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PHIDEAUX

Crossover Prog • United States


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Phideaux biography
PHIDEAUX Xavier is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, employing the drumming of Rich Hutchins, producer Gabriel Moffat and a revolving cast of supporting musicians. He has released several progressive/psychadelic inspired albums since 2003 and includes Jethro Tull, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Van Der Graaf Generator, and early Genesis (among many others) as influences.

The first proper album was "Fiendish", which introduced the folky, psychadelic sound of PHIDEAUX. "Ghost Story" mostly consists of material from a previous musical collaboration in the 90s called Satyricon (with Rich Hutchins). "Chupacabras" might be the first album that prog fans lean towards, with the 20+ minute "epic" title track highlighting the album. "313" was an album-in-a-day project that took shape with one day of basic writing and recording, then fleshed out over the course of the next year. Probably the most significant music achievement so far, "The Great Leap" is the first album in a three part trilogy concerning "life in a dystopic eclogically disintegrating world"... but don't let the topic fool you, PHIDEAUX's music at heart is addictive, fun, deep, and compelling all at the same time, with memorable melodies and finely crafted arrangements that represent songwriting at it's finest. Present are some of the prog rock staples in the use of synths, Hammond organ, mellotrons, and other interesting instrumental contributions, as well as multi-section, evolving pieces of music... but rather than rehashing prog cliches or focusing on technical acrobatics, PHIDEAUX's music truly offers something creative and refreshing.

All these albums are consistently great and are very highly recommended for those who love the subtle, folkier, psychadelic side of prog rock with an emphasis on melodic songwriting. This music has a unqiue magic that doesn't come around very often.

Phideaux is a band born of several lifelong friendships and a mutual appreciation of progressive rock. We are refugees from a time when rock and roll was counter-cultural and have come together to mine a dark vein of music steeped with mellotrons, violins and vintage keyboards. We love power chords, tricky time signatures and intricate harmonies, but always there are melodies to be hummed and riffs to invade your mind.

Free downloads from all our albums at http://www.bloodfish.com/hr/media.htm


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Buy PHIDEAUX Music


SnowtorchSnowtorch
Bloodfish Media 2011
Audio CD$16.89
$12.49 (used)
The Great LeapThe Great Leap
Bloodfish 2006
Audio CD$15.59
$14.01 (used)
Doomsday AfternoonDoomsday Afternoon
Bloodfish Media 2007
Audio CD$647.75 (used)
313313
Bloodfish Media 2006
Audio CD$12.41
$8.50 (used)
Number Seven (Remastered)Number Seven (Remastered)
Bloodfish Media 2010
Audio CD$15.98
ChupacabrasChupacabras
Explicit Lyrics
Bloodfish Media 2005
Audio CD$12.99
Number SevenNumber Seven
Bloodfish Media 2009
Audio CD$69.98
$14.21 (used)

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PHIDEAUX discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PHIDEAUX top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.62 | 37 ratings
Friction
1992
3.10 | 89 ratings
Fiendish
2004
3.66 | 139 ratings
Ghost Story
2004
3.90 | 222 ratings
Chupacabras
2005
3.40 | 108 ratings
313
2006
3.21 | 160 ratings
The Great Leap
2006
4.24 | 712 ratings
Doomsday Afternoon
2007
4.01 | 459 ratings
Number Seven
2009
4.18 | 679 ratings
Snowtorch
2011
4.25 | 8 ratings
Infernal
2013

PHIDEAUX Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PHIDEAUX Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

PHIDEAUX Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PHIDEAUX Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.84 | 35 ratings
Tempest of Mutiny
2010
3.74 | 37 ratings
Strange Cloud
2010
4.11 | 36 ratings
Phideaux & Mogon Promotional Issue
2012

PHIDEAUX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Doomsday Afternoon by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.24 | 712 ratings

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Doomsday Afternoon
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by Dark Nazgul

5 stars Satan's angels fly!

It's been just 48 hours since my review, rather negative, of "The Great Leap". And I feel guilty.

I feel guilty because although I am convinced that "The Great Leap" is not a memorable album, I have so much regard for this man and his band that I feel guilty anyway! And so now I try to redeem myself with the second album of this underground trilogy.

