the lyrics. There are multiple points where I almost wince at the lyrical incompetence on display and they could be described generously as clumsy.

If we focus on the music we find a lot more to praise. Shades of Yes and Jethro Tull abound as we go on a keyboard heavy journey through extremely familiar prog territory, yet it's all done in a decent and acceptable manner. I enjoy the agressive piano part near the end of Snowtorch I and the opening of Snowtorch II is also great with some nice acoustic guitar work and a build up to an unexpected tribal stomp of sorts. The triumphant folk of the concluding Coronal Mass is also an interesting way to finish.

However, a handful of intriguing moments can't excuse the fact that too much of the album floats gently by. I scoff at the idea that this is an important or essential album. Indeed, I would be shocked if the people foaming at the mouth with five star reviews today are still listening to it in a matter of months, let alone years. As another reviewer suggested by claiming that Phideaux is discovering America, I feel Phideaux is trying much too hard to make the sort of album that inspired him to be a musician. The problem with that is that, even if you succeed, those albums already exist and the result is redundant.

Though they might bristle at the use of the word, those who are brave enough to admit that they are "fuddy-duddies" or people attempting to rediscover the spirit of their own past rather than actually go somewhere new, might find a lot to enjoy here. Those who want something challenging or stimulating will find it ephemeral.

Likeable but completely skippable.

Textbook | 3/5 |

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