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Phideaux - Fiendish CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.18 | 140 ratings

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3 stars Fiendish managed to beat my expectations. Typically, when I see an album with a rating lower than 3.45 or so I worry that it is severely defective some way, not so with Fiendish. What we have is a new band, ignoring Friction as the band suggests you do, starting from a position of strength. It can take a while for bands to coalesce around a specific sound. Even though the band had understandably not worked up the worked up the courage to make a concept album or a 20+ minute suite at this point, this is quite clearly the work of Phideaux.

I had been given a false impression by Ghost Story and Chupacabras about how the Phideaux's sound has evolved. I was under the impression that the band moved from a more conventional rock sound towards something more exotic, but that clearly isn't the case. Despite the fairly simple song structures, the sound of Fiendish is much closer to Chupacabras than it is to Ghost Stories. In fact, I think Chupacbras can almost be thought of a more ambitious reprise of or sequel to Fiendish. The tracks Headstones and Fiendish/Vultures & Mosquitoes clearly have shared pedigree with Fortress of Sand/Titan and the Chupacabras suite respectively. To me that's a good thing, Chupacbras the album is one of my favourites. Unsurprisingly, these tracks are the most entertaining part of the album.

In short, there is lots to like if like me you are a fan of Phideaux. It is dark and captivating, but more self-conscious than their later work. About the only thing that kept me from bumping this album up to four stars is the lyrics. Those who know the band well are familiar with the band's penchant for lavish and often beautiful, but somewhat insubstantial verse. It's probably worse here than any other point in the discography. It's kind of to be expected at this early point in their career so I don't really let it drag me down too much. If you're new to Phideaux, it's a find place to start, but know it gets oh so much better than this. If you are a collector and a fan like me, I recommend getting it to fill out your collection, but not until you've hear the big stuff on Chupacabras, Doomsday Afternoon, Number 7, Snowtorch and even Ghost Story to a degree.

R-A-N-M-A | 3/5 |


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