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Phi For The Love Of Ghosts album cover
3.61 | 22 ratings | 3 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Surgical Cut, Parts 2-4 (9:51)
2. Departure (4:41)
3. DesIre (12:08)
4. Wintersong (5:23)
5. The Illusion (Death Is Dead) (6:19)
6. The Surgical Cut, Part 1 (9:04)
7. Epilogue: For The Love Of Ghosts (1:46)

Total Time 49:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Markus Bratusa / guitars, vocals, programming, additional keyboards
- Arthur Darnhofer-Demar / bass, backing vocals
- Nick Koch / drums, programming

- Christoph W. Pirker / keyboards, organ (1-6)
- Markus Czwiertnia / violin (4)
- Peter Yearsley and Librivox / spoken words (1 & 6)

Thanks to Cesar Inca for the addition
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PHI For The Love Of Ghosts ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PHI For The Love Of Ghosts reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Austrian band PHI was formed back in 2006, and in their formative years they became a relatively popular outfit. That initial phase ended in 2009 however, and after a break, incorporating a new musical philosophy with members to boot, the second version of the band hit the studio in 2011 to record their debut album. "For the Love of Ghosts" was the chosen name for this production.

Innovative progressive metal is probably as good a description as anything for the style explored on "For the Love of Ghosts". Traditional progressive metal given a Porcupine Tree inspired makeover, with effective use of contrasting themes and intensity build-ups as central characteristics. Well worth investigating if you're intrigued by a band that attempts to stray outside of the common boundaries of progressive metal yet maintaining an accessible sound.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A very good album!

This is Phi, a band from Austria whose music is a clear example of what we call Heavy Prog, they enter without a doubt in the progressive rock realm, with some hints of metal, without being metal itself. Their debut album released in 2011 is entitled "For the Love of Ghosts", which features seven songs that together make a total time of 49 minutes. I would like to thank Olav for introducing this band to me.

"The Surgical Cut, Parts 2-4" extraordinarily opens this album, because they give us ten minutes of powerful, thoughtful music that any band would desire to share. Since the first moments we can appreciate the heavy side of the music, but I insist, it is not progressive metal, not yet. I like how the instruments and the voice are all equal and necessary to the music's success, none of them stands above, they form a good group together. The voice has cadency but at the same time it can be deep, the drums are constant and interesting, guitars and bass give the good rhythm while keyboards produce cool nuances and textures. After 4 minutes the music changes a bit, I assume is a new part. Then it slows down and we can listen to spoken words; then the music is progressing little by little, but in the last two minutes slows down again in order to be rebuilt. Great opening track!

"Departure" starts slowly but after a few seconds it becomes faster and more powerful, the sound here is like a mixture of the heavy side of alternative prog, with of course some progressive rock. The voice here has some effects and sounds great, the bass create nice lines while the guitars are excellent all the time. When it slows down I believe it loses some of its essence, which fortunately returns with the fast and heavy moments. The last couple of minutes are great!

Now the longest composition of the album, with 12 minutes of music "Desire" begins with a heavy pulse since the very first second. They sing "I need to feel this", and they actually make us feel it, I really like the voice and how it together with the music can share emotions to the listener, and that is something I really appreciate from the bands. Here I like a lot the mixture of soft with heavy passages, and how even in the soft ones a heavy guitar appears without harming the sound, so they are very careful. There is a change at minute eight that I like a lot, seems to be a faster song but it isn't, then the music take us to a creative passage, where keyboards put excellent atmospheres that are wonderfully filled by the strings and drums. "I wanna be the flesh, underneath your skin" they say, and the song fades out delicately.

A violin can be listened in "Wintersong", which produces some gentle uncertainty, seconds later the voice appears along with a piano, and then the song is building a structure little by litte; after 1:30 drums and keyboards enter together with a soft guitar and when the voice reappears we can notice a kind of melancholic and regretful sound. Just before the third minute the music explodes and a minute later we can listen to a great guitar riff, and then the voice produces the most emotional tone of the track. "The Illusion (Death is Dead)" is the following track, with strings and drums very reminiscent of King Crimson, then it changes when the voice enters and the music takes us to another place. Cool track!

"The Surgical Cut, Pt. 1" is another long song, reaching the nine-minute mark. It is different than the previous, because it does not show the heavy feeling, it is, on the other hand, a soft track whose progress is slow at least in the first three minutes; then it changes and now the heavy sound is present again. So they created a different beginning, and actually a different body for the song, this is a cool and experimental track that shows their talent as composers, making a fresh heavy prog sound. The album finishes with "Epilogue: For the Love of Ghosts", which happens to be the shortest composition. Acoustic guitar and vocals to say goodbye, nice.

I am happy with Phi's album, which I recommend to fans of the heavy side of progressive rock, and also for metal fans, why not. My final grade will be 4 stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by Progulator
3 stars Having to categorize and recategorize a particular band a number of times throughout an album can be a good thing. As I listed to Phi's For the Love of Ghosts, it was interesting how the style of music didn't really change, but the big picture, what they were trying to do with their album, with their vision, became clearer and clearer as the album progressed, without there being radical changese in style. The initial grit of the guitars that opens "The Surgical Cut" initially made me think it would just be another rock band, but as the synths begin to flesh out and the turn becomes more melodic and vocal oriented there was something I could really latch onto. Honestly I'm not sure what. The singer's voice is a voice that in another context I could see myself not liking, however it fits perfectly with Phi's sound. It's somewhat somber, not forcing itself at you, but the sort of introspective aspect of it when combined with the composition brings you in and makes it very likeable. I would like to say that Phi seems to avoid having the semblance of pretension. I never get the impression like they're trying to impress you. Indeed, they are not a flashy band, but neither do they come across as one of these hipster bands that thinks they're doing something artistic or innovative, but in reality they just suck at playing music and somehow think that makes them experimental. I would almost at times say that they have a slight prog metal mentality, which seems to become very apparent around the middle of the album; however they are not nearly heavy enough to really be considered metal, in my opinion. What Phi offers is really good songs that are catchy, melodic, and groove great. They're not really worried about being a 'heavy' band, a soft band, an ambitious band, or even a 'proggy' band. Of course, they have elements of all these things in there. With For the Love of Ghosts being a debut, Phi proves themselves to be an already mature band with good potential for growth.

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