"Doomsday Afternoon", unlike its predecessor, is a masterpiece of modern progressive rock, and in my opinion the best album of 2007. It is probably the turning point in the career of Phideaux, the moment when the band decide to follow the path of progressive rock with great determination (as already made, but only in part, with "Chupacabras"). It is an album characterized by dark and apocalyptic sounds, also implemented through the use of a orchestral section of strings and horns, which help to give extreme solemnity to the songs. Great importance have keyboards, especially the Hammond organ and the synth. As always, Phideaux shows great sensitivity for acoustic music with beautiful piano and guitar parts. The arrangements are very elaborate but do not suffocate the harmonies: the result is a good balance between melody and experimentation, where finally is given to the voice of Valerie Gracious the space it deserves. Matthew Parmenter also participates, he occasionally sings and play violin. Regarding the tracks that make up the album, it is not correct to speak of "single" songs. All songs are linked by the plot, and some themes are repeated many times along the album. In practice, we are faced with a complex musical work that should be appreciated in its entirety. Anyway, here is a brief analysis of the individual tracks.

Micro Softdeathstar:9/10. The beautiful initial notes of "Micro Softdeathstar" immediately set the tone that characterizes the entire album. The quiet introduction singed by Xavier is followed by the orchestra in a way that leaves stunned for majesty and elegance. Great changes of atmosphere and rhythm. When Valerie singing "I'm singing to the rain" in the end, the fan of progressive rock already feels at home.

The Doctrine Of Eternal Ice (Part One): 9/10. Instrumental song that starts with another epic and catchy piano riff. Though I am not a big supporter of the synthesizers, I must admit that in this passage the use of this instrument is superb. The orchestra offers a new contribution.

Candybrain: 8/10. Short song with acoustic guitar, flute and keyboards. The very first David Bowie comes to mind (it seems like "Space Oddity" or "The Man who sold the World"). The vocal harmonies are very beautiful. Phideaux is the lead singer here.

Crumble: 10/10. Exceptional instrumental interlude. A gentle piano melody is played with the accompaniment of the hammond organ and then with choirs and orchestra. This beautiful melody will be reproduced in other parts of the album. The first four songs are all outstanding, with no weak point.

The Doctrine Of Eternal Ice (Part Two): 7/10. It takes up the theme of the second track, as the title suggests, but this time with vocals (both by Valerie and Xavier). The song is more melodic in the first part; in the second half there are complicated arrangements with keyboards in evidence, and some reference to the sounds of Alan Parsons.

Thank You For The Evil: 9/10. There is no orchestra here. It is the song that Pink Floyd have never recorded. The slow pace and the use of synth lead you to albums such as "Wish You Were Here" and "Animals". The song expresses a great sense of inevitability. One of the greatest moment of this brilliant work.

A Wasteland Of Memories: 7/10. Taken in itself is not an important piece, but it works very well placed in the overall context of the album. The orchestra is under the spotlight again and the theme is taken from the middle section of Micro Softdeathstar.

Crumble (Part Two): 10/10. The most poignant song of the album, thanks to the wonderful interpretation of Valerie Gracious.

Formaldehyde: 6/10. The song perhaps much closer to the canons of classic progressive rock, with rhythm changes and complex arrangements, especially in the second half. Not always in focus, however it is another good quality track.

Microdeath Softstar: 10/10. Fourteen minutes of pure genius. The silent introduction gives way to a Hammond organ riff that refers a bit to "Lark's Tongues in Aspic" by King Crimson. The song is a continuous succession of changes of atmosphere and rhythm. The second half is characterized by interpretations of musical themes already heard before (there is also "You And Me Against A World Of Pain" from "The Great Leap"). The album closes in a circular manner, with the initial theme of "Micro Softdeathstar".

Recommended to all lovers of classic symphonic progressive rock. Along with "Number 7" (which is perhaps even slightly better!), the best Phideaux album.

Final rating: 9/10. Five Stars

Best song: Microdeath Softstar

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 The Great Leap  by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.21 | 160 ratings

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The Great Leap
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by Dark Nazgul

2 stars The noise of a jack that connects a guitar to the amplifier.

It's the first thing you hear, and it is indicative of the style of the album. An album deliberately rough and crude (in some ways minimalist) and unfortunately, in my opinion, not very successful.

