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Phideaux - Phideaux & Mogon Promotional Issue CD (album) cover



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Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Doomsday Afternoon is Phideaux's masterpiece, and so it was cool to hear the edited version of "Thank You for the Evil" that opens this promotional piece. "Cupacabras" is also one of Phideaux's greatest songs, and I appreciate being able to hear a live version of it here. It has a different introduction from the studio version, fusing "Okay" with a later segment of the piece. Amazingly, it rivals the original- well done. This release includes three tracks from the forthcoming album 7½, presumably at least a titular response to 2009's Number Seven. One of those tracks is "Out of the Angry Planet," which the band plays live. I predict that 7½ will be a very strong release, because it contains both the accessible songwriting Phideaux has grown proficient with as well as the symphonic nature exhibited in Snowtorch. There are jarring shifts of rhythm and folk elements that make me think of Jethro Tull's A Passion Play. This release concludes with something different, two tracks from a separate project called Mogon. Mogon was a god worshipped in Gaul and Britannia. A part of this is his voice, but frankly I don't hear much of a variance between Mogon and Phideaux. The music is stripped-down, but the sound and chord structures are very similar. There is a blend of psychedelic music in the vein of Pink Floyd and the bulk of "Snuff" sounds like a tribute to early symphonic King Crimson. "The Chairs" is a dark, space rock song with organ and Mellotron, somewhat similar to "Snuff."
Report this review (#770828)
Posted Thursday, June 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars OK, since this is available (at the time of writing this) as a free download from (it says name your price and allows zero, but please consider pitching in a few bucks to help with the next album), you have no reason not to have this in your collection.

If the price isn't enough, this is a really great release to have. Some of the tracks are available elsewhere, and some are live versions, but I can't get this out of my player. It stands on its own as an outstanding listen.

If you're not familiar with Phideaux, check out some reviews of the individual albums for more. I will say that this collection mostly emphasizes the more symphonic side of Phideaux, except for the two Mogon tracks, which are more neo-psychadelic, and highlights the great song writing and ensemble playing that I love about Phideaux (the two female vocalists are awesome).

There is an alternate mix of Thank You for the Evil from Doomsday Afternoon. The mix is different and I think there are some new and alternate parts not on the album version, so this is very cool.

It includes Tempest of Mutiny and Strange Cloud which were previously available as single track releases. Both I think are improved masters - Phideaux told me in an email they had "found a more harmonious way to mix." I think they sound clearer and better.

There is a nice live version of Out of the Angry Planet. I believe this, plus Tempest and Strange Cloud are slated for the next full-length album release.

For me, the highlight is the amazingly incredible (can you tell I like it?) 21 minute live version of Chupacabras. This is a bit different from the album version - different opening, and you can tell the arrangement has been refined as they've played it over the years. If you are a Phideaux fan, you must have this one track alone!

There are two tracks from the Mogon project. Snuff is pretty cool, more of an 11 minute neo-psychadelic-symphonic romp, and even has a trumpet solo on it. The Chairs doesn't do a lot for me, very stripped-down and repetitive, and doesn't really go anywhere, although I'll cut it some slack for all the mellotrons.

And finally, there is an eighth track, not listed in any catalog entries or on the cover art, but the file is there in the download. It's called The Wind Never Dies and is a nice quiet emotional piece, all piano and solo vocal. Not sure where this is from.

Oh, and for mellotron fans, you will find lots and lots of tasty bits of mellotron throughout all the tracks.

It's hard to give a promo collection a masterpiece rating, but this is such a great collection, especially the live Chupacabras, that it's very tempting. Let's say 4.5, just barely rounded down to 4 stars, but you'd be crazy not to go get this immediately.

Report this review (#787876)
Posted Saturday, July 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars I actually saw this on prog archives and dismissed it initially because I couldn't find it anywhere. Then later by accident I found it, digital only, on Phideaux's bandcamp site.

As someone else stated, it's not exactly fitting to give something that isn't an album a masterpiece rating, but this collection truly houses some amazing tracks and is nearly worthy of that rating. Tempest of Mutiny, Strange Cloud, and Out of the Angry Planet are all faster paced lively rock songs comparable in sound to some of the album Number 7. The two previously released tracks, Chupacabras and Thank you for the Evil, are both newly modified versions and definitely worth a listen. The lyrics and style of 'Snuff' make me feel like it is part of the Doomsday trilogy, even though I know it isn't. The Wind Never Dies reminds me a bit of Infinite Supply from Number 7, just because it's mainly Phideaux's voice accompanied by piano playing. While this does give an idea of what to expect, the comparisons I mentioned are only a rough basis. This collection is in no way extinct from new ideas as I sometimes see happening with bands towards their later releases. If you're eager for Infernal to be released, then this should be more than enough to tide you over. Highly recommend this for fans of Phideaux.

Report this review (#1390789)
Posted Monday, March 30, 2015 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars I have been a fan of Phideaux Xavier and his work for a long time now, but have only recently come across this album. Apparently it was produced for Nearfest (I'm guessing in 2012 as that was when it was released) as a way of letting people discover more of his music. Even now it is still available from his Bandcamp site totally free of charge ' if I remember correctly, he released his initial albums for the same cost, and back then it was for a physical disc. I know nothing about the disc in terms of who plays on it, or when the live songs were recorded, while I believe Mogon was another project from Xavier containing the same musicians as his other band but in a different style.

His voice is always front and centre, and he brings together sounds from the progressive and art rock worlds, often with a very healthy dose of psychedelia as well. There are times when his music is reminiscent of early Seventies Pink Floyd, at others it is more singer- songwriter, while there is always a big sound. It may be more laid-back and less in your face than other prog acts, but he has continued to produce incredibly consistent and enjoyable albums over the years, and even though this is a sampler it is still incredibly interesting. While the Mogon numbers are interesting, especially for their use of horns and strings, it will probably be to the Phideaux songs that the fan will gravitate, and to the epic live rendition of the title cut from his 2005 album, 'Chupacabras'. There is a vitality, a real speak between Phideaux and the female singer, plus a levity and space between all the musicians as this twenty minute long number evolves. I can't play this without a smile on my face as it is just so much fun. It may have taken me six years to come across this, but I am so glad I have. Did I mention it is free? Of course, any monies you do donate will go to his next project.

Report this review (#2080976)
Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2018 | Review Permalink

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