"The Great Leap" is the first album of a trilogy dedicated to the crisis of the ecosystem. In terms of musical style, is a continuation of what has already been heard in the previous album "313". Although the tracks are closely related, this album has a few characteristics of progressive rock. The songs are short and direct, with no frills or unnecessary pomp, with a prevalence of distorted guitar riffs and aggressive tones: it seems a strange mixture of punk and melodic pop. The voice of Valerie Gracious remains in the background, all the tracks see Phideaux as lead vocalist, and his tones are aggressive and not very reassuring.

Unfortunately, only a few songs are effective. Almost always prevails monotony, and the melodies do not intrigue. The opening track Wake Up, for example, is a crude and obvious song with a hard rock guitar riff and nothing more. In other tracks, such as Tannisroot , One Star and I Was Thinking melodies have little appealing; they are boring even from the first or second listening.

They Hunt You Down is in my opinion the least successful song of the album. It has a slow and exhausting pace and miss the mark completely. In the middle of this song there is a disturbing contrast in styles, and it's really hard to overcome the temptation to skip the track.

Things go better with Rainboy, despite a questionable choral introduction and a poor first singed part. The second half of the song is one of the best moments of the album. Not bad even the catchy Long And Lonely Way and The Waiting, where finally the melodies are enjoyable, and the final track, the melancholic Last.

Of excellent quality, however, the aggressive and dark Abducted, characterized by the slow rhythm of the bass, the distorted guitar and a nice change of pace in the instrumental part. Even excellent, for rhythmic variations and atmosphere, the melodic You And Me Against A World Of Pain, the best track on the album.

Despite some good track, I recommend it only to hardcore fans of Phideaux, and only to complete the "trilogy". The most amazing thing is the contrast (for the style of the work, and also, in my opinion, for the quality of the music) with the second chapter "Doomsday Afternoon", which is a masterpiece of contemporary progressive rock.

****star songs: You And Me Against A World Of Pain, Abducted ***star songs: Long And Lonely Way, The Waiting, Rainboy, Last **star songs: Wake Up, Tannisroot, One Star, I Was Thinking *star songs: They Hunt You Down

My final rating is 4/10.

Best song: You And Me Against A World Of Pain

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 Chupacabras by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.90 | 222 ratings

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Chupacabras
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Phideaux Xavier was born and grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, and was a member of several bands as a youngster, before launching his solo album ''Friction'' in 1992, distributed in a limited number of copies.At the dawn of the millenium he started taking his music more seriously, releasing the more ambitious works ''Fiendish'' (2002) and ''Ghost Story'' (2003), the later showing some evident prog leanings and featuring a smaller and more easy-working line-up.His first trully Prog album though was offered in 2005, entitled ''Chupacabras'' and released privately on Bloodfish.

There is a first attempt by Phideaux here to compose a long and compelling epic, which along the opening intro ''Okay'' make up for some fantastic 23 minutes of music.This is a beautiful track, passing through several segments and offering smooth atmospheres, floating melodies and more aggressive moments.Phideaux delivers excellent modern Prog with plenty of shifting moods, going through more vocal-led and psychedelic moments to powerful and intricate instrumental themes of great quality.Maybe there are too much vocal work at moments and there is also a questionable Celtic-influnced part at the end of the track, however there is too much going on in this composition that will satisfy any lover of intricate and atmospheric Progressive Rock.The rest of the album contains another six vocal and instrumental pieces, which are not equally good, but have plenty of nice moments.The main influence seems to be PINK FLOYD (as it has been throughout Phideaux'es career) with strong doses of PORCUPINE TREE and even TALK TALK and DEPECHE MODE, while Phideaux & co. explore many different terittories with success, like Space Rock with hypnotic textures, aggresive Heavy Prog with crunchy guitars or instrumental Psychedelic Rock with background synths and distorted vocals.

This would be only the start for Phideaux Xavier for an impressive career.There are many good reasons to purchase this lovely modern Prog album, the most important being the 20-min. self-titled epic, which has tons of great moments.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 The Great Leap  by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.21 | 160 ratings

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The Great Leap
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Perhaps my least favourite of the Phideaux albums I have sampled so far, The Great Leap was apparently recorded in the same sessions as the brilliant Doomsday Afternoon - in which case I can only regard The Great Leap as a warm-up exercise, because nothing on there really compares to the brilliance of its followup either in terms of style (Doomsday Afternoon is a symphonic affair built around long songs, this offers up an artsy sort of occasionally-Gothy alternative rock) or quality. It's not terrible - I listen to the end and feel broadly satisfied, there aren't any songs which I find myself desperate to skip - but it's not brilliant either. I guess Phideaux realised after these two that their proggy side is really where their heart is because both Number 7 and Snowtorch have concentrated on that rather than trying to continue the side of their sound that's expressed on here.

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 313 by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.40 | 108 ratings

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313
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Knocked out for a lark during the process of recording Chupacabras, 313 is infamous for being the Phideaux album the band composed and recorded in the space of a day. Although it was subjected to a fair amount of post-production afterwards to get it ready for release, the album is still rather defined by the limitations of its recording process - the songs focus on the shorter side of Phideaux' compositions, and there's no real overarching theme to them except for a tendency towards more whimsical numbers.

Still, there's a certain charm to the piece; although produced via a very different process, it reminds me a lot of Porcupine Tree's On the Sunday of Life - there's the same psychedelic throwback air to it, plus a jauntiness which arises from the artists not taking the album quite as seriously as some of their weightier works. Though it doesn't hit the top tier of Phideaux albums - really, it would be rather incredible if it did - I think it's a strong addition to their discography.

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 Fiendish by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.10 | 89 ratings

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Fiendish
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by R-A-N-M-A

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.

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 Phideaux & Mogon Promotional Issue by PHIDEAUX album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.11 | 36 ratings

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Phideaux & Mogon Promotional Issue
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by PaulH

4 stars OK, since this is available (at the time of writing this) as a free download from phideaux.bandcamp.com (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.

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 Snowtorch by PHIDEAUX album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.18 | 679 ratings

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Snowtorch
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by Dark Nazgul

3 stars In my opinion a bit overrated

First of all I must say that 'Snowtorch' is a good album of prog rock, recommended if you are a big fan of the music of Phideaux.

Unfortunately, this is not exactly my cup of tea. After the brilliant 'Doomsday Afternoon' and 'Number 7' my expectation for this album was very high, and I must admit that listening to 'Snowtorch' I feel a bit of delusion. I am very surprised about the good reviews, because I think 'Snowtorch' is not at the same level of the previous two albums.

For my taste the arrangements are too complex and the sound excessively redundant. Again, is a too keyboard-oriented work; The electronic keyboards overwhelm the other instruments and there is little space for acoustic instruments which is a shame, considering the great feeling that this artist has for acoustic music, as is evident listening to albums like "Ghost Story" and "Number 7'. Where are the flute, the vioin, the harpsichord and the sax? Where are the dreamy acoustic guitar parts? All these instruments are underutilized or almost always overshadowed by the keyboards and synthesizers in particular.

Some instrumental parts are too long, sometimes a little boring. Fortunately some vocal sections are remarkable, although it lacks the unique harmonies of "Number 7". There are highs and lows: cut here and there you can get a nice 20 minutes epic, but some parts of the album are objectively unnecessary.

I am a great fan of Phideaux music, and I hope he will return to the gothic approach of 'Doomsday Afternoon' or to the psychedelic folk of 'Number 7'. In my opinion this is a good but not essential album and nothing more. My final rating is 6/10.

Best song: Snowtorch Part Two

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 Phideaux & Mogon Promotional Issue by PHIDEAUX album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.11 | 36 ratings

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Phideaux & Mogon Promotional Issue
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator 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 7, 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 7 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."

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 Strange Cloud by PHIDEAUX album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2010
3.74 | 37 ratings

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Strange Cloud
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars "Strange Cloud" has a gritty main guitar riff and is reminiscent of Jethro Tull in something like "A Passion Play." The outstanding aspects of this piece are the electric guitar and the various keyboards, particularly the spacey interjections. The vocals are especially nasally, but that is of no consequence. Like "Tempest of Mutiny," this is an excellent single that contains an abundance of attractive occurrences. The dormouse will blow the listener away with his (snow)torch; that is to say, Phideaux has produced another fine and appealing piece of music with numerous musical ideas that are put together in a coherent and fun manner.